Mike already gave my mom a ring and asked her to marry him. Of course she said yes, because she loves Mike and I love Mike, and now I can call Mike Daddy, even though the wedding won’t be until summertime.
Daddy walks out the back door and into the yard where I’m playing. I’m digging for treasures in the ground, where the good stuff from a long time ago is buried. But all I’ve found so far under the tree are pinecones and stones. I’m gonna have to dig deep to get to the best surprises, like rubies and statues and pyramids and dead people.
I can tell Daddy has something behind his back because his elbows stick out but his hands are hidden near his bum. When I stand up, he gives me a little black box, the kind with a hard, fuzzy outside and a soft inside like a room full of pillows. He doesn’t care that my hands are muddy. When I open it, there’s a ring inside.
“It’s topaz,” Daddy says. He tells me that’s the birthstone for November, when my fourth birthday will be. My ring is shiny and gold, and the rock is the color of honey.
When Daddy goes down on one knee, he’s almost as short as me. “Corey, will you marry me?” he asks, just like they do on TV.
Daddy puts the ring on my yucky finger. It’s the prettiest treasure I’ve ever seen, lots nicer than the ring he gave my mom that was empty of color.
Of course I say yes.
Corey Ginsberg’s writing has appeared in such publications as The Gettysburg Review, Third Coast, The Cream City Review, Subtropics, and The Crab Orchard Review. She’s currently traveling the U.S. with her geriatric dachshund, searching for a forever home.
Art: Peter Paul Rubens Public Domain ALT Rubens’ beautiful, lively portrait of his young daughter
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