• Vol. 01
  • Chapter 09
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My fingers played the bandaged bishop while I waited for Ernie to take his move. It was a mutual decision some thirty years previously to abandon the distraction of the clock timing us.

As I waited patiently for my opponent to contemplate his next devastating move, I watched the sun’s last dance, throwing golden soft rays on leaded glass panels in the building across the street. It was Sophie’s building. Alone now, she lived on the fourth floor.

On occasion she made the short walk to the newspaper kiosk below, stopping to chat to Tom the vendor before making her way to the grocery store along the block. Ernie knew I watched her. He noticed me move my body to get a better vantage point, partially hiding behind the traffic sign while at the same time annoyed at its existence. He didn't need to comment.

She was as beautiful as the day I first kissed her. If I close my eyes, I can still visualise the freckle constellation on the bridge of her nose.

If I had opted to choose emotion over logical analysis, my life may well have been different. Pawns may have been of the breathing kind, not the wooden versions, increasingly prone to splintering.

I felt Ernie’s eyes on me. It was now my turn.