She stares at the ring display. Most mothers express an unfaltering desire to treat their daughter as a princess. Unless you’re the third of six. The entire state of South Carolina prides itself on a moral standard he upholds. She hates Algebra II. One might claim her passionate indifference toward the subject rivals her teacher’s enthusiasm.
In spite of a $3 price tag in perfect coordination with her birth order, she knows full well Mom will never buy it. Amidst the pressures of marriage and public office, somewhere between Washington D.C. and home, he finds himself in Argentina, swept away by tan lines and lipstick. She swears he teaches just like he coaches the junior high football team, shouting out Xs and Ys like a drunken college student yelling defense suggestions in the crisp fall air.
His own quarterback broke her heart not three weeks prior. The sparkling pink Crystal Zarconia seems almost magical, glimmering before her as if to brag. His refuge and downfall make for strange bed fellows in longwinded romantic e-mails.
A 20/20 hindsight would detect both between the lines. Her teacher would advise her to give a quarter and call someone who cares. Instead she sits daydreaming in class, drawing blanks and sketching hearts. She tries it on, and without her mother knowing, never takes it off. She seduces him as he betrays his God. The midterm approaches and she would blank again, save for that formula, inked cleverly up her sleeve.