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Test to Friendship (standard:drama, 750 words)
Author: OlygsAdded: Oct 05 2001Views/Reads: 1980/1Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
I could have lost a lot of money to a good friend in a game of cards
 



I looked into his eyes. Unwavering, confident, calm. There was no way of
reading his expressionless face. Although I had known him for nearly 
four years, never had he shown any other form of expression when we 
played. His style was also deliberately erratic. Sometimes he would 
stick on thirteen, sometimes hitting on seventeen. This made it nearly 
impossible for the dealer to guess what he was on, and he often managed 
to force the dealer into going over twenty-one simply with a confident 
smile and a pathetic total of thirteen on his cards. 

Henry and me were great friends. We usually hung out together, playing
cards, football or just plain talking. Sometimes we had small 
arguments. I remember once I didnít speak to him for two weeks, until 
someone pointed out that he probably couldnít help that he was picked 
for a study ahead of me. It was all a bit stupid anyway. The real 
reason we didnít speak was to try to force my mother into taking us to 
a football game that weekend, and it nearly worked. 

Cards had been one of the main reason we had become friends. Until
recently we had just played for fun. Our favourite games were rummy, 
vent-et-un and poker. We had solved the problem of gambling by using a 
bag of peanuts or something. At the beginning we had the same number 
each, and at the end you ate the ones you one. I suppose you could call 
that gambling, but it wasnít really. It was just so we could play the 
games. But then one day I decided to throw 10p out in a game of poker. 
It all kind of escalated from there. 

We were playing with two other guys from our street. It was good fun. We
met up once a week with them, on Thursday. They brought a few cans of 
beer, we ordered a pizza and we played. Sometimes poker, sometimes 
rummy. Tonight it was vingt-et-un. 

Apart from tonight was different from all the other nights. It had got
seriously out of hand and we were all putting down much more money than 
any of us could afford. I was the dealer so I was pretty happy about 
this, until now. 

I continued looking into his eyes. They were sort of green whirls, going
down into wide deep abysses, which stared back at you, unfocused. In 
fact, the abysses were so deep and so wide, and they stared back in 
such an unfocused way that if I didnít know him so well I would have 
thought he was on drugs. 

But he wasnít. 

He whispered, ĎHit me.í 

He was on three cards now, and he was asking for another. And he had
£250 on the table. I swallowed a mouthful of pizza. No spit came back 
into my mouth to replace it. 

I curled off the top card slowly, sliding it up between my thumb and my
forefinger. A queen of spades. I continued to push up the card, the 
figure on the front smiling back at me, mirroring my expression. He 
must be over now. I threw the card over towards him. I put my hands up 
ready for him to chuck the rest of his cards back. He didnít. 

That wasnít what happened. In the past I had always chucked him his
card, he would look at it, realise he was over, and chuck it back. But 
not today. I looked at him, quizzically. Perhaps he didnít want the 
cards to fall in the puddle of spilt beer by my glass. I reached over 
so they wouldnít. He flinched back. I think I saw a bit of fear in his 
eye. No, it couldnít be. No. No, it was disbelief. Expression. Thatís 
never happened before. 

I sat back in my chair, not taking my eyes off him. I screwed up my
eyes, thinking. How was I going to get the money, what would I tell my 
mum, would me and Henry still be friends. I opened up my eyes again, 
and began flicking the cards from hand to hand. 

ĎAnything else?í I tried to sound calm, but my voice was very high and
quiet. Henry didnít look like he was listening. I lightly kicked him 
under the table. 

ĎHmmm?í 

ĎAnything else?í 

He looked at his cards, as if he didnít know what he was on already. He
then looked back at me, straight into my eyes. 

ĎHit me.í 

And then I hit him again. 


   


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