Sheryl slid the soaked square napkin out from under her Long Island Iced Tea and used it to knock the worst of the condensation off her glass.  It would have made more sense to sit inside the air-conditioned café, but sense had nothing to do with today’s outing. 

It was five years ago that Tom had proposed to her at this very table on the café patio.  So much had happened since then.  But then again, maybe it would be more accurate to say that so little had happened.

The puddle under her hand began to roll toward her before she realized she had squeezed the small paper napkin into a hard, gritty ball.  Turning her hand over, she stared at the pasty-looking globe resting in her palm.

How could love turn so quickly?  She dug her long, red fingernail into the center of the ball.  Yes, she could imagine his eyes, full of love and lust and laughter.

She poked harder and harder, until her nail broke through the center of the wad.  Then she glanced at the paper napkin ring holder on the table and thought of his ring.

“Sheryl, you are my world.  I can’t imagine living even one day without you.  Will you marry me, my love?”

She slid the paper napkin-ring onto her third finger, but it broke in half before she got it past her second knuckle.  Damn; always breaking things.

She tossed the broken ring aside and finished the last of her Long Island Iced Tea.  She dropped a $5 bill on top of the ruined napkin and pushed away from the table.

Broken rings, broken promises, broken hearts. 

All because of broken wedding vows–that lead to broken and mangled bodies.  Thank God the jury went light on her.

She looked at her watch.  Oh, well, broken parole. 

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Published in: on July 24, 2006 at 5:29 am  Comments (1)