I married my wife, Amy, a decade ago. To mark our engagement, I gifted her a princess-cut sapphire ring with a silver band. Like her, the sapphire was one-of-a-kind and irreplaceable.
Amy was beyond grateful, and promised that she would wear it forever. She even joked that the ring was wedged onto her finger so tightly that she couldn't take it off, even if she wanted to.
Despite this, several years into our marriage, Amy lost the ring.
Something about her changed after that. Almost overnight, Amy became wicked, vindictive and cruel.
She would take any opportunity to undermine my self-confidence and make me feel as if I wasn't good enough for her. My once kind-hearted, soft-spoken wife now relished the chance to inflict pain.
This behaviour carried over into how she treated our children. She became abusive towards them, screaming at them for the slightest of faults. Amy seemed to take a sick pleasure in this.
It amazed me how someone could treat their own children, their own husband, so coldly.
This wasn't the same woman I fell in love with.
Eventually, I filed for divorce. I wasn't going to let my kids endure another second of this abuse, even if it was from a woman I once loved.
Surprisingly, Amy didn't fight my appeal for sole custody. She packed her things and disappeared the moment proceedings were through.
While clearing out my belongings from our old house, I happened upon something that caught my interest.
In the back of the shed, hidden behind several crates, was a steel drum that I had never noticed before. It was strange.
There was no reason why Amy or myself would have needed a steel drum, especially not one this large. My curiosity getting the better of me, I approached it and pried the lid open.
I immediately recoiled as a wretched smell filled the shed. Inside the drum lay the skeletal, decaying remains of a woman.
The corpse was long unrecognisable, and completely stripped of any clothing- with one exception on its left hand.
Still wrapped around a decomposing finger was a princess-cut sapphire ring with a silver band.