Checkmate in five

The conversation between the sheets was adequate but hardly seismic. She studied him as he slept. He wore a conquering smirk on his face. His shoulders and hairless chest were gym-perfect, but that ridiculous hipster aesthetic, the facial hair, the man-bun, turned him into a Lost Boy. It was all an act, all of it, from the seduction, to the greedy kisses in the hallway, to the fumble of buttons and zippers. A one-nighter, and this is what was left: a sleeping boy-man, with sunshine pouring over his face like honey, and the critical mass of anxiety. She was the other woman now. And this boy, this boy, he showed her his ring right off, displayed it like a puffed-up boy scout, ready to earn his merit badge for Junior Infidelity. He dared her to snub him. She used that softness of mind and turned it against him, checkmate in five. He’d be faltering at the door before he finished his ristretto, wondering how his life turned to ash.

She ran her hand against her thigh, smooth pink violated by thick scar. Something old, something deep. He didn’t notice.


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