'Circles who are no doubt suffering like we are', you think but you say nothing. You know some friends have invested most, if not all of their life [[savings|savings]]. You wonder what will become of them.
"All that money, gone! Just...gone!" He shakes his head, still smoking away. You distantly wonder if his pacing will [[damage|damage]] the floor. You were rather fond of the design, and by the way it sounded, you couldn't afford to fix it.
You had met him four years ago, during a social outing with your friends. He too, came a respectable family, and had quite a [[sum|sum]] awaiting him when he turned twenty-six, as did you when you married. As you courted, you learned he had quite a knack for business; and was excelling at an astonishing rate; expanding his father's company's profits twice over.
He is impeccably dressed as always; in a dove gray suit and his ink-black hair slicked back in a part. His designer dress shoes are clicking on the parquet floor. His ever-present cufflinks are missing; you wonder where they've [[gone|gone]]. Even with his brow furrowed, he still looks as handsome as ever. The [[cigarette smoke|cigarette]] matches the colour of his suit.
The song playing is called "Basin Street Blues."
He is finished his fifth cigarette; it has burned nearly to the butt. He places it into the crystal ashtray and starts on his sixth.\n\nHe'd promised to quit.\n\nYou press him on the matter and he gives you a little scoff.\n\n"We've lost most of our fortune and you're worried about my [[health|health]]?"
It was really the only reason your mother had pushed you to marry him. You simply thought he was nice enough, but too cocky with money, and now he was paying the price, and now you both had to suffer.\n\nYou [[refused|keep]] to go down with him.
"$500,000." he says when you ask him how much. It takes you by surprise. That is most of your [[fortune|fortune]].
"You can leave," he says, motioning to the [[door|door]]. "I don't blame you. I'd doubt you want to [[stay|stay]] with a man who can't take care of you."
The rain hasn't stopped all night. Thick fog has begun to roll in; covering Manhattan with a nearly opaque haze.\n\nBoth you and [[Clarence|Clarence]] are sitting in the den, neither of you have said anything in the past half hour. You've been waiting for him to say something, but he's done little else except smoke his [[cigarette|cigarette]]. He won't stop looking at the [[paper|paper]] that had come that morning. Just a few moments ago, the gramophone had been crooning [[Louis Armstrong|Armstrong]]but Clarence had shut it off, leaving with you with nothing but the sound of rain.
You begin to formulate plans. In the safe you've stashed away $10,000 for emergencies. You can pawn your jewelry; you'll simply [[keep|keep]] the sentimental pieces. You will make this work.
'WALL ST. IN PANIC AS STOCKS CRASH' it reads. [[Clarence|Clarence]] never did tell you much he invested into it; your family's money included. \n\n"It's [[gone|gone]]," he mutters softly in disbelief, a hollow chuckle following it.
He's never spoken to you like that in your three years of marriage. Once he realises what he has done, he apologizes.\n\nYou [[accept it|accept it]].
Even if he hadn't given you permission, you would have left anyway; like a ghost stealing away into the night.\n\nYou know you are throwing away your marriage, but you can't bring yourself to forgive what he has done. Perhaps you'll find a better man. He says nothing as you walk to the foyer, suitcases in hand.\n\nHe raises a cigarette (his seventh) as you leave.\n\nIt is the last time you see him.
Without saying a word, you embrace him. He stills, looking up at you with a mixture of awe and surprise. The seventh cigarette drops to the floor; forgotten.\n\n"We will make this work," you promise him, kissing his cheek.\n\nAnd you do.
"We'll be shunned from our [[circles|circles]]," he mumbles. "We'll lose our standing in this city."