I am madly searching through the rubbish. Ripping through full bin liners, contents slopping over my hands and fingers.
‘Christ,’ I murmur. An indeterminable liquid dribbles down my arm. The stench is foul, rancid. I cough.
‘Are you sure it’s in the rubbish?’ Pete calls from the verandah.
Stupid question. I ignore him.
‘Hun?’ he calls.
‘Are you sure you threw it out?
‘Of course I’m not bloody sure.’
There is no evidence to prove I threw away my most favoured, sentimental possession. Why I even took it out of its box, I’ll never know. The last thing I remember is placing the ring on my finger and thinking how god-awful ugly it actually is. One day, I’ll get it redesigned. But for now, my grandmother’s engagement ring stays as is. Then one of the kids called me, and I don’t remember what happened next.
‘Why would it be in the trash?’ Pete asks, his Texan drawl more pronounced than usual.
We don’t call it trash here, I silently scream. I want to punch him, a power-packed uppercut. But even I know it’s not his fault. My anger is irrationally misplaced.
‘Mum, what’s this?’ Faith asks. She’s standing next to her dad, on the verandah. In her hand she’s holding an emerald and diamond engagement ring. ‘Can I keep it?
‘NO!’ Pete and I yell at the same time.