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A Forgotten Anniversary

By: Youheng Zhong

There was a ring. A ring in his coffee cup. How it got there and why it was there was unknown. The man had discovered it while he was enjoying his usual coffee half-asleep. Despite looking like a zombie in the morning, he was well-built, around 5’10”, and in his early 40s. Blackish-brown hair frames his face and his eyes—a beautiful emerald, green that you can see through his round-framed glasses.

The man fished the ring out, taking in its beauty. It must be quite expensive, with a gold band and eight individual, small diamonds studded on the sides. An eight-sided diamond was the centerpiece. It looked stunning as it gleamed and shone in the sunlight. The man rubbed his eyes, trying to see if he was dreaming, but it was already clear that wasn't the case. He looked around, wondering who could have dropped the ring in his coffee, but no one was near him. He admired its beauty for a good five minutes before tucking it away in his breast pocket for safekeeping—after all, it was meant for him probably if it somehow ended up in his coffee cup. “Maybe someone likes me,” the man thought, "but who would buy an expensive ring just to show affection for someone that might not even like her back?” He shrugged it off and went to work, but as he typed away lines of code on his screen, he just couldn't stop thinking about the ring all day.

That night, over dinner, the man told his wife about the ring, a middle-aged woman with a round face that was creased with the hardships of life. He showed her the ring, and she was also stunned at how beautiful it was. But not as stunned as the husband would have thought. In fact, she looked kind of sad. As he fell asleep that night, he wondered, “Why wasn't my wife surprised? Was she concerned that I'll break up with her? Or is she hiding something from me?"

He tossed and turned in bed, unable to fall asleep.

"Maybe the ring represents something," said his consciousness.

"You're forgetting something," said his gut.

"But what is it?" his consciousness replied. "What is it?"

Then he shot up in bed. "It's our 20th anniversary! Our anniversary is tomorrow!" The man smiled, finally able to fall asleep, and his wife, supposedly fast asleep next to him, giggled: their anniversary was today, and the ring in his coffee cup was actually her engagement ring.

Many years later, the man eventually learned of this, but he still had one mystery: how did she get her ring into my cup?

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