The Game

The Game

A Story by A.J.

Rough, rough draft.


The Game



I watched her move about the tables in all her grace, charming her customers with her smile and her sweet, innocent and unassuming voice. The older couple at the table just across from mine seemed fairly taken with her, whispering to each other with smiles and approving nods each time she turned away from them. She winked at me each time she passed, making her way to the kitchen. I would make a face and look her up and down and she would roll her eyes and laugh a little. I would roll my eyes in a different fashion when she wasn’t looking.

“Are you freaking out yet, babe?”

“No, not yet for some reason.”

“Hmm, I wonder” she said with a tender sarcasm as she disappeared behind me. I had missed that tone.

“I’ll be right back”, I heard her say behind me.

“I’ll be right here- not panicking.”


   I was sitting in the middle of the room as all the booths and corner tables were taken. Normally this would be a cause for great anxiety for me because I cannot stand to have my back to people. Usually, I can’t even eat and have to take my food to-go, but I stuck it out this time. There was the sight of her, and a good game on the television to focus on when she wasn’t around. She knew I wasn’t going anywhere.


    She passed by a minute or two later, almost brushing my shoulder to get my attention, shaking her a*s a little with a purposeful swagger as she carried the older couples’ food to them. I could almost feel the saliva swell in my mouth as she bent over their table, slowly, deliberately, placing their food. I quickly lost myself imagining those nights long ago. She caught me and laughed a little as she walked over to my table. Her cheeks were only slightly flushed. I realized I had been holding my burger for quite some time without taking a bite and put it down, shaking my head in pseudo-embarrassment as she laughed at the mixture of grease, lettuce, and bacon on my hand 

“Are you not going to eat that?”

“I didn’t exactly come for the food. You know this.”

“…Yeah, I do.”


  We talked a little about our lives, about her kids and my near-broken leg in brief, miniature conversations in between her rounds, and I would always make some sort of inappropriate comment under my breath as she walked off- just loud enough for her to hear, and she would say something of equal crudeness. Normally such behavior in public isn’t my style, but I hadn’t seen her in a while and couldn’t help myself. It was all I could do to remain seated. I wanted to reach out for her and cause a scene. I wanted to make an absolute fool of myself and hope it would work- that tonight she would come over and we would pick up where we left off as though the past few years never even happened and none of it mattered.

I could hear her laugh or make a comment each time she came out of the kitchen and I knew I was the object of gossip to one extent or another. I tried not to think about who else was back there getting into business they never should have stepped into, or what might be being said in general; doing did my best to maintain a hopeful, unassuming face as I had done for the past forty minutes or so. I tried to just keep doing what I was doing, and not think about it anymore. After all, I had only assumptions at this point, or at least I couldn’t say with absolute certainty I wasn’t just letting rumors and my imagination get the best of me. I told myself all of that, but the ashes were already stirred to embers, and then to flames.

 I found myself face to face with the reality of the situation, and I felt a surge of passionate, absolute anger the likes of which I had only recently began to experience. Hatred, pain, and thoughts of action of the sort someone who values their freedom dare not describe, much less act upon. I could feel my entire body tense up- my temperature rising. The hair on my neck stood up much like a wolves or a dogs, and I wanted to scream like one. I wanted to cause a much different scene at that point, and I wanted it so badly I scared myself with the details. The sensation of tea on my hand brought me to my senses, and I released my grip on the cup, laughing as though I had just come out of the winning side of a near-death experience.

“What are you laughing at?

 “Oh nothing. Just daydreaming.”


“Walk-in sex. But that would be cold.”

“Oh you don’t think we couldn’t heat it up in there?”

“You’re not helping right now. Don’t think I won’t take you back there right now.”

“I know you would, but I need this job.”

“I’ll tell you what I need,”


I had to stop there and take in the view, as she had made it to a customer and out of whispering range. Nothing about her shape had changed over the years. I found myself still taken by every inch of her. Her arms were made for kissing as I held her small, gentle hands once. Her neck still radiated with the vampiric passion I had felt as I drew her close and held her there so many times as though there was nothing else on earth or the heavens abundant. Her hips called for that very same familiar embrace as if they were attached to a pillar of life itself, one upon which my name was etched into the side. Her a*s- an indescribable spell no mortal could resist, and her legs were made for keeping me right where she wanted, as if I would resist, yet so gentle as to be softest cloth a man had ever engulfed himself between for heat and comfort on a cold winters’ abyss.

She turned towards me as she passed to go do something, and I took in the shape of her face, unchanged and shaped by absolute grace- the very same one that had melted my soul so long ago as I touched it for the first time, staring into the only galaxies that mattered as they shone in her eyes, claiming me forever hers, and hers alone. Her breasts, her hair, her stomach, all designed perfectly for me to touch, to kiss, to hold and lose myself against. To me, there was never a creature so beautifully designed. Her shape, perfectly defined yet so gentle in all the right places as to be the only temple, the only answer desired by a wanderer looking to find his garden of Eden and finding home in her presence.

It was still hard to accept that those days of dreams and Eden were long behind, and not again on the horizon- to think that my pride let her walk away once in some other direction without a chase. A lot of good that pride had done me, then and since. Now she was apparently f*****g a guy in the kitchen who had been my best friend until just a few weeks prior. If the rumors were true, he had decided to get back at his former fling through her, knowing well what she meant to me, because the two girls had been friends. She had apparently gone with it with no respect for herself or for me, despite the fact we had been speaking again.

“What are you thinking about?”

“Nothing I guess. I’d better get a box and get out of here mama.”

“You don’t have to leave yet.”

“Yeah, I know, but I had better just go ahead.”


My initial reaction to it all had surprised me. Not that I wasn’t obviously infuriated, that was a given. The second overall reaction was relief. Bittersweet as it was, as far as I could tell, the trash had taken itself out- twice. Now I just had to fully accept it. However, there was also overwhelming disbelief, which is what had spurred me to be sitting there that day in her section, seeking any kind of answer to anything. I didn’t want to believe she could have done such a thing to herself and to me. I didn’t want to believe that the light that I held her in for all of these years was now dimmer and tainted. As I sat there that day, I didn’t find that I felt any differently about her one way or the other, though I knew I had better start. I would watch her and we would talk and I caught myself still imagining her wrapped around me once more as though nothing had happened.

As I waited for her to come back with my card, thinking about all of it, telling myself what I knew I must, I felt my anxiety rising. The angel had fallen, and I was now all alone in a world where all that was good was dead or dying no matter what else I wanted to tell myself. Walking towards me was the single most important thing I had ever known or loved now somehow a complete stranger; A skeleton of what she could have been, though she wasn’t showing it yet.

 “Here’s your card back. What are you going to do?”

“Im just going home. There’s nothing in this town.”

“Oh, that’s cool. I’ll call you when I get off.”

“Ok, sounds good.”

I tipped her and looked her over once more, dreaming. Then I grabbed my leftovers and made for the exit farthest from the kitchen but my fist and my teeth were clinched until even after I left the parking lot. I took the dirt roads home and threw the leftovers to the dogs following my truck as I crept along, careful not to lose the box, and made it home feeling fairly good about myself. To my surprise the place felt less empty than it ever had in the past four years. 

© 2015 A.J.

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Added on February 19, 2015
Last Updated on February 20, 2015



Ft. Gibson, OK

My pen name is AJ. As far as writing, I enjoy finding the beauty, the tragedy, the strength and the reality of everything, right down to smallest, seemingly most insignificant details. The world as I .. more..

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