Grace hesitates for the briefest of moments. A memory returns from some distant land with the threat of unraveling her resolve.
A small corner of green wrapping reveals itself beneath the underwear she hasn't worn in years. An ounce of regret forms. Grace should have left the damn underwear. She could have bought new knickers, should have bought new ones. In fact, she should have bought new everything. She just needed to get out. She'd had enough. This was not what she needed. Not now.
She is frozen, unable to pick up the green wrapping to deal with later, unable to close the draw, leaving it behind.
Grace carefully slips the small package out and places it on the bed. She bends down, as if praying, and unfurls the wrapping.
The moment the light catches the glint, her memories appear like magic. Peter had bought her this ring only days into their relationship with the promise of a better one when he proposed.
That ring never came. Instead, he gave promises and apologies. Broken walls from plates being thrown and empty beer cans littering their flat was not how she thought her life would turn out.
She needed to leave him. She needed to leave before he came home.
But the ring held her gaze. What would happen if she showed him the ring? Would it bring him back to the man he was on that night as they ate pizza in the park and he bent down on one knee to give her the cheap ring?
Grace wipes the tears. No, she thinks. She'll leave the ring on his pillow and let him figure out what went wrong.