1947

"Degenerates, the people here..." Irene, a beautiful but shrewish woman of twenty-five muttered quietly to her fiance, moments after she'd asked a waiter to take her meal back to the kitchen. "Why did you choose for us to dine in this place? You know how I feel about Mediterraneans."

"I understand, darling..." Thirty year old John Beaumont grumbled in disdain at her attitude. "...but with the money I have now, this was the most affordable establishment I could find that still catered to people of our station."

Irene raised an eyebrow before her attention was temporarily stolen by the returning waiter. She graciously accepted her fixed main course, only to insult the young man once he was gone.

"Dumb mule. He didn't even address me properly..."

John ignored the petty complaint in lieu of continuing to explain his situation.

"If it's any consolation, my father's health has been getting worse each week. It's only a matter of time before he has to hand over the estate and my inheritance."

"Well, it needs to happen soon. I want our child to have the best life possible."

"As do I, but we must remain patient. You know that it's poor form to speak of such matters here..."

"I know that, John. God forgive me for caring more about the future than you, since Public Service seems to have made you soft."

She took a sip of wine and savored the taste in her mouth for a good ten or so seconds before swallowing. John simply frowned as he remembered how his refusal to partake in military service had forced him into the alternative of working in a psychiatric hospital and being haunted by the suffering of patients.

In contrast, Irene continued to enjoy her privileged life without caring at all for those less well off than them, which left John wishing that he could simply forget the past couple of years and return to his previous state of ignorance.

He lowered his head in anguish and tried to focus on the wedding planned for spring, though all it really did, was make him fear that any daughter he might have would grow up to become exactly like Irene in character and outlook.