She was unexceptional to look at—pale blue suit and ill-fitting white shoes with straight, mouse-brown hair and too-large, old-style glasses—until you noticed her ring.

On her right hand, the hand holding the hardback book, the circumference of the ring’s round face covered the expanse of three fingers.

The ring makes you wonder who this woman is? And you feel shame for thinking so harshly about her to begin with. Surely, she must be something more than simply a middle aged woman to wear a ring like that. There must be something special about her.

So you make it up. She’s a hand model. Or was. Time and life and too many responsibilities have taken away her overall flair, but she has these mementos, her collection of rings, to remind her of that time when she walked through the world like a princess.

You imagine that along one wall of her apartment bedroom she displays her rings on black velvet, their faces sparkle and wink, like the captured memories they represent.

And before she closes her eyes each night, the middle aged woman smiles as she thinks back to those days, and with a contented sigh, she turns out the light.

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