• “You know, for a smart girl, you’re a bit of a ditz”

    I look ‘im straight in th’ eye with a smile.

    You grow up hearin’ all these stories ‘bout blondes bein’ ditzes an’ all. However, I had always believed they weren’t true, jest…. Jokes and what-not. But I seem ta be livin’ proof that that ain’t so. On paper, I look like a genius. Top Ten Precent, Science Team, Calculator team, computer team, college classes in high school. I know what to say to sound all intelligent. I won’t deny that I’m smart, but, ‘course, true genius I don’t feel I got the spark for. An’, I like that I’m “smart”. Ya see, I like the unexpected. An’, a lot of people don’t think pretty blonds are too smart. Not that I’m sayin’ I’m pretty, just, a lot of other people say it ‘bout me. So, I like that. I like surprising people with my nerdiness when before they thought I a prep.

    So here I am, sittin’ across from one of the cutest guys I’ve ever met playin’ chess. And I hate that… I hardly ever call a guy cute… I jest don’t see it in many guys other girl’s’ll point out and all. But, he’s cute… and I can’t deny it. So cute… and we’re playin’ chess. ‘Course, the question is, what’s wrong with that? I don’t like liking guys ‘cause they’re cute. He points to two pawns. “They don’t help you, that’s why!” He had been tellin’ me somethin’ about these pawns ya don’t wanna move towards the beginin’ of games… like, h2 an’ a2 I think…. He had pointed to them. I smiled. That was the right thing to do. He knew it somehow. I was a bit touched, even if he didn’t know he had done the right thing.

    “Alright…” I said, pretendin’ I knew what he was talkin’ about. Kay… so they don’t help ya… and? I’m jest playin’ casual games… like I really care about strategy…

    Alright, so he’s cute… and he’s a genius at chess… or at least, in my book he is. He’s better than me, which… I guess actually doesn’t count for much… I don’t really think ahead. That’s one of my main problems in chess. Heck, that’s one of my problems in life. Whether it’s natural or it’s because my parents always had the habit of thinking ahead and I just got use to them doing it, I da know. Maybe when I get out of my own, I’ll start doin’ that… it’s kinda necessary….

    He’s cute, and he’s smart. A nerd. I like nerds. Why not like him? Well… he’s older than me. I’m not talkin’ two ta four years older ‘n me… I’d be alright with that… but… naw… he’s like… ten years older… he’s defiantly not 30… 28 at the most…. 25 at the least… though, I think somewhere in between. I don’t like that. I don’t. Well, it’s not like my parents ain’t 12 years apart… so, it’d be better than what my mom gone off and did… and my parents are still together… but… still… is it right? Is it really okay?

    Oh, I might tell ya, I’m at a chess convention. That’s where we met… I don’t like that either… I came here for chess, not boys. To get better, not flirt. An’… he don’t live no where close… I live down there close to Mexico, an’ he… well, lives somewhere up north where there be white Christmases, not these brown ones. *sigh* A white Christmas would be nice…. Ah, he’s showin’ me somethin’ now, I oughta pull back to the game… or… what had been a game…

    “So….” I innocently ask, “What should I do?”

    “You should open up in the middle. These two… You want to take control of the center.”

    I look at ‘im seriously. Don’t know why, just do. “How come?”

    He sighs at my ignorance. I watch his hands with a distant gaze as he goes for what had been my long dead knight. I shake my head a bit. No. No. Keep your head in the game… Listen to him. Listen. And I do. I hear his voice. Oh, his sweet voice.

    He’s not the kinda guy I normally go for… I like the nerdy guys who may not really be that cute, but their shy personality makes ‘em that way, and all stuff like that. It’s cute. I don’t like the guys who have lots of girls that like ‘em, are really cute, and such and such… ah… his eyes are killers… I’m a sucker for the eyes… But, he has girls that likes him… and… he is really and truly cute… and he’s older than I like… and he lives soooo far away….

    Keep your head on the game, girl, just keep your head on the game.

    I glance into the sunset. It’s beautiful… Our first game was during a sunrise, I remember… just as pretty… my eyes are saddened a bit. He’s talkin’. I only hear his voice.

    If I were to like him, if I were to over look the age and the distance… can I open up? I’ve never had a real boyfriend… I guess kinda like I’ve never really won a chess game… though I still enjoy the game. I have lots of guy friends, but that’s all they are to me, guy friends… I guess kinda like how I like just casual chess…

    I stand up. He looks at me with quizzical eyes… naturally, of course. I just stood up while he was talking. I look at him with a smile, but it’s very distant… I wonder what he’s thinking… does he like me? Or does he find me annoying? Or… … does he see me as too young as I ponder if I should say he’s too old… I look away out into the sunset. I want to know what he thinks… I yearn to know. Heck, if I knew that… maybe I could actually beat him at chess for once…

    But, to open up, to declare I like him, is like… it’s like trying to go after his king… and in the past, no matter how well I tried to back my pieces up… my opponent has always, always, won. They’ve had their pieces against me, and I don’t know how to get around their defenses, and… I’ve never been taught how… I don’t know how to checkmate anyone… I don’t…

    My heart is yearning for me to go ahead and play this game. It wants me to invite him to play. But, I must say no… or… must I? I’ve already pulled my queen out, I can tell… I can… now, I must ask, should I retreat her and save her life, or should I go ahead, and go for the attack… is it to late? Has the game really already started without me realizing it? Yes… yes it has, and I need to put an end to it. Or… do I?

    “What’s wrong?” he asked.

    I’m thinking about retreating, going up to my room and forgetting all this happened. Not grabbing a way to keep in contact with him. Going home, going home, and finding someone else, someone else… someone more like what I had in mind… if there is such a thing… but, he’s close, he sure is… I hate thinking like this… I should think about more practical things, like my school work, or my books….

    “R-” I stop as I say his name. Is it too late to take back my retreat? I arch my back, time has been short enough to allow that me standing up was for that… but, I realize what I did, and blush slightly, looking into the sunset. “The sky’s real pretty…” I’m off in my own little world. He’s been talking to me, but I can only hear the sound of his voice… I so love that sound. I normally listen to him better than this, I really do… it’s just… arg!.. these darn thoughts! Go away! Fye, fye! Be gone with you! This is a chess convention! Not a dating service or whatever you wish to call it! I didn’t come here for love… I came… I came… … … what did I come for? … … … to improve my chess skills… …

    I don’t… don’t… like the sound of that… I sigh… then sit down nervously. I look him into the eyes.

    “Are you alright?” he asks.

    I nod. I smile. I wonder: What’s his move?