“Hey, wake up. It’s your move,” Cecelia said.
“Are you daydreaming again?” she asked.
“I guess I was.” I took a pawn and moved it forward a space.
“Well, it’s Saturday night and we’re sitting in your parents’ kitchen playing chess, so I guess I can’t blame you,” she said.
“Look at the bright side,” I said. “At least neither of us is alone on this dreary day.”
“Yeah,” she laughed. “Thanks again for letting me stay here during the hurricane. It would’ve sucked to be alone.”
“No problem. I’m surprised your parents didn’t cancel their trip when they found out about the hurricane.”
“Non-refundable plane tickets to Europe for a 20th wedding anniversary getaway can hardly be thwarted by a measly category 2 storm,” she smiled.
“Well, that measly storm sure as hell knocked out the power,” I said.
“Chess by lantern is sadly our most entertaining option right now,” she said.
“According to who?”
“Why else would we be playing if there was something better to do?” she asked.
“Well…” Excitement suddenly widened my smile. “Ever been outside in 109 MPH winds?”
“David…we’re in the middle of a freaking hurricane. No way am I going outside.”
“Oh, come on CeCe, you even called it a ‘measly storm.’ Let’s go out there and screw around!” I said.
“What if your parents-”
“It’s 11 PM. My parents are asleep.”
“Isn’t that another good reason not to go outside? It’s pitch black, and if something happens to us, no one will know.”
“Remember that time in 2nd grade that you made me pretend to be sick in the middle of class so we could ditch school? Remember how we both got caught before we even got off of school property?” I said.
“Oh come on, that was like 12 years ago!”
“We’re going to get soaked! It’s pouring out there!” she said.
“What, are you going to melt?”
“Yes. I am the Wicked Witch of the Southeast.”
“Oh please, you’re like the sweetest person on the planet,” I said.
“Sweetness is from sugar, and sugar melts.”
“You can twist this around any way you want, but we’re going for a stroll outside.”
“A stroll? You don’t stroll through a hurricane,” she said.
“Fine, then we’re going for a promenade in the rain.”
“That’s like the same thing! You can’t use gentle-sounding words to make taking a walk outside in the middle of a hurricane sound any better to me.”
“How about ‘romp’ then?”
“Better, but I’m still not going. I don’t want to have to take a shower or blow dry my hair or anything.”
“Fine, then I’ll go by myself,” I said.
“You won’t go by yourself.”
“And why wouldn’t I?”
“Um…because you’ll miss me?” she said.
“Oh please, CeCe. Just because we’ve been friends for 14 years doesn’t mean I can’t stand to be away from you for more than 15 minutes.”
“I still don’t think you’ll go,” she said. There was a growing look of nervousness on her face.
“Do you not want me to go?” I asked. A few seconds passed before she nodded.
“I’m scared,” she said.
“Scared to be left alone in the dark?” I asked.
“Well, that too, but scared for you. I don’t want you to get hurt. It’s dangerous out there.”
“Aww, I’m sorry CeCe. I won’t go.”
“Thanks,” she smiled.
“No problem. I’m sure there will be a lot more hurricanes for me to go frolicking in,” I grinned.
“You better not,” she laughed. “If you do and you get hurt, I’m not visiting you in the hospital!”
“Whatever, let’s get back to our boring game of hurricane chess,” I said.
“We could make it more interesting,” she said.
“By turning it into strip chess,” she said.
“Like I would ever believe you would be serious about that.”
“You know me like a book,” she grinned.
“Oh, shut up and take your turn.”