camera shy, pt. 4

The rioters had overwhelmed the police before they had a chance to mobilize. They were armed and angry and destroying everything in their path. With the cameras everywhere everyone had a chance to flee, or join in. They were everywhere and they were growing.

Kelly watched with that same cracked smile. "That's amazing."

"Are you going to join them?"

"No. I'm waiting here. We can play again if you'd like."

And they waited, and played chess. Some of the police managed to organize and attacked the rioters. It was brief but bloody, but the rioters won. The cops routed. Really the whole thing was like that. It was hardly even hours before almost the whole city was rubble or burning, anyone who wasn't rioting had fled or gone into hiding. And then it was over and what do you do when you've just destroyed a city?

And my girlfriend played chess with a terrified electronic store clerk, so sure that no one was watching. And after a while the cracked smile became a natural one, an easy one, one that seemed really, truly happy. And suddenly I understood very clearly that I was watching a moment far more intimate than any I'd ever had with her. I stopped watching at about that point.

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