March 23 1997. Becky and Karl walk down the street, discussing ways to celebrate their six month anniversary. They pause at the cinema, scanning the posted list of film times. Becky wants to see Liar Liar, having seen all of Jim Carrey's films so far. Karl insists they see the special edition of Return of the Jedi - he doesn't much care for Jim Carrey. Becky points out she hasn't seen Star Wars or The Empire Strikes Back. Karl replies that he is paying for the tickets, so it should be his choice. Becky spends the duration of the film counting the number of times Karl uses money to get his way.
Karl looks at the hand he has been dealt and scowls. He swaps out two of his cards with the third player, a silent figure who sits in the shadows. Karl's expression morphs from annoyance to hope. Becky ups the ante and calls it. Her Royal Flush beats his two pair.
August 13 2004. Becky and Karl discuss their wedding plans. Karl wants a small civil ceremony at the local registry office; Becky wants a big church wedding, followed by a lavish reception. Karl argues about the guest list - he doesn't want to make a fuss. Becky sulks, asking if she isn't worth that much to him. Karl relents, not wanting to start married life under a cloud. They are married at St Martin's, with the reception for two hundred people at the local country club.
Karl pushes his stack of chips around the table as stares at the cards in his hand. He glances at the silent figure. Becky adds more chips to the pile in the centre of the table. A bead of sweat bursts forth on Karl's forehead, and trickles down the clammy skin to be lost in the foliage of his eyebrows. Becky calls it. Karl knows his lowly pair will be beaten; Becky rakes the chips across to her side of the table.
November 30 2008. Becky asks Karl why he spends so much time at the office. He claims he needs to put in the overtime - if he doesn't do the work, they'll find someone else who will. He thinks of Sara, the receptionist with the short skirts and see-through blouses. Becky threatens to leave if he doesn't change jobs. Karl thinks of the expensive dinners and lavish holidays, paid for by Becky's trust fund. He calls a recruitment consultant.
Karl takes two new cards from the silent dealer, slotting them into the fan in his hand. He struggles to suppress a grin - the new King and Queen fit in well with his existing cards. Becky notices the flicker at the corners of his mouth and bites her lip. She calls it, choking back a sob to see Karl's Full House.
May 18 2009. Becky goes to see her sister's new baby, and realises she is broody. After spending the afternoon with her niece, she goes home and tells Karl she wants to start a family. Karl doesn't want children - he feels that they're too much of a commitment. Becky insists that they try anyway. After six months, she visits the doctor, and discovers she can't have children. Karl commiserates with her, and celebrates with his friends.
The third player drops a handful of cards onto the table. A Full House. Becky looks at her mismatched hand, and Karl frowns at his lowly pair. An equal pile of chips sits on either side of the table. Becky and Karl fold, stand up from the table, and walk away.
September 12 2011. Becky and Karl sign their divorce papers.