The Desperate Moment
By Joseph Logsdon
Burt Trever was an alcoholic. Besides drinking and gambling, nothing else mattered. He was, without a doubt, doomed to suffer the harshness of addiction. One night, Burt was drinking his life away inside a lonely, forgotten saloon. After hours of feeling sorry for himself, Burt attempted to leave, but he didn't have the energy to stand. Knowing that he would never make it home, Burt decided to sleep inside the saloon. With all his strength, he tried to fall asleep, but eventually, Burt realized that he was doomed to stay awake for as long as possible.
By the time the saloon closed, Burt still had his eyes open. Suddenly and without warning, a woman placed her hand on his rough shoulder. At first, Burt wanted to shout at the woman, but when he saw her face, all anger left his heart.
"Sir, can I talk to you for a second?"
"Sure," Burt answered as he struggled to keep his posture.
"I promise, it won't take long," she stated.
"Honey, can you get to the point?"
"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to disturb you," she stated.
"Trust me, you're fine," he stated.
"Thank you, I've had a very rough day," she sighed.
"By the way, what's your name?" Burt asked.
"Lane, Anna Lane," she answered.
"That's a pretty name," he stated.
"I'm glad you like it," she replied.
"So, what do you want to see me about?"
"Would you like to buy a ring?"
"Why would I buy a ring?"
"It would look good on you," she stated.
"Yeah, I'm not buying it," he replied.
"Well, for one thing, I don't even see a ring," he stated.
"I can easily fix that."
Anna removed the ring from her pocket. It was, indeed, very beautiful, but beauty alone couldn't persuade Burt.
"So, are you interested?"
"It's pretty," he stated.
"Is that all you have to say?"
"Still, you haven't given me a good reason to buy it," he stated.
"Well, what will persuade you?"
"The way I'm feeling right now, nothing can persuade me," he grunted.
"Sir, please, I'm desperate," she cried.
"What do you mean, desperate?"
"Well, you see, I've been a single mother for many years. Believe me, I try to find work, but no one will hire a woman. I know, this sounds like I'm begging, and to a degree, I am. You have to understand, I love my daughter more than anything else. If you buy this ring, it would mean so much to me. Normally, I don't do this kind of thing, but given the circumstances, I have no choice."
"I had no idea," Burt stated.
"Well, now that you know, will you buy the ring?"
"Where did you get it?"
"That's not important, is it?"
"If I'm going to buy this ring, I have to know where it came from," Burt stated.
"It's my wedding ring," she stated.
"Why would you want to give that away?"
"If I had something else to offer, believe me, the ring would never leave my finger. I don't want to sell it, I have to sell it. Besides, it's not like he'll be looking for it," she stated.
"He deserted me years ago," she whimpered.
"I'm sorry to hear that," he stated.
"So, are you going to buy it?"
"How much do you want for it?"
"Honestly, I don't know," she answered.
"What do you mean, you don't know?"
"I never thought about it, really. How much are you willing to pay?"
"Because of your situation, how about I give you all of the money in my wallet?"
"Sir, that wouldn't be appropriate," she stated.
"I would be taking advantage of you."
"Trust me, I got plenty more money at home," he sighed.
"Are you sure about this?"
"Positive," he answered.
After Anna received the money, she left the saloon, leaving Burt to think about his risky purchase. Within minutes of her departure, a police officer entered the saloon. Before Burt could leave the building, the officer grabbed his shoulder.
"That's a nice ring," the officer stated.
"Yeah," Burt replied.
"Tell me, where did you get it?"
"Some woman sold it to me," Burt answered.
"You know, for some reason, I don't believe you," the officer stated.
"Because that ring was stolen from a jewelry store this morning," he stated.
"You must be mistaken," Burt stuttered.
"You have the right to remain silent," the officer stated as he handcuffed Burt.
"I didn't do it," he screamed.
"Tell it to the judge."