Dr. Tezla looked at the picture once more. It was of a young couple in front of a Christmas tree. She was very pretty blond hair and, though you couldn't tell from the faded colored picture, blue eyes. He was tall and handsome with light brown hair and glasses. They were not in an endearing pose, yet there was something about them, that showed they were deeply in love.

"I love you, Peter…"

Those were the last words she said to him. He didn't care if they sounded sappy; he would forever hold them close. She was one of the few who had supported his work. Her name was Mary.

She was about to go out to a Christmas party on the eve of that wonderful holiday, forty years ago today. They had only enjoyed a few years of marriage-years he missed so much.

He had been sick that day. She wanted to stay home with him, but he insisted on her going.

"Don't let me spoil your evening. Go enjoy yourself."

He remembered his own words as if it was yesterday. She had left, and he drifted off to sleep. At midnight, the doorbell rang, waking him. The police were at the door with bad news.

A drunk driver hit her car at a stop light, killing her instantly. He honestly did not remember much of the funeral. He did, however, remember making the decision to leave and continue his research elsewhere. It was then that people really noticed his eccentric behavior. They usually saw him with Mary and, with her, he truly was normal. Now, he devoted practically all his time to his work.

Peter Tezla put the picture down.

"Merry Christmas, Mary. I love you too."