Melanie was a devoted "picker". Estate sales, auctions, salvage liquidations were all prime opportunities.
For 250 dollars, she purchased a "blind" crate. It might contain priceless collectibles or complete rubbish. Nearing the bottom of the box, Melanie was considering finding a new hobby.
Some tortoise shell combs and a small broach were the only prizes. With luck, she MIGHT recoup her investment. Then, she found the small velvet box. She dusted it off gingerly. Obviously old, reminiscent of bygone days.
The ring inside the box was stunning! Nearly one half-inch wide, it was disproportionately heavy. Of a shiny metal she believed was platinum, it was traced with a fine filligree of yellow gold. It was the most striking piece of men's jewelry she'd ever seen.
Imagine her surprise at the missive she found beneath the box. It was on vellum, supple yet browned with age. Her eyes goggled as she read:
I return this gaudy thing to you with my full contempt and disgust. I am a consummate professional but can only bear so much in the name of scientific discovery. Two years my consciousness resided in the shell you know as Trevor. For the cause of xenobiology, two years of enduring the sight, the sound, the SMELL of you! To marry you...to continue this experiment is beyond my tolerance. I return to my beloved home with only vile memories of my time amongst you.
Calistorna Vox, Xenobiologist
Xangaran Science Academy
Melanie sold the ring the very next morning and never picked EVER again.