To Tom, other people were a flock of birds or herd of cows.
What people said or did or didn’t say or do, meant nothing to him.
Marrying Verna was convenient. She was easy to ignore, to mislead, to manipulate.
She thought he didn’t want her to cook because he respected her so much. She didn’t know he hated her cooking.
She thought he prized her judgement. She didn’t know he never listened and didn’t care what she thought or did.
She thought he loved his children and gave them space. She never knew they were no more to him than the squirrels in the tree.