Hope is a silver ring, spotted and snatched up on the side of a cliff in Brandywine State Park, with the word emblazoned on it by an artist, hand-stamped, by a too-wise cynic named Greg.
There’s a part of that story I’ve never told.
It’s that years later, I found out that a murder victim — an optimistic girl in high school or college, I forget which now — was found in that very spot long before Greg ever found that ring.
While I will never know — and it’s so unlikely — if these things are related?
I can never forget that footnote.
I can never stop wondering if the girl that believed in HOPE was the same girl found torn apart in those leaves.
I never have.
I wish I could; it’s one of those thoughts that keeps me up some nights.