by Simon Staho
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Lars and Susanna have been happily married for years. They both have interesting jobs that pay well and there are two nice cars parked outside their spacious house. They lead a happy family life. Soon their daughter will leave home, but Susanna and Lars will be able to cope. They’ve got plenty of plans. Susanna’s friends Ann and Ulf lead similar lives. They too have been married for almost twenty years. Financially secure, intelligent and eloquent – the encounters with Ann and Ulf are always a particular pleasure. Over dinner together one evening Susanna begins to talk about one of her colleague’s affairs. Quite unexpectedly, her company gossip prompts fierce reactions on the part of her listeners. The happily married couples begin to argue. Before they know it, they have moved beyond general moralising to talk on a more fundamental, personal level. What do they have after twenty ostensibly happy years of marriage? Things that seemed undisputable during all those years together suddenly don’t mean anything any more.