He turned away. The sight was too much for him. A sob erupted as his mind displayed the image. He fought it--and subdued the flood.
It was only a plastic ringlet. Not large enough to fit a child's finger; you would sweep it up with so much dust if it were on the floor. But it wasn't on the floor. Its placement against the tender skin of her back, near her shoulder--the juxtaposition of such innocence and such paste caught him off-guard. Did she believe that this meaningless circle of plastic could enhance her beauty?
Was this his doing? Had he believed that lace and frill could add beauty to one so priceless--to this one so dear?
Garnering the courage required by his questions, he looked-up once more. It was still there. His eyes studied the lace it joined from above and beneath. Surely there was no intrinsic need for the cheap accoutrement.
And then, as if the lens of a camera adjusted its focus from the foreground to some distant vista, he lost sight of the garment, and saw its wearer. The seeing brought some recognition. He somehow comprehended the vast dignity of this person...this soul.
He wondered how any one person could ever expect to possess her? How any mere mortal could be so arrogant as to try? He marveled at the priceless treasure before him.
The music passed like a cooling breeze on a hot summer day. She lifted her arms once, as if to catch it, or send a bit of the sound back to its source. She tried to listen to the words of a man telling her the thing she already knew--she is not quite good enough. But, if she'll repeat some words after him, she'll be OK. Though she had tried the words before, she whispers them again. Her voice is aimed away from the boy she's with. The boy is looking at the plastic ring, and thinking of how she can be used to answer his prayers.
And as they stand to leave, she feels the boy's hand on her shoulder. The man behind them cannot see the plastic ring. The boy's wrist is hiding it.
The boy feels flesh.
The girl feels loved.
The man feels another sob ready to shake him to his core.