“Thanks for playing, dad!” Child said, skipping away from the table.

“Yeah,” Dad hesitated, “good game, bud.  Thanks.”  Dad had not blinked since the final checker piece fell.  He sat, stunned and numb, in a chair patterned with dinosaur silhouettes.  Before him, a cheap build-it-yourself table held a board of red and black dots.  None of his pieces remained on the board.

He had thought of this moment often, but never imagined it would come so soon.

“You okay?” Mom’s voice called from the other room.

“I didn’t try to lose that one. I actually lost. Weird day,” Dad muttered.


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