She said "Yes"

It was in a store with more dusty cupboards than a grand house that had seen better days.

It sat unassuming in the line-up of other rings, all of them from equally robust unions outlasting their couples. The collective stories silently sparkling in the light, promising once again the opportunity of a life time.

And there it was. A small Australian green sapphire, crown set with diamonds. “Probably 1930s” the old man says. His eyes were weepy, the kind old men get when their bodies start to break down around them. His face lasered so finely by the sun into neat blotchy folds made the blue of his eyes high-contrast.

“Good diamonds as well”, I took his word for it — they all turned out to be D, VVSI.

The whole thing was incredibly undervalued, I later found that was as another true sales pitch.

We know the saying about good things in small packages — brown paper has a virtue too, it’s as humbling as it is stealthy.

We decided upon a stroll that evening to watch the city lights scrape the sky clean of stars. The Brisbane River churned — nervously like my guts — brown and lumpy. The Story Bridge lorded over me like a merciless schoolteacher. The traffic slung across its suspended beams pulsed in faint expectant roars. If ever a time, it would be now.

She drew a gasp when the felted box creaked open.

The breeze is always cooler down by the river. It helped keep the Champagne fresher that night.