Gaining a Daughter

“C’mon! Do it!”

The best man was tapping his fork against his Champagne glass. Cheryl winced, not at the sound, but at the thought of such an expensive, easily shattered piece of crystal in the hands of someone so obviously drunk. As the mother of the groom, she wasn’t paying for any of this, but she still wrinkled her nose at the insistent clinking, the wine-stained tablecloths, the annoying emcee.

“Do it!”

More people joined in, until the newlyweds, rolling their eyes but smiling, kissed amid cheers and hollering. The bride, turning back to a conversation with her maid of honor, bumped a vase that wobbled a bit before tipping and spilling little polished beads down the center of the table.

“Clumsy,” Cheryl muttered as a waiter sat a plate down in front of her. Her husband, next to her, put his arm around her shoulders. Kissed her.

“Can you believe our boy finally found someone who would put up with him?” he said.

Cheryl lowered her face into the steam rising from her red, red lobster, and cried.

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