- Vol. 01
- Chapter 09
I know what it is that compels me to go there. It's not the game; I don't even like chess and I certainly don't understand it. It's not the game that holds my interest, it's the location. "Where you off to?" my roommate asks. "Oh, no-where," I'd say, rushing out the door; couldn't afford to be late or I'd miss him. He passes my table every evening at 8pm and every night I'm there to see him. Dark, curly hair, bright eyes, dimples, and a killer smile; and it's that killer smile - capable of lighting up the street - that entices me back to that spot. He wears an expensive blue suit, designer shoes and a gold watch; and he carries a red folder in his right hand. "Are you going to make your move?" my opponent asked one time. "Sorry? What?" I asked in reply. "You've been staring at the board for over a quarter of an hour and haven't lifted a single piece." I was obviously miles away, waiting; it was nearly "that time" and I was expecting him. "Oh yeah," I said, looking down. But I immediately looked up again when I heard footsteps. Him. He came around the corner, passed my table, smiled in my direction and continued walking. "You're wasting your time with him," my opponent said. "You think so?" He nodded, very sure of himself. "We'll see." The next day I squeezed my feet into kitten heels, dug out a summer dress I rarely wear (except on special occasions) and pinned my hair up; grabbing my favourite denim jacket, I ran out the door. Just before 8pm I got up and stood close to the pavement, so I'd be right next to him when he passed. "Good evening; would you like to join us for a game?" I asked. He completely ignored me, didn't even acknowledge my presence. "It must be the dress," I said, after he'd gone. "I don't think it's the dress," my opponent debated. "So, it must be the shoes? Or the hair? Or the make-up? Tomorrow will be different."
And it was; I opted for the smart, secretarial look. As he approached I invited him to sit with us and was met with yet another blanking. "It's like I don't exist," I whined to my opponent. "It's not you who doesn't exist," he replied. "What do you mean?" I looked up, puzzled. "Have a read of this while I go inside for more drinks." He disappeared into the coffee shop and I opened the paper he gave me. As soon as I saw the headline I knew it was him, before I saw the photo: OFFICE WORKER KNOCKED DOWN AND KILLED. The man I loved was dead, had been dead for two years.
But six months on and I still return to that table and that fateful game of chess to see him at 8pm - the exact time he died.