King’s Gambit – Declined

I was invited. It was the first and last time.

A folk night, that’s how it was advertised. I went and stood alone at the bar for half an hour in my long coat. Uncomfortable. Isolated.

The only music which played was blaring pop. 

The only conversation I had was with a red-faced bald man who talked incessantly of his ‘evil bitch’ of an ex who’d ‘stolen’ his children from him.

‘Not right that, is it?’ he demanded on several occasions as if asking me to act as his Greek chorus or cheerleader.

I waited until he went to the toilet and fled the bar, the people, the noise. 

I retreated back to the flat, back to the familiar. 

I did not go again. It was the last time the risk was taken. The gambit had been a predictable failure. 


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