Something between the rocks glinted in the morning sunshine drawing Aaron’s attention. He drew in a deep breath as he stared at the rocky slope. Next his eyes dropped down to regard his feet, snuggled in only flip flops. A barefoot climb on the rocks was not his best choice, but if there was a chance he could find Courtney’s ring it was worth it. While he summoned to fortitude to make the attempt he thought about how far she had slung the bejeweled ring the night before. From the wooden deck fronting the hotel to this point was at least twenty yards.
Aaron put all of this out of his mind as he gingerly began picking his way along the rocks that fronted the bank facing the lakefront. By the time he moved a third of the way up the slope his angle changed such that the glint of the sun on whatever he saw was gone. He hoped he could remember where he saw the reflection. He could feel the pain from a sharp rock as it sliced into his foot. He knew that life with Courtney would be like this. She was high risk and high reward, but she was the one who captured his heart and was worth whatever it took. That is why he was doing this.
He found his thoughts rummaging back to the day he met Courtney Denise Manning, the first day of his junior year in Miss Foley’s Honors English. Courtney strode into the room and blew his mind with her smile and sun lightened hair, the reward of a summer as the lifeguard for the county pool. It was not the first time he had seen her, but it was the first time he saw her like this. He did not hear one word Miss Foley said that day, while he obsessed over talking to this high school goddess.
That was six years ago. Now they were both university graduates with new jobs and a plan to spend the rest of their days together. Aaron shook his head as he thought about what triggered Courtney’s outburst. It was no more than a disagreement about the wedding plans that escalated quickly. Just as quickly she burst into tears with the realization she had chucked the expensive ring across the bank. Aaron spent the next hour calming her down and promising he would find the ring when the sun rose the next morning.
“Are you down there?” he heard her say from above.
“Yes darling I am almost there.”
“You are so good to me. I bet a lot of guys would have just walked away or told me to find it myself,” she cooed.
“I am not like that, you know me,” Aaron said, his foot slipping from the blood collecting underneath.
“But you forgive me, right?”
“Always. I shouldn’t have argued about the wedding. If that is what you want it is what we will have,” Aaron said as he finally reached the spot he saw the glint before. His fingers searched the crevice, and he hoped their was no spiders or lizards making their home in the place. He sighed with satisfaction as his pinky finger settled in a loop and he pulled out the ring, which thankfully was still intact.
Aaron looked up to see he was only a few feet from the wooden deck where Courtney waited. She was leaning over, watching him and beamed her best smile as she saw him wave the ring at her. Her smile began to fade as she looked down behind him to see the crimson trail.
“Are you bleeding?”
“I think I cut my foot,” Aaron said, smiling as if all was well.
“Are you serious?”
“It’s nothing,” he said making his way on up to the bottom of the deck railing. He climbed across the railing and stood on his left foot as he kept the wait off his bleeding right foot. Courtney pulled a scarf from her neck and wrapped it around his foot.
“Are you sure I am worth all this trouble,” she asked as she put his arm across her shoulder to assist him back to the room.
“When I told you I love you I meant all the time, not just when you are perfect.”
“Now who is being perfect?”
My first entry into the Speakeasy is a story of love and almost loss. I have several friends who have been doing this for a while and I am glad to be joining in the fun. The rules are simple, no more than 750 words, start with “Something between the rocks glinted in the morning sunshine” and reference the photo below. If you like fiction you should join in the fun. Check it out here: Speakeasy #126.