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Tuesday 200 - #44

“Alec is your prince charming,” Linda said, splitting the last of the Pinot Noir between them.

Emma caressed the band of gold on her necklace. “I don’t know … the ring doesn’t fit.”

Six years ago, she’d been in Bath for the weekend. A dusty old woman scooped the ring off the pavement beneath Emma’s feet, whispering, “This must be yours.”

“There must be some mistake,” Emma said.

“No, it belongs to your true love,” the crone insisted, refusing to take it back. “Can you buy me a sandwich?”

Emma handed over some loose change from her pocket, happy to be rid of the beggar woman.

Back in London she showed it to Linda, costume jeweleress extrordinaire. Turns out it was a man’s 18-karat gold wedding band, inscribed “forever in love.”

It became Emma’s talisman and, as the years went on, her own glass slipper. Relationships bloomed, but the ring never fit and the men drifted away.

Alec was different. Unlikely friends at first, sparks they hadn’t seen coming had grown into what could be the warmth of true love.

“That fucking ring,” Linda sighed, uncorking more Pinot. “For God’s sake Emma, it’s not his fault he’s a double amputee.”

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