When Cheaters Win

Reign slammed his fist on the table. He was crying; his sobbing was uncontrollable. He could feel his temples throbbing; the pain was totally unbearable. Tears were running down his cheeks. He fixed his eyes on Star. Rage was in his eyes. If looks could kill, Star would have been dead. Star was feeling uneasy, awkward. He shifted his weight from one side to the other from time to time. His eyes were fixed on Reign as well, but instead of rage, there was remorse in his eyes.

“How could you do that, Star? How?” Reign asked between sobs, wiping the tears off his cheeks. “How could you cheat?”

“Look, Reign, I’m really sorry. I really am. I did not mean to do it.” Star said softly, only this time, he was looking down. Looking at his feet.

But Reign knew better. “Really? You did not mean to do it? So what, it just happened? Out of the blue?”

Star tried to lift his head and see Reign eye to eye, but he couldn’t. “It was just one time, and I swear, I did not mean to hurt you.”

Reign snorted. “Typical responses, huh? I’ve heard those in movies and TV series before,” he said. “Is that all you have to say to me—that you did not mean to do it, that you did not mean to hurt me?” He scoffed.

“Yes, because that is the truth.”

“Really, Alastar? Really?”

Star straightened up. He knew that Reign calling him Alastar means trouble. He felt that something was stuck in his throat, and he had to swallow hard to breathe easy again. “Yes,” he responded. But he was lying.

Star, despite the remorse and guilt in his face and his voice, did cheat on purpose. He did it to actually hurt Reign. To damage his ego. To make him feel the pain of being cheated.

Reign sobbed once more. “I trusted you in this. I gave you full confidence, and you betrayed me. Have you any idea how painful it is?”

Star threw his stare away from Reign, as if something on the wall caught his undivided attention. “Maybe this isn’t the best time to talk about it, Reign,” He said. “Let’s talk again when you’re no longer mad.” He tried to stand up, but Reign bursted.

“When I am no longer mad?!” Reign’s voice boomed over the room. “Are you even kidding me right now?!”

“Look, Reign, you are being too immature about this.” Star countered, sitting back down. “Let’s try and act like adults so we can solve this, can we?”

“What, act immature? Like I’m the one who cheated.”

That pulled the trigger. Star snapped. “Tell me, Reign. Have you not cheated on me before? You have, haven’t you? And all those times, I kept quiet. I shut my mouth. I did not say a single word about it or against you. Not ever.” His voice was shaking. There was no longer guilt not remorse in his voice. His eyes were fixed on Reign as if they could pierce through his meat. “Now here you are . . . talking about cheating, betrayal of confidence, as if you haven’t done that to me.”

Reign was suddenly silent. He could only swallow what seemed to have been stuck in his throat. He took his eyes away from Star and looked down.

“Yes, I lied earlier—I did this on purpose. To hurt you. To make you feel the pain of being cheated on. To destroy your ego. To make you feel miserable. Horrible, isn’t it? It hurts so much, and it is frustrating.” Star mocked. “Now you know I feel every time I found out that you cheated.”

“Star, I’m—”

“No, Reign,” Star interrupted him. “I don’t need your apology. This is why I did this. Revenge.” Star smiled slyly. “So how does it feel that your mate cheated on you?”

Reign could not come up with an answer. Suddenly, guilt was all over him. “Can we just . . . act like adults—as you say we should—and start over?” He asked without even looking at Star.

Star smiled. For some reason, he was happy. He knew he won the fight. He reached for the board and the pieces and the bills scattered on the table. “Sure,” he said, “after all, it’s just monopoly.”

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