The week came and went, Ian and I exchanged no words in school. Perhaps it was all just a fluke, an invention of my mind. Just when I began to wonder if I was going crazy from lack of sleep, he approached me and handed me something before walking away as if he hadn't even seen me. I took the cue and continued down the hall, stashing the envelope in my bag until school was over. It didn't even occur to me that it was heavy. In the car to my home, I opened it to find coins. Small change was nothing to the wealthy, of course, but for our fake selves they meant more time at the arcade he'd taken me to before. Under the flap of the envelope was written a date and time.
That weekend, I arrived a few minutes before. Standing in a public place without moving made me nervous, but there wasn't much I could do about it. No one seemed to take notice, and finally Ian approached me with a look of relief across his face. Perhaps he'd thought me daft? As if I wouldn't take his hint. It was dumb and obvious.
After me pestering him for some time about it, I was finally comfortable that he wasn't going to give away our secret. I thought that at any moment he might add something he wanted in exchange, black mailing me. But to my surprise, we just continued playing the game in silence. Ultimately he beat me, which has never happened before. People typically treat me like glass, as if my pleasant exterior could crack and reveal a person capable of destroying them. I suppose that's not entirely inaccurate. But Ian, knowing my family, knowing who I am, seemed completely unaffected. So who is he then, exactly?
My father was grumbling about the Carde family again, recently. I don't see a problem with them, they operate in the US far away from where we're located. But according to him, I'm supposed to look out for them at dinners and other formal business events. He rambles a lot about some sort of treaty, neither family is supposed to touch each other or the children on each side, respectively. But he's convinced that because of their shady dealings that they'd break that agreement if given a chance. I've been told that if I encounter any of them, I'm to walk away. The Cardes have two children, supposedly. Twins. That was the only information I was able to pick up on from his lecture, I had other things on my mind. Furthermore, I could care less about the Carde family. I'm not intimidated by thugs, nor am I interested in whatever dealings my father had with the head of the Carde family.
I'd rather be at the arcade, I think. I need the practice if I'm going to beat Ian next time.