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A person's ring cycle

A PERSON can't let go of the diamond ring story. So few facts, so many possibilities.

On Dec. 7, a 37-year-old Northborough man opened his unlocked car in the Westborough MBTA parking lot and found a $15,000 ring, according to reports in the MetroWest Daily News and Associated Press.

The huge three-diamond, white gold stunner came in a box with a white bow, accompanied by the following note: ''Merry Christmas. Thank you for leaving your car door unlocked. Instead of stealing your car I gave you a present. Hopefully this will land in the hands of someone you love, for my love is gone now. Merry Christmas to you."

The man who found the ring -- whose name was not made public -- had it appraised and contacted Westborough police.

''This appears to be random, but we don't really know," police Lieutenant Paul Donnelly told reporters. A police report said the finder kept the ring.

The story leaves a person hanging the way a soap opera does -- but without the promise of a next episode. A prequel would be even better, and a person keeps working on the plot.

Take One: Man proposes to woman, presents ring, and is rejected. Man then heads for the Westborough MBTA station and looks for unlocked cars. Maybe. But why Westborough?

Take Two: Man drives woman to T for morning commute, pops the question, but is rejected. She gets on the train and he stumbles around the parking lot shouting her name. Maybe. But in such an emotional state would he bother writing the note?

Take Three: A widow or widower drives to the T to commemorate the anniversary of a first meeting. It has been five years since the loved one died, and the protagonist wants to give away the diamonds that always bring tears -- and let them bring joy to a stranger.

Take Four: The ring is cursed and turns the owner into a werewolf under a full moon. Watch out for stray dogs in Northborough.

Take Five: The ring is hot, stolen from a Mafioso who got it in a jewelry/drug heist in South America. The guy who stole it from the mob knows the identity of the new owner and will come looking for it when things cool down.

Take Six: It's the giving season and Santa is full of surprises.

Perhaps the diamond ring stranger will eventually tell the tale, or the Northborough commuter will learn the truth from area jewelers.

It's also possible that this mystery will remain one forever and feed the imagination with tantalizing ''what ifs." That could elevate it to legend status and make it a year-round gift for everyone -- which is the very best kind.

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