The Game

A long tale in short chapters

Splattered across the land, smaller buildings orbit the massive main house. We’re in one of them, on a terrace that faces the sea. They’ve created a sweet and relaxed environment here, but I’ve heard that others can be so mind-boggling that one is literally transported to another world.

1. I’d love to

I guess I shouldn’t have told her anything.

“Here,” says Nilok, handing me his pack of Camel. “You’ve always known what I needed.” I thank, smiling. He looks shamefully at the floor at my reply, which kind of disturbs me.

Amanda comes bringing a bottle of champagne in one hand and a tray brimming with sushi in the other. She clumsily places it on the bench to hug Nilok. A relief really, her interruption. “Waiters have gone to receive some big shot at the big house, can you believe it, Mon?” she shouts almost, and surreptitiously winks at me as she starts dancing backwards. She does that to me, distract me, confuse me, frighten me a little… I can’t help it and get lost in her moves.

“So? Are you coming?” asks Nilok.
“Sorry. Where?”
Mildly annoyed, he repeats: “Someone’s told me there’s gonna be a rock star singing a cappella at the VIP section, surely the big shot Amanda was talking about. I have passes… want to come and find out who he is? Big, big star, I was told.”

I turn my head very slowly to see the huge building at the side, two hundred meters away, and take his hand to descend the stone stairs. He has grabbed a bottle of champagne rosé, and there we go, drinking and smoking and laughing all the way.

2. That’s your plan?

“Is there anything better than loving someone in a way that makes you love yourself?” I didn’t know how to answer that, it seemed it really didn’t matter who you love… and maybe it really doesn’t.

It is strange. The situation, I mean. I’m standing here, and Deraj’s right behind me. Nilok knows many things about me, but certainly not this. This nobody knows. Well… Amanda does.

Is he looking at me? I make up my mind and grab another glass. Nilok has completely forgotten about me. Boobs are everywhere. Long naked legs. Impeccable tans. Blue eyes. How come everyone has blue eyes? “Champagne is always a good choice.” I hear, and his breath on my neck makes me shiver. A slight trickle of pee wets my panties… “Never, never, never do that again!” I yell. It was just Nilok. People’s heads turn toward me and my face catches on fire.

“What’s with you?!” he exaggerates, enjoying himself, and then changes the subject drastically: “Whatever. See that woman? That’s Sipar Notli,” he says with shiny eyes. “What do you want me to do?” I ask mischievously. He turns my head with his hand softly in Deraj’s direction. “She’s with the big shot. Cool, right? The first step is to split them up. We need to draw their attention to us somehow.”

As some guy asks him for a light my attention drifts slowly: A waiter serves lobster snacks near the French door that faces the pool, where candles float over lily pads. Beside it, a small waterfall spills into a pond. Deraj is now seated by the pool, alone. He seems kind of sad, amazed at the rhythmic dance of the lily pads.