Soft grey dusk slowly fades into the dark depths of the ocean cove. A lone motorboat speeds across choppy water.


The Canadian boat pulls up to a private dock along US shore, where I wait in shadow. We avoid lights, for special cargo.


A nondescript cardboard box is pulled out of the hold and passed to me. Grunts are exchanged. No more. The boat roars away.


Carrying the box, I scamper up the dock to a vacation rental house, and duck inside. Alone, I light a candle, and grab scissors.


Stabbing, I cut the box to find tissue paper wrapped around an inner object tied in silk ribbon, hard to open in the dim.


I penetrate it to find a velvet box protecting a huge ethical diamond, sparkling in a sustainable sterling silver setting. It will dazzle.


I tuck the ring box under my pillow, put on pajamas, and blow out the candle to go to bed. But I’m too hyped to sleep.


My phone notifies me of a message on a social media app, so I get up to check. It’s my partner, Lex. Immediately, I send hearts.


We make plans to meet at a helipad in the morning, to tour nearby coastline. Lex hearts everything, and sends goodnight emojis.


Next day, in a copter, I wait for Lex, who doesn’t respond to tweets, snaps, or chat messages. Could I have done all this for nothing?


“We have to go,” says the pilot. I despair, crying. Is it the end? Lex tumbles into the helicopter, apologizing. We rise into the air.


Nanodrones swarm us. “What now?” Lex says. “Just say yes,” I say, sharing the meaningful ring as the nanodrones fly as a heart emoji.


“Yes, let’s import jewelry,” says Lex, winking. I grin.