She was happy. Her boyfriend had finally proposed to her. They had been seeing each other for over five years. It was about time, she thought.
She walked down the street admiring her 2 carat ring, something her boyfriend shouldn’t really be able to afford. But there it was. In her revelry, she hadn’t been paying any attention when she ran into a man. Apologizing for her clumsiness, she didn’t notice the man dropping something into her purse. He hurried off. She felt annoyed at the man’s inattention to her apology. She thought there were too many people who could use a lesson in politeness.
Already forgotten, Cricket kept on walking down the street, oblivious to everything that just happened. She was just happy to be engaged. She fished her cell phone out of her pocket and called Sheila. She asked her best friend to meet her for some shopping, as she had some great new to tell her. She told her to hurry and that she was already in the shopping district so she should meet her at the Chinese market they always went to. Now that her day was planned out, she started walking faster towards the market.
From across the street, a man had watched everything that had transpired, and was determined to get the object in Cricket’s purse. Of course, he didn’t know that was her name. Nor did he care. He was only interested in whatever was dropped in her purse. He guessed that today he would be a purse snatcher. Great, he thought, more trouble with the law. It was nothing new for him. He wasn’t exactly the nice type after all.
Cricket was browsing the wares in the Chinese market when yet another man bumped into her. This is getting really old, she thought, and spun around only to see the best looking man she had ever seen. She was instantly smitten. There was nothing flawed about him at all. He was even the perfect height. She was very short herself, and really preferred very tall men. There was something about a taller man that she loved. He was looking down at her and apologized for bumping into her. He was just really very clumsy. She hardly heard him. She only nodded and told him it was all ok, even she’s clumsy on occasion. Kneeling down, he picked up her purse and handed it back to her. In the confusion she didn’t even realize she dropped it. She thanked him and they soon parted ways.
Soon after that, Sheila walked into the store and Cricket went to meet her. She immediately told Sheila about this man she literally bumped into. Laughing, Sheila asked her if that’s the great news she had to tell her. That good looking man must have charmed her more than she thought. Cricket had totally forgotten the great news she had to share. Immediately she showed Sheila her ring. Sheila was excited, and jumping up and down, hugging her friend. They left the market and went to Sheila’s place to have a few drinks.
He opened up the small package the stranger had dropped into Cricket’s purse. It was a small black box. He smiled, knowing some of the tricks some people might leave in such a box. Instead of opening it, he put it on the table and drew a circle around it in chalk. Murmuring to himself, he snapped his fingers and the chalk line began to glow, dimly, and went out with a popping sound. Satisfied it was safe to open the box, he did so. Inside was a ring. He pondered the ring for a moment. He wondered what it was for. Was it a signet ring perhaps? He finally took it out of the box and studied it. It was a simple gold ring. It looked like it could have been a wedding ring, but it had the feel of being very, very old. It definitely looked as if it was taken care of.
Putting the ring back into the box, he sat back and wondered why the stranger had dropped it into Cricket’s purse. What was her story? Why was she important? And what was the ring for? Whose ring was it? He had so many questions. He needed answers. Putting the black box into his coat pocket, he went out to find some.