"Geez, look at the size of that rock!"
"Tor, that is amazing."
As her friends exclaimed over the shiny bit of rock candy on her ring finger Tori couldn't help the fearful gulp that rose in her throat.
Whenever she'd dreamed of an engagement ring, it has been a small thing. Small, elegant and inconspicuous. Not at all like the heavy, huge rock Max had slipped on her finger that morning.
Monique seemed to catch on to her mood and twined an arm around Tori's and covered the hand with her own. Tori gripped her friend's hand and plastered a smile on her face.
"It's nice. It is. It's just-"
Tori's sigh wavered and she caught herself before letting the barrier drop. It was wonderful at times to have friends who knew you so well.
Monique rubbed Tori's back and she leant her head on her friend's shoulder, unable to take her gaze from their joined hands, which covered the symbol of something that should have been the best thing in her life. She was engaged.
Monique released her grip and turned the giant diamond until it glinted in the sun. "At least, you'd never lose it." She laughed, "You'd know right away if it was gone. The glare from the sun would be the first warning."
Tori shook her head, "No, it would be the loss of the weight." This time she couldn't stop her laugh from turning into the choking sob.
"It's okay, Tor." Lizzie put her arm around Tori and her friends hugged her from two sides.
"How can it be okay?" She stared at the symbol of love and forever and felt instead the weight of duty and entrapment.
Tori felt, rather than saw her friends look at each other behind her head.
"I'm sure if you told him-"
"No." Interrupting her friend before she could continue, she shut off her own wishes. Again. "It's part of who i am. Who i will be." If only it wasn't all about duty, and about the love and passion they'd shared instead. "It's tradition."
348 words. MCA