A simple game

     She looked at me, puzzled.
     “Why?” she asked. “Why do you still talk to me?”
     She had put me in a difficult position. I could probably sink the four off of the one, if I hit lightly enough. Line up the shot. Remember to breathe. Bend the knees. Use both eyes. Keep everything in one plane. Lower left English.
     “I mean, I feel strange that you’re here.”
     Be the ball. Keep an even stroke. Follow through. Why do I talk to her? The four rolled towards the corner pocket and politely refused to fall in. I cursed. “Missed by half an inch. Your shot.”
     “You’re the last person I would expect to be able to talk to–and we’re here playing pool.” She paused, and leaned against her cue. “I’m confused.”
     “Why are you confused?” I asked.
     “Well.” She bit her lip. “I hurt you.”

     That was a long time ago. You never plan these sorts of things. They just sort of tumble together and people get hurt as a result. People get hurt. Balls get knocked around on a table. It’s the same thing.