Sitting at the table, cards in my hand.
It is not good.
I know this game.
I know it like the back of my hand.
I've been here before, at this same table, in this same seat, playing against the same people.
But i notice one across from me.
A silent player, but an assassin.
Bluffing is his 6th sense. His lies, if they are, are unrecognizable.
A brilliant, majestic, player- going after me.
I think he's feeding off my weakness.
I think he sees i should not be here again... not now.
I hide behind my cards, boy are they awful to look at.
But i keep going. Bluffing, eliminating, taking in the loot- making me a better player.
But the champion is still sitting across the felt table.
Eying me... seeing into my eyes, looking for what my hand is, trying to read it.
He reads it alright, he knows exactly what i have.
I don't even know what i have at this point...
a pocket full of money? a pocket full of fake and pitiful money?
I put on my best poker face. It is nowhere close to his, but he doesnt know that.
The dealer deals the last hand.
I am gambling with fate. I am gambling everything i've worked for...
It seems silly.
Why am i doing this? Why should i risk it all?
Yes, i love the challenge but how is this love benefiting me?
I don't want to be back at zero again.
I don't want to relive the countless times I was trying to convince my opponents i was back, that im completely healed from my past defeat...
He looks at me.
I stare at him, trying to see what he has, what he has to bring to the table.
And there it was.
Only I could have seen this.
Ironically enough that it was me, i spotted the ray of weakness is his beautiful complexion.
He was giving up. He was rightfully, giving me this game.
He puts down his cards, "Straight".
Confident, but sure i had better...
I look at my cards.
I look at what i've had for the first time after staring at his crazy simplicity.
My eyes were open. My heart pounding.
I looked at him.
Forgiveness and passion in his eyes.
I heard his heart beat faster and faster waiting for me to respond.
i lay down my cards.
Suddenly, the win didn't mean a thing to me.
I gambled with my heart again, i risked everything AGAIN and i won.
i won him over.
and it truly is... the greatest win i could have asked for.
His past opponents- i didnt care about.
His past wins- i didn't pay mind...
i was just focused on what i now had, a gold ace of hearts.
I held it in the palm of my hand, filling the little hole that was once so engraved in my hand.
I hold it tightly. Promising never to drop it.
And when it gets too heavy, and this prize over takes me, i will take it out of my hand and move it into MY heart,
so that it will forever remain part of me.