If Don had put his termination money into the mortgage they’d have all but paid it off and things would have been good. But he spent the lot on a new BMW. When Larissa suggested this had been selfish—that they were a family and, besides, the old Ford had been fine—he said she didn’t trust him.

He went searching for something to salve his injured pride. Camille liked his swagger and his veneer of affluence. By her estimation their age difference meant he’d be temporary fun. Safe, which was what she was after.

Don imagined a love greater than anything he’d known. Greater than the courting years and Larissa’s three pregnancies and raising their kids. Greater than being there for each other through Larissa’s parents’ illnesses, and his. Such a love.

One early morning, his ears ringing from the music at the club and his vision blurred by pills and vodka shots he drove the new car into a pole.

Two days later he woke in white, surrounded by machines. He opened his eyes to his wife’s pitying face.

‘Camille?’ he asked.

Larissa shook her head.


(this is an edited version of the story Mid Life, published on this day, 2010. See about small stories about love)