It was part of my regular routine.
I headed down to the barbershop to have her fuss over me and pretend that I'm not really losing my hair.
"What do you want me to do with it?" she asked.
"I'd like to look like the guy in the poster hanging on that wall," I replied.
Of course he's about 18 years old, handsome and has a full head of thick, beautiful hair.
"I don't perform miracles here, Bob."
"Then give me the usual," I replied.
Just like all the other barbershops I've ever been in, we talk about life, the government and what we'd do if we were president.
Nothing ever really gets resolved in these discussions. But it doesn't hurt anything either.
I said my goodbyes and headed out to my car. I was about to get in when I saw a small ring lying next to it.
I picked it up and noticed it had a small cut in the ring at the bottom; I assumed it was a child's toy ring.
I tossed it in my back seat and headed home.
While clearing out my car, I came across the ring I had found earlier and upon closer inspection saw that it was indeed an adult size ring of some value.
It was marked 18K, white gold with what appeared to be a large ruby in the center and one small ruby on one side.
The other was missing.
It also had markings engraved on the inside.
I returned to the shop and notified the owners of a few businesses nearby that I had found a ring. All the person had to do was
identify the engraving and I'd be happy to return it.
Around 10 p.m. my phone rang.
"I understand you found a treasure," the elderly man said.
"Well, I believe someone treasured it," I said. "Are you calling to claim it?"
"Yes. That time piece means so much to me."
"Sir, you must be mistaken. This is not a watch, it's a ring I found."
"No, I'm not mistaken. It's mine. If it's not too late, stop by my home. I am only a few blocks away, at 52 Elmwood Drive. I'll wait."
Then he hung up.
This couldn't possibly be what he is looking for. He lost a watch. I sat playing with it wondering if he was just a bit confused. My curiosity got the best of me so I headed out the door to see the old man.
48, 50, oh, yes, 52 Elmwood Drive. It was a small, well kept home. One that you'd expect your grandpa to be living in. The light was on and the door ajar.
I cautiously approached and knocked a few times. I could hear someone fumbling to answer.
"Hello, please come in. Did you bring the time piece?"
"Sir, I tried to explain on the phone that this isn't a watch, it's a ring."
"Yes, I know. A white-gold ring, with a big ruby in it. One of the small ones is missing and the bottom had to be cut. I have arthritis now and when I went in for treatments I had to remove it. I had never taken the ring off before. So they had to cut it," he said.
"Can you tell me what's engraved on the inside of the ring?"
He was right. But I still didn't understand.
"Why do you keep calling it your time piece?"
"1:00 is the hour I first ran into the love of my life, literally. I was headed back to work from lunch and running late. I came rushing out of the door of the restaurant and knocked her down. She wasn't hurt. In fact, she was laughing hysterically. I helped her up, gave her my card and asked that she send me the bill for any damage to her dress."
"All she sent was her name and phone number and signed it the "One o'clock girl." It was then I fell in love with her."
"Is she still with you?" I asked hesitantly.
"Always in my heart and until today around my finger."
"1:00 MJW. That's why you called it your time piece."
"Yes, it was the best time of my life. Time is such a precious thing."