The Ring

by Arnold Nelson

October 12, 1990 was a day to remember. Tom and Jane were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. Their two daughters April who is 17 and Amanda who was 13 were also there celebrating with them. Near the end of the night Tom said Jane, I have one more present for you. Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out a small box. He handed the box to Jane. Jane opened it and inside was a beautiful diamond ring. Jane pulled the ring out and was looking at it. Then she turned it and read the inscription and started laughing. April said Mom, what is so funny? Jane read the inscription out loud luv you 25 2 TK. Amanda said 'What does it mean. Jane said It is a private joke between your father and I. Then Tom and Jane hugged and giggled some more. The girls just rolled their eyes.

October 13, 1990, Tom was coming home from work and was cut off on the freeway and loss control his car and went head on into a cement wall. He was killed instantly. The family was plunged in grief. Over the next few weeks and months the three of them pulled together. They got each other over the bad parts and started putting their lives back together. Over the next few years the girls tried several times to get their mom to explain the inscription on the ring. Jane just kept repeating It is a private joke between your father and I. Finally the girls quit asking.

January 18, 1995 April got married to her sweetheart Joshua Robinson. In the next couple of years the family grew, Faith was born in 1996 and Grace was born in 1999. Joshua had a good job in Portland Maine working in a factory. They were renting a small house and talking about buying a bigger place.

February 21, 2000 Amanda was married to her sweetheart. Jane said one day Both my girls are married and happy now. I'm not needed here anymore, it is time for me to go home. I want to be with Tom again. Within a few days Jane died. They said Jane just lost the will to live. After the funeral Amanda and April started arguing about who was going to get what. April finally said Amanda, you take at all, I'm tired of this. Just let me have the ring that dad gave mom on their 25th wedding anniversary. So that was the way it ended. After that the girls did not talk for several years. Finally they made friends again.

June 18, 2005 Joshua came home from work and told April The factory is closing down, we have one more week of work, than I don't know what we are going to do. After the factory closed down Joshua looked all over the place but times were hard and there were no jobs to be had anywhere. One day Joshua was talking to his sister Linda who lived in Oxnard California and Linda said Come out here, we have lots of jobs, you won't have any trouble finding work. April and Joshua talked it over and they decided that they would take Linda up on her offer. They decided they would sell everything they had that had any value, except for the car, and hopefully they would have enough money to get the California. One of the last things they sold was Jane's ring. Joshua told April I have a friend who will buy it from us and he will hold it for about six months. By then, hopefully, we will have the money and we can buy it back from him.

August 1, 2005 Joshua, April and their girls left Portland for Oxnard California. They slept in the car and ate as few meals as possible to stretch their money as far as they possibly could. Unfortunately their money ran out in Flagstaff Arizona. Joshua was able to find some day work and April took the girls to a nearby park and watched them play while Joshua worked. When Joshua finished working he took the money and he filled up his car. Then he took the family and went to a restaurant and had a good meal for change. Joshua told April We have enough money now to make it and I think that this good meal will help all of us.

They got to Oxnard two days later. As soon as they walked in Linda said You guys look terrible, you must have had a rough trip. April take the girls up and give him a bath, and then you and Joshua take a shower and when you're done I will have a hot meal waiting for you. Nobody argued. When Joshua, April and the girls came down everything smelled so good. They all ate until they could not eat anymore. Then Linda said You know my husband was killed a couple years ago. I've been living in this big house all alone. It's nice to have somebody here with me and I love having children in the house. Stay here as long as you like. Joshua, just rest for a couple of days and in two or three days when you're feeling better you can start looking for work. Joshua said Thank You so much Linda, I don't know what we'd do without you. Someday we will pay you back.

Within about two months Joshua had a job and he is making more money than he ever did in Portland. They were all very happy. A couple days before the six months was up Joshua called his friend in Portland and told him that they wanted to buy the ring back. The friend told Joshua he was very very sorry his assistant sold the ring when he was out of the store. The friend was very upset, he tried to get the ring back but the assistant had no idea who it was that bought the ring. The ring was gone.

Part 2

About a month after Joshua and April left the ring, a young lady named Carol came in the store and said she collected rings with inscriptions on them. She asked the sales lady if they had any rings like that. The sales lady said. I think there's one in the back, let me see if I can find it. A few minutes later she came out with the ring and handed it to Carol. Carol looked at the diamond ring and then she looked at the inscription on the ring luv you 25 2TK. Carol said Do you have any idea what this means? The sales lady said No, I had no idea. Carol said I like it, I'll take it. The sales lady said I'm not sure I'm supposed to sell it. I need to check with my boss first. Carol said I'm in a hurry I will give you twice what is worth. I want to take it now. The sales lady thought for a minute then she said Okay you have yourself a deal. My boss can't be too upset with the big profit he will be making on it. So the lady took the ring and left. An hour later the boss came back and the sales lady told him what she had done. The boss was very upset. He said That ring was not supposed to be sold, I was holding it for a friend of mine. Now what am I going to tell my friend when he calls hoping to by his ring back. All the sales lady could say was I'm sorry, the customer collects rings with inscriptions on them and that was the only ring we had that had an inscription. I thought you'd be happy with the sale, I got twice what it was worth.

About two months later Carol got a call from her mother, her father was sick and dying. Carol got in her car and headed for Toledo Ohio just as fast as she could. In a small town just outside Cleveland her car started acting up she pulled off the freeway and found a local garage. She pulled in and asked the mechanic to look at her car. The mechanic gave her a price on fixing the car. She said she was short of money but she had a diamond ring and asked the mechanic to take the ring instead of cash for fixing her car. The mechanic took a look at the ring and then he said come back in about three hours and I will have it running for you. So she did. When she got back the car was running fine. She gave the mechanic the ring. He looked at the inscription luv you 25 2TK and he asked Carol if she knew what it meant. She said no, she bought the ring in a shop in Maine and knew nothing about it.

Later that day the mechanic took the ring to his friend who owned a jewelry store and asked him if he wanted to buy it. His friend laughed and said John, did you let some other pretty lady screw you out of your fees again? I remember one time someone gave you some costume jewelry The jeweler just laughed again. You will never learn John. John said I know I'm helping these people out, most of the jewelry I get at least covers my expenses. It makes me feel good when I can help others when they need it. The jeweler said I think you did good this time, this is a nice diamond ring. Do you have any idea what the inscription means? 'luv you 25 2TK'. John said The lady had no idea she said she bought the ring in the store in Maine the inscription was on when she got the ring.

The jeweler decided to take the ring home and give it to his wife. His wife loved the ring. She read the inscription luv you 25 2TK she asked her husband what it meant. He said he had no idea, nobody seems to know. He said that John got it helping another pretty lady get her car fixed. Sarah loved it so much she wore it everyday. One day while she was washing vegetables the ring slipped off her finger and right down the drain. Sarah was heartbroken. They took the trap off the drain and cleaned it out. The ring had gotten past the trap some how and it was gone.

One day a worker at a reclamation plant was checking screens. He saw something shiny in one of them. He reached down and picked it up. It was so covered with gunk he could tell it was a ring. That was about all he could tell. Later on that day when he has free time he washed it off. He was surprised to see what a nice diamond ring it was. When he got home he founded magnifying glass and he read the inscription on the ring luv you 25 2TK. He had no idea what it meant. When his wife got back from the store he said Honey, I found this ring today in one of the screens today, do you want it? His wife looked at it and said Yes, it's a beautiful ring I want it. What does the inscription mean? I have no idea he said. So she started wearing the ring every day. A few months later they went on vacation. They were rafting down the Colorado River. All of a sudden a bunch of water swept up over the raft. The water was so strong it took the ring from her finger and it ended up in the Colorado River. She felt terrible.

A few months later a man named Alan was using a metal detector going along the banks of the Colorado River near Lake Mead. He wasn't having a lot of luck. He found a few coins, but they were not very old. He found a lot of junk. Just as he was going to quit the metal detector went off again. So he dug down and came up with the ring. It was so covered over with gunk that he could not tell anything about the ring, just that it was a ring. When he got home he cleaned up the ring. He was surprised to find out it was such a nice diamond ring. He looked at the inscription luv you 25 2TK and he wondered what it meant. When his wife came home he showed her the ring she was very impressed with it. She put it in her jewelry box and there it stayed for a few months. One day as her daughter was getting ready to go off to college at UCLA. She said Wait just a minute. She went and got the ring. Then she said Honey, your dad found this ring many months ago. It looks like it might be worth a little bit of money. Take it with you. If you ever get short of money then you can sell the ring, it just might get you over some bad spots. So the girl did. The girl looked at the inscription luv you 25 2TK and said Mom, what does that mean? I have no idea the lady said. Then the girl took off for UCLA.

About six months later she started running short of money. Then she remembered the ring and she remembered the words her mother told her. So she took out the ring. She took it to a nearby jewelry store and sold it. She was able to get enough money to get through the bad times. The store owner asked her if she had any idea what the inscription luv you 25 2TK means. The girl said My dad is always going out with a metal detector, he found this ring one day. We have no idea what it means. A few weeks later a man came in. He was looking for something for his wife's birthday. As soon as he saw the ring he knew he had to have it. He asked what the inscription luv you 25 2TK means. He said he had no idea. He bought it from a student at UCLA. She had no idea either her father found it one day while using a metal detector.

When Philip got home he gave the ring to his wife Ann. Ann love the ring. She saw the inscription and asked What does 'luv you 25 2TK' mean. Philip said I have no idea. I bought it at that jewelry store near UCLA, some student needed money and sold it.

October 11, 2015 Philip and Ann were getting ready to go to a party at Betty's house. Ann decided to wear the diamond ring. It went great with the outfit she was wearing. When they got there Philip went off to talk to some of the guys. Betty introduced Ann to April. Then she went off to do her hostess duties and left Ann and April to get acquainted. While they were talking April suddenly turn very white. Ann said Are you all right April? April said Where did you get that ring? Ann said My husband bought it at a jewelry store near UCLA. April said it has and inscription on it doesn't it, and inscription is 'luv you 25 2TK'. Ann got a shocked look on her face and said How can you possibly know that? April said That is the ring my dad gave to my mom on their 25th wedding anniversary. Ann said What! April said again That is a ring my dad gave to my mom on the 25th wedding anniversary. When we came to California we had to sell everything we could to get out here, we hated selling the ring but we had no choice, we needed money. The guy we sold it to said he would hold it for six months. If we got the money he would sell it back to us. When Joshua called to make arrangement to buy it back he found out that the ring was sold. We were devastated. Ann said Here take it. As she pulled it her off her finger. It is a family heirloom for you, you need to have it back. April said Let me pay you for it. Ann said No thanks, it's enough for me to know that the ring finally got back to its rightful owner. By the way what does that inscription 'luv you 25 2 TK' mean. April said I don't know. My dad was killed the day after he gave my mom the ring. My mom would never tell us. She just said it was a private joke between her and dad.

April took the ring. Then she got up and walked across the room to were Joshua was talking. When she got close to Joshua. Joshua said Honey, you look pale, are you all right? April said Look!!! And she held up the ring. Joshua's jaw hit the floor, then he said Where in the world did that come from? That your mother's anniversary ring isn't it. April said Yes, Ann's husband bought it for her at a store near UCLA. How in the world did it get there. Joshua said. April said I have no idea. After I told Ann about this ring. She insisted I take it back. I tried to pay her for it but she refused to take any money.

Joshua and April went home and shortly after they got home they went to bed. About 3 AM April sat straight up in bed. She started pounding on Joshua and yelling at him to wake up. Finally Joshua said Quit hitting, I am awake, what's the matter? April said I know what it means, I know what it means What, what means. Joshua said. What 'luv you 25 2TK' means. Mom came to me in a dream and she told me all about it. What are you talking about April Mom came to me and she explained the whole thing to me. Mom used to tell dad she would never be any older than 25. Dad used to laugh at her. When I became a teenager he used to tell her you're 25 years old and have a teenage. And then he would start laughing. Then she would tell him you're just a cradle robber. You're just a dirty old man. And then they both would start laughing. Amanda turned 13 just before their 25th wedding anniversary. So when he got the ring for mom instead of one teenage kid there were two teenage kids. So he made the inscription 'luv you 25 2TK'. Which means love you, you 25-year-old woman with two teenage kids. They were both silent for a few minutes and then April said Oh my gosh, do you know what today is? Joshua shook his head no. It is October 12, today would have been my parents 50th wedding anniversary.

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