This is a short story I wrote a few years ago. I’m posting it here because here is the logical home for short stories I wrote a few years ago. Let it be noted that I’m not very good at the whole dialogue thing. And I removed a reference to The Other Half, which would have been the point many of you stopped reading. If there’s any justice, one day this scene will find its way into a commercial for a savings account.
As they approached the jewelry store, Craig asked, â€œHow can you afford a decent ring?â€ Brad held up a Ziploc bag filled with his life savings: $231.27.
â€œThe jeweler knows my deal,â€ said Brad.
â€œYou canâ€™t be seriously considering giving Molly what that bag of dirty bills will buy.â€
â€œMolly doesnâ€™t care how muchâ€¦â€
â€œThey all care!â€
â€œWho are you, Ann Landers?â€
â€œI donâ€™t want you making a cheap ass of yourself.â€
â€œI appreciate the concern. But you donâ€™t know Molly, OK?â€ But Brad wondered if Craig had a point.
The front door of Arkin Jewelry was locked. Craig rang the doorbell four times. Brad regretted letting him tag along. Mr. Arkin buzzed them in before disappearing into the back, and he didnâ€™t seem pleased by the ringing.
As they scanned the cases, Brad noticed how few rings were in his price range. Two rings, side-by-side, seemingly identical, were priced at $199 and $3,999. â€œWhy would anyone spend that much money when you canâ€™t tell the difference between them?â€ Brad asked Craig.
â€œThe girls donâ€™t want to just show off the ring. They want to show off the price tag. Come on, Brad, nothing you can afford here is going to work. I know a guy in the Diamond District. He owes me a favor.â€
â€œCraig, wait in the car. I can handle myself.â€
Before Craig could respond, Mr. Arkin emerged from his office. He picked up the $199 ring. â€œIâ€™m afraid this is the only ring I have in your price range. But itâ€™s a good-looking stone. I think your girl will like it very much.â€
The phone rang. â€œHang on boys; Iâ€™ll be back in a second.â€
â€œIâ€™ve got an idea,â€ said Craig, a crazy look in his eyes. Without consulting Brad, he switched the two similar-looking rings, so the slot labeled â€œ$199â€ now contained the $3,999 ring. Brad was terrified â€“ initially, he lunged forward to stop Craig, but then recoiled, not wanting to get caught fussing with the diamonds. Suddenly, a tiny part of him was thrilled by the prospect of the expensive ring. Before he could make another move, Mr. Arkin rushed back towards them.
â€œI just got the most wonderful news,â€ he shouted. â€œMy daughter is pregnant! Theyâ€™ve tried for years, and we had given up hope. But Iâ€™m going to be a grandfather!â€
â€œCongratulations,â€ Brad muttered. He wanted so badly to explain what just happened, but held his tongue.
Still smiling, Mr. Arkin stared deep into Bradâ€™s eyes. â€œIâ€™ve always liked you and your family. And you have impeccable timing! See this?â€ he said, pointing at the $3,999 slot, now holding the $199 ring. â€œThis is a beautiful piece. The cut is brilliant â€“ a very clean stone. Iâ€™m crazy for doing this, but to celebrate being a grandfather, Iâ€™m giving you this diamond for the $199 price.â€