Four beautiful years. She had sat at this dining room table, polished every day by ol' reliable Miss Hamm, when they ate their first dinner of lamb cutlet, squash, and fingerling potatoes. He was all razor sharp grins as she giggled at the pieces of potato that he purposefully left dangling at the side of his smile.
Next year, at Thanksgiving, they had had their newborn, squirming at the side of the table with all of his raw and tender newness. He and his mother rambled on about the beautiful, perfect baby boy as if the two of them had made it. She glowed, proud.
At Christmas the following year, at the same mahogany table, they played checkers, just the two of them, after he'd closed a deal he was proud of. "I can't finish this game, darling. Go pamper yourself in the hot bath; I've got to make some calls."
The next year, the table was empty.
And the next, here she was, sitting with a photo of her face behind a veil on their wedding day. She thought, this was all he ever saw. He only saw my face behind this. And she ripped it.