Friday, April 25, 2003

sentence exercise: description

Playing chess frightened her. When I sat down with her for a quick game, she visibly trembled, focusing her dull brown eyes on the white pieces on her side. I didn't understand then what the game meant to her, but I knew two things: that it disturbed her, and that it didn't matter to me.

I watched her delicately pick up a Knight between thumb and forefinger, her fingers long like her mother's, her nails disinterestedly squared, void of color, like mine.

She retreated her arm back in an almost epileptic motion after her opening move. Our eyes met as she sought my approval. I looked at her Knight, thoughtlessly placed, and shook my head.

"How stupid."

Her response was immediate and predictable. Her thin frame froze in mid-breath, only her fingers moved, picking away at the fraying kneecaps of her jeans. And then, the expulsion of breath.

"I'm sorry, Papa."

I left her apology suspended in the air as I moved a pawn to threaten her Knight.

"I'm sorry, Papa."

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