The Game

She told her mother, a translator was not required, so did he. But there sat one, beside them and in between was the chess board. Both, glaring at their opponent’s pieces and the translator twitching sideways.

Jules moved his king slowly a step to the left with a smirk on his cheek and looked at her. Her fingers on her bishop and eyes on his king, she began moving the bishop across the board “ Leet the Bishopp bee, it eez guaardinng thee kingg,” he said in a stern voice. She took her fingers off the bishop and glanced frantically towards her other coins. The black queen was moved 2 steps, placed just beside the bishop now. “Tres Bien” (Very Good) said, Jules. She acknowledged and smiled hesitantly. He now turned to his rook and placed it just before the black queen. Lily picked out the rook with her queen without giving a second thought and looked ecstatic. Jules, moving his white pawn back and forth in the air, said “L’échec n’est pas seulement un jeu de tuer. Il s’agit de la manipulation du cerveau de votre adversaire, par la stratégie…” The translator didn’t wait for the sentence to be completed and blubbered, “Chess is not just a game of killing. It is about manipulation of your opponent’s brain, through strategy.” She looked at him for a brief second when Jules cleared his throat and added, “Et série de sacrifices.” The translator was gushing with anger but said calmly, “and series of sacrifices.” Jules moved his Queen 3 steps forward and said, “échez et mat.” ( Check and mate)

She stared at him with a stunned face but with an equal admiration. They wrapped up the game for the day by 4-2. The master had clearly won.
The translator breathed in relief. He greeted them ‘good day’ and left hurriedly.
They both stood up, exchanging quick glances and walked side by side by the aisle before Jules spoke “You leerning French?”  “Oui, and your English is getting better” said she, blushing now. “A beet. Little beet” said Jules grinning. He stopped walking now and turned to face her and said hesitantly, “Alors, qu’avez-vous pensé?” Looking at her confused face, he added ” So, what have you thought?” “I don’t understand. I do not know how this would work” she said, expressionless. Jules took her trembling hands gently into his, looked straight into her eyes and said, “I lovee yoou. Theese laast day of training. I leaave France nexxt weeek.” “You give this relationship a chance, I beg you,” he said, filling with impatience. No. Anger.
She withdrew her hand and walked away with her back to him. Few steps forward, she turned around and said, “Je t’aime“( I love you) with such ease, as if she were awake all night practising it. Without looking up at him again, she walked away, chuckling.
He smirked, spite filled his eyes. He walked slowly towards the chess board and seated himself in his position and knocked the black queen gently with his white king. Laughing wickedly he said, “Well, leetle sacrifices and leetle manipulation. Now, that’s a échec et mat.”
And that is how, yet another girl fell into the chasm of his ploy.


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