Tom and Mary, by Gordon Lawrie

Tom and Mary spent their entire marriage, all fifty-nine years of it, in competition. Mostly, they teamed up, thus avoiding public marital strife and maintaining a semblance of decorum. Friends knew the signs, though. A misdirected volley on the tennis court, or a missed short putt on the golf green, meant Tom would be sleeping on the sofa that night.

Later, their interests turned to bridge, where Mary would frequently be heard screeching ‘Why did you do that, Tom?’ He died suddenly at the table; she carried on playing the hand, Tom was dummy and they made a small slam.

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