The Game of Life

By Ellisonbabe

Jim looked down at the box that Blair had put on the table. The ragged, faded cover emblazoned with the words “The Game of Life’

“Where the hell did you rake this up from?’ Jim asked “I thought I´d got rid of this years ago’

“I found it in one of the boxes down in the basement. I was looking for some research books and found a box full of old toys and stuff.’

“I thought I´d thrown all that junk away’ Jim scowled.

Blair walked over to the table and handed Jim a beer and sat down opposite him.
“Was it yours?’ Blair indicated to the board game

“Yeah’ Jim took a swig of beer and looked down at the box again

“I hope you didn´t mind me looking - I didn´t think you were the ‘keepsake´ kind of guy……’ Blair continued talking but Jim had lost himself in thought

‘Me and Stevie used to play this all the time. God, it´s been years. Dad never liked us playing with it. Said it wasn´t a proper game. Life wasn´t a game you
Could lose in. You played to win. You dictated the terms of how your life played out. Never left anything to chance´

Jim could see and hear his dad as clear as if he was standing next to him now. Always lecturing him on how he could have done better. ‘Second place isn´t good enough. Not for my boys.´

Another memory surfaced. Jim telling his dad that he´d had enough – he wasn´t going to do what his father wanted anymore. He´d had enough of competing for his affections. He was leaving. Of course it had ended in a blazing argument. All their conversations did.

‘You never liked us doing what we wanted to do. Always had to do as you said. That´s what pushed us apart - that and you telling me I´d failed you – that I wasn´t worthy of the Ellison name – that hurt so much – but I never told you. You said I´d fail in everything I did. And I believed you. If you´re told often enough that you´re useless and a failure – you start to believe it – I tried so hard but nothing worked out the way it should have done´

Jims thoughts turned to Peru and the men he lost; his relationship with Carolyn and subsequent failed marriage; to his job at the PD - how he´d managed to alienate himself from everyone there; his partnership with Jack Pendergrass; then to Jacks death; then to his senses first kicking in; then to that fateful day he first met Blair.

Jim smiled to himself as he remembered how enthusiastic Blair had been about the whole Sentinel thing.

‘God I went at him like some crazed animal – even accused him of being on drugs - but he still saved my life- and he´s continued to do so every since – he´s shown me I´m not a failure..…that I belong....’

Jim´s reverie was broken by Blair shaking his arm “Jim. Jim. Are you okay?’ Blair´s voice was choked with concern “Jim’

“I´m... I´m okay Blair’ Jim caught hold of Blair´s hand and gently kissed it “I´m okay’

“Did you zone? Only I was talking to you and you went all blank and...’

“No I didn´t zone, well I don´t think I did. I was just thinking’

“Oh?’ Blair moved and sat next to Jim “but you looked so out of it’

“Me and Stevie used to play this game and it just set me off thinking about my father and stuff’


“Yeah you know stuff – as in the meaning of life and all that crap’ He sank back into the sofa, pulling Blair with him

“Ohhh THAT stuff – the stuff you keep at the back of your mind and try not to think about?’ Blair replied, snuggling down under Jims arm

“Yeah – and I realised if it wasn´t for all that stuff happening - I wouldn´t be here with you now’ Jim pulled Blair closer and lightly kissed the top of his head

Blair smiled; he loved it when Jim got all profound on him.

“So are we going to play the game?’ he asked, hoping for a negative answer and trying to ignore Jims hand on the back of his neck.

“We already are’

Blair pulled away from Jim and looked him square in the face “what – I´m not with you?’

“Life´s one big game – only there´s no wheel to spin and you make your own rules up. Then you go from day to day and see where you end up – and from where I´m sitting’ Jim broke off and pulled Blair towards him “It looks like I´m finally winning’

“Yeah I can see you´re in pole position from here’ Blair replied “Maybe its time to play a different game’

Jim pulled Blair onto his lap “Any ideas?’ Jim smiled and slowly stroked the side of Blair´s face. Blair shivered at the softness of Jim´s touch.

“Oh a few’ He managed to croak out before Jim´s mouth silenced him.

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