Hello!! This is a story that I wrote several years ago, but it is one of my favorites and in light of my being new, I would like to share with the new community here in hopes that you will enjoy it as well. Thanks!
They Played The Game
Neither of them could have told another person outside the room how long they had sat together in the growing silence. Words of heated nature had been exchanged in a whirl wind of lost control and bitter need to stab in a well stacked justification of an eye, for an eye. The livingroom small, each had taken perch on a different couch, she staring to the ground, him to a television set that had long ago been turned off during the fight. At this point, she wasn't sure how the disagreement had really started. More specifically, she couldn't recall the wording of the comment that had set off her temper, only that the look she had given him after, had clearly declared war. Oh, and what a war it had been. Physical contact wasn't needed. The insignificance of it was laughable in face of the mental damage. Accusations, fingers pointed, bones rigid, and jaws ticking. The gloves had come off.
Now, the silence was only interrupted by the steady click of a wall clock, taking away the seconds and widening the chasm growing between them. Interestingly enough, this space wasn't a mere hollow distance. Instead, it was filled with everything that each mind wanted to say. Both soft words to negate the harsh, and further cruel to take away the opportunity for sweetness. The time of a believed flaw in delivery, and a firm belief that certain things couldn't have been said better. Neither wanted to accept that it would end in apology. Pride, wouldn't allow. Even in those moments though, while the end result was clear, both accepted that the exchange was far from over. This was down time, collection. Gaining more fuel for the expulsion of yet more energy. It ended, rather abruptly.
Scarecely she had glanced at him, but across the room she knew exactly what coutenance the features held. Chisled bone, prominent cheekbones, deep set eyes that seemed fathomless. Shaded, by a fall of dark hair that added shadow to the orbs. Stoic. Completely, and utterly, unreadable. In contrast, she knew that hers was an entirely different setting. Wide easter green eyes, a small nose, and rounded cheeks. Pouting lips, always a shade of charming pink, not quite red. Every thought, every emotion, it was there to read as it passed over her face. He'd commented so many times that he could see her angers and joys a mile away. In humor, that he knew saying so would always irritate her, and she would try to hide it. "Leave." Suprisingly, even to her, her voice came out nuetral.
"No." His, was the same.
"Yes. Get up, get your shit, and get the fuck out."
"Do you have a hearing problem, or a learning one?" Sarcasm. Ineffective, as now her voice was laced in tears.
"Both." Still nuetral.
"I hate you." Once more dripping with feminine tears.
"I'm aware." Waiting. With so much patience. He knew the point, or the beginning again, was on it's way.
"You know something?" A pause, one deep inhalation causing a rather pathetic sniffing sound to herald through the air. "Your just like a chess game. That's all you are. A game." Now, this hadn't been what he was expecting, and she felt a small surge of triumph in the proof of shock that briefly registered on his features before he managed to contain it. Even after he did, his eyes settled on her. For a minute he didn't want to answer, but decided to indulge in her triade.
"Want to leave me guessing? Or are you going to explain?" Still nuetral, and the triumph exchanged. Draining from her features, and not settling on his own. She simply knew he felt it. Because now, she had expected something else. Still, even in her sudden loss of confidence, another sniff came, and her features turned from his own as she began to speak.
"Your like a chess game." Her cheeks blew out immediately in anger. She hated repeating herself. It felt like a loss. A giving. "It's a game of strategy. You start out with all of your pieces in two perfect rows, and immediately disrupt the smooth composition of them. But only because you have a plan. Your never the white side, always the black. You let the other person move first. You like to pick apart why they made the move, and then you think of a perfect way to counter them. It starts out small, your feeling them out. Not considering why they did it, just looking at what you have to do in turn. There isn't any thought, aside a want to slowly turn it into forcing them to make the moves you want. You toy with them. You walk them into traps and outsmart them. Belittle them, just by the moves you make. It's heartless, it's cruel, and it's a battle to you. Doesn't matter how long it takes. You know you can always think longer. Can think more moves ahead, even if it's only one." She fought the urge to look at him, and held back her smile. She didn't want the message of 'take that', to be too obvious.
"Your like Sharades." That was it. His responce, after everything that she had just said. Immediate anger burned into her face and she turned sharply to look at him, swearing she would scream if he was even so much as smirking. She found that she still wanted to scream, because his expression hadn't changed. She hadn't looked at him the entire time, and the look on his face in that moment, told her he hadn't even batted an eyelash.
"Going to leave me guessing?" A childish remark.
"You constantly stand upon a stage where you are the center of attention. All eyes are on you, and you want them to guess why your there. Every gesture you make, pose you put your body into. Just to make the crowd wonder and piece together the clues that you leave behind. You expect them to know immediately after you do something just what your trying to say. Having the gall to get frustrated when it turns out, they aren't mind readers. It also makes you angry that you started out with a plan, and it isn't going your way. But with you, there is two sides to the game. When you get your message across flawlessly, your instantly smug. You feel superior, and smart. Satisfied that they get it, and you jump up and down after because you knew you could do it, and because you've just made it harder for the other team to win."
"Get ....out ..." More anger, and more moisture lining the lower lids of her eyes. To her shock, he stood, not even imparting a nod before he turned and made way for the coat rack to get his jacket. After he shrugged it on and moved to reach for the door knob, he heard her speak. "Your leaving?! Just like that?"
Much to her dismay, the first smile she had seen in a timeless period, settled neatly onto his lips. Fingers resting against the handle he turned, knob twisting beneath the grip of his hand to pull it part way open. "You made your first move. I countered in a return of my opinion. I wanted to know where you were going with it. I started out small, holding myself back, wanting to see if there was a valid point in our screaming at one another. I had no idea, only that you expected my responce. When I found out your point, I started turning it around on you. Trying to make you see how stupid you actually sounded. It didn't matter how long it took, because it wasn't cruel, it wasn't heartless, and it wasn't a battle to me. I wanted it over. But now you win, because you asked me to leave, and I am. So, you tell me, whether or not I am one move ahead. " But before she could even get over the shock of what he said, the door was closing behind him.
She waited until she heard his car start before she stood up from her perch, stiff legs walking her to the window so she could watch him pull out of the drive and very slowly accelerate down the road. He had not only belittled her in his description by making her seem a child, but he had done so in a way that somehow glorified his next responce after her outburst. He had been right in most things, but the biggest of all, was the fact that she had indeed won. Sleep wouldn't come, and she knew tears were pointless. The only thing left, was the realization that victory in a game, was sometimes hollow. Not at all as satisfying as she imagined it would be.