The Game

Waiting for the Verdict


The clock was ticking.

She looked up with quiet desperation in her eyes; an almost crazed, starved, empty look, as if all feelings had died inside of her. Long ago she had come to terms with the fact that she would not feel love for another human being ever again, as no one would love her in return. This was the thought which crossed her mind as she sat silently, waiting for the verdict.

He sat at the other end of the room, smoking a cigarette, gazing at her face, trying to understand the girl he fell in love with years ago. She was not like the other girls he had been with, she felt real, genuine, almost alive. For the first time in his life he had felt that he was with a girl who truly cared for him, and who was not just chasing after his money. How could eyes like hers lie to him?

Circumstances under which they had met flashed across her mind, she still remembered the vacant look his eyes held as he walked past her, hand in hand with a Barbie Doll. She wondered whether she had felt anything for him, but all her memories could bring back to her were her pretenses to get to him. Had he never aroused feelings of love in her heart of stone?

He searched for even the faintest trace of warmth in her face, but found nothing but cold indifference. What had he done to kill the soft warm glow of her eyes, the infinite depth of her smile? Could she be telling the truth about how she never felt anything for him, and only wanted his money? He had always known when a girl wanted him for his money, but this time he had been wrong, and this mistake could cost him everything.

“I love him, I love him not,” were the words playing in her mind as if they alone could decide her real emotions. Either she had felt nothing at all, or felt too much for him; either way, all she could do was let him down. She enjoyed the disappointment in his eyes, the hurt, painful look of a dog once much loved but now abandoned by its owner. Oh, the bottomless pit of betrayal.

He remembered the smile she gave him as she walked down the aisle in her white dress. The memory was almost a dream, from a life so far ago; it seemed so unreal. She always joked that life was a game, but he never thought she would play her cards so cleverly, hell, he did not even know she was playing cards at all. It was a tough move to judge, and her face was so expressionless.

The judge called order in the court, the verdict was out. She was to be allowed to keep the property, she had won. The divorce was granted. She got what she wanted. He looked at her face, she did not look happy, nor did she look unhappy. Her eyes met his for the flash of a second, and then she was gone.

The clock was ticking. Tick-tock tick-tock.

After a month of evening drinking, and morning hangovers, he received a note from her lawyer. She had returned his money, every single penny. Confusion was his first reaction, his second was a sense of understanding. He called her lawyer.

She sat at the airport, watching planes take off. A single tear slid down her cheeks, as she walked into life’s open arms.