She looked at the board in front of her, the words criss-crossing in impossibly neat rows, the red triple-word square waiting for the letters which would win the game. It had come down to this, the score so close that the last play would win.
She measured her breath carefully as she turned over her newly selected letter. The smooth surface in her palm, the winning combination. But at what price? she wondered. Her hands shook as she organized the letters in front of her, concealed from him behind their letter-wall. She placed the r in its place, just right: r-u-i-n. Her lip trembled and months’ worth of anger flooded in — violent, desperate words and a recently thrown shoe which had left a dent in the door.
Your turn, she said, and she was glad for the wait.
He glanced up, a serious piercing look, and she wondered if he too felt like the last word mattered this much. It’s just a game, she told herself. But still: those four letters winked wickedly from their little shelf, and she knew their truth. Everything ruined.
k: his first letter down, red triple. Then came the rest in rapid succession.
That’s not a word, she blurted as she leaned in to examine his rule-breaking contribution.
I don’t care. And the letters went flying as he reached across the table and pulled her to meet him half-way, his k-i-s-s-m-e ending the game between them, her r-u-i-n falling right off its perch.