Night Games

Red. Stop. Watch. Wait. Breathe in and out. Streams of light. Music and laughter inside the Tapas bar. So many pretty faces with red-lipped smiles and strong white teeth. She glances at me and smiles. I smile back. She takes a sip from her second glass of dark crimson wine.

See me sitting by the window. My eyes stare back at me. Hungry.

I swallow black beans and small beef strips. I gnaw at a chicken thigh grilled in green chili sauce. I touch a tart apple foam with my tongue. Not enough. Never enough.

Yellow. Caution. I pay my bill and step out into the steamy night. Too crowded. Many people roam about. Car horns honk. Across the street a boy vomits while his friends cheer. I walk to the alley down the street and pull on a black hoodie.

Green. Go. The restaurant door opens, and she is alone. She walks away from the noise. Four streets up. Two streets over. I am quick, quick. I am a shadow.

She reaches the house¬† and walks up the steps. She doesn’t fumble with the keys, but I am super fast. I force her through the door. We crash to the floor.

“Ouch,” she says. “This is the last time for this game, George. It’s gotten old.”

She is correct. It’s the last night for games.

I whisper, “Goodbye, Marie.”

Tonight is good.