Ring In A Bottle

by - January 08, 2019


He simply wanted time alone with his wife, to pamper for her hard work at home and to spoil her with his gifts. But Ma just wouldn’t have it.





Something sharp was scratching his calf. He pulled his leg away as he struggled to sit up, finding himself immersed in clear water by the seashore. The broken bottle was bobbing nearby, missing its top half. Its jagged edges threatened to pierce him again if he didn’t move.

He grabbed it, appalled by its existence, by the familiar white label. A brand that always made Ma slept in her own vomit since he was five. Why was it here in the middle of his holiday with his wife?

He tilted the bottom to find its reason. Against the setting sun, the gold ring glinted, its delicate band holding up a blood red ruby. An old ring that had never left Ma’s finger no matter how destitute they had been.

“Abang, oh, husband, where were you? What happened?”

His beautiful wife, such a gentle soul who worried too much, cared so much and endured too much. Always trying too hard to please cruel, bedridden Ma.

“This looks better on you.” He slipped the ring onto her finger then touched her cheek. The bruise was almost gone now.

He enjoyed her surprise. But before she asked more, he touched a tender spot behind his head. His fingers returned with blood.

“Just a bit woozy.” He replied. “Let me lean against you.”

He remembered now. In this part of Patong beach, people drowned easily with its high waves. But he was a strong swimmer. Ma wasn’t.

“Ma found us. She flew all the way to Phuket. Can you imagine that?” He threw the broken bottle into a bin.

His wife tensed in his embrace.

“She’s gone now. It’ll be just the two of us from now on.” He pulled her closer and kissed the top of her head.



Part Of The Anthology: Minimal 2019

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