As he had done for the 35 previous years, he cooked the Christmas dinner. A goose. Mashed potatoes with melted Gruyere cheese. Some greens. And a simple desert. Traditional as far as he was concerned.
The table was set for two. One plate next to the other, not across each other. For that special occasion, there also were champagne glasses. Against his was an envelope, not yet opened. An elegant handwriting had addressed it to him. For the first time in a very long time, the children were not going to be there. The oldest son, his wife Marcelline and their three children were seeking sun, sand and clear water in the Caribbean’s. The two younger daughters were at their respective in-laws’. He did not mind that since it was not often this had had happened.
When the meal was ready to be served he filled the two glasses with their favorite brand of bubbly. Before starting drinking he opened the envelope. A carefully chosen card on which was written : My darling, May we spend many more happy years together. Your loving wife. Charlene. He lifted the glass in the direction of the empty chair and whispered: we will my love.