I grab my dinner plate from the table and look at it. It’s dingy and made of hard plastic, with a faded floral design flowing around the edges. Part of an old set that Kate bought for the house many years ago, just before we moved in. She was glowing with excitement and new life the day she brought them home to our tiny apartment. She was seven months pregnant with an adorably round belly. I was sitting at the kitchen table, budgeting our finances and trying not to pull my hair out while attempting to figure out how we could afford this house. “What do you think?” she asked, presenting them to me. “They’ll match the wallpaper in the new kitchen perfectly.” She was right about the wallpaper. Today there’s nothing left that matches the plate. A few years ago we tore all of the wallpaper down and covered the walls in tan-colored paint instead. One of our many desperate attempts at change.
When we ate our first meals at our first home together, we used these plates. It was a happy time. Over the years we’d bought proper dinner plates, and these were relegated to the kids. And now this is the only one we have left from the set, the others being lost or broken.
Looking at it now, it reminds me of a rare innocence. Once it’s gone, it doesn’t come back. And now I’m using it to feed another woman. A deep longing seeps through my stomach and stirs around, motivating me now to hurry up and get upstairs to Kate.
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