She returned only moments later with something clenched in her hand but he couldn’t see what it was from his position.  Tensing, he tried to keep quiet. He had begun to worry while she was out. Not just about the game but about his ankles and wrists, her skill, her motive. Was he trapped here? Without sight? He heard water being poured into the glass on the table. He felt the bed sink and the heat of her hips. He felt condensation press his lips, the bottom of the glass, the weight of her ferocity, demuring.

“We were at number three.”
She wasn’t letting him drink, merely rubbing the glass over his lips to cool the skin off, to tease the nerves.
“Story number three is a story you’ll remember.”

She set the glass back down without offering a drop. He could hear it drop suddenly had a vision of a pale blue circle being cut into the wooden table, ruining it.  His mother always reminded him to use a coaster. No matter where h e was going, she would pull at his collar, tell him you look handsome and pat his back.

“Always say thank you. Always flush and wash your hands. Always ask for a coaster,” she waved at him from the front door.

He suddenly couldn’t shake the vision of his mother there, dark skinned, petite, short and Indian. Him trudging to the unfamiliar neighbors. Him trudging to the birthday parties and her , smiling in her betrayal having abandoned many things to be there.

“It was last year. At the anonymous party.”
She stayed by his side and rested her hands on his chest. He didn’t say anything but she felt him tense.
“There was a woman there wasn’t there?”
He didn’t say anything.
“What did she call herself?”
He swallowed some more spit.
‘“She wanted to stop the game but you wouldn’t let her.”
She felt a tiny shake in  his torso as if he was chilly. Sneering, she got real close to his face and pinched his side.
“What was her name?”
It’s not that he cried visibly, just the shake of a body guilty, handcuffed, mortal and succumbing to the tipping scales.
“Say my name,” she hissed at his eardrum.

“Story number 3=13”

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