“Pair of nines!”
“Aw, you win again.”
I giggled. I knew he was letting me win, but I’d put up with that until I got better. Then I’d really win.
Mom was downstairs with her roll of nickels, playing slots.
Dad hunched over our cards. He sat in the cushy, deep armchair and I kneeled on the hotel bed, my little butt bouncing up and down on my heels, the round table between us.
Every now again, I’d lean over and sip my can of root beer out of a bendy straw without using my hands. Dad sipped cheap coffee from the hotel mug even though it was past my bed time. He was old and tough, he said, so he could drink coffee at night.
He wasn’t teaching me the betting or anything. That was too hard for now. Just the different hands and what beat what. I was getting good at remembering what hands were good but kept forgetting what hands were called.
“What was the difference between a flush and straight again?”
And he’d explain patiently. Pull the cards out and show me what was what. Then assemble them back together and shuffle them in a seamless arc that seemed magical to me.
“Can I shuffle?”
I spread all the cards out face down on the table and moved them around with my little hands until I was positive they were sufficiently mixed to my taste, my dad chuckling at my antics.
“Don’t bend the cards, now.”
“Do you want to deal?”
And he walked me through dealing out one for each of us until we held five cards each. I was good at fanning them out in my hand so he couldn’t see what I had.
“I’ll take two cards, please.”
“Here you go, sir. I’ll have two as well.”
“Dealer takes two?”
“Four of a kind? That’s a good hand! You win again. Oh well.”
“Da-aaaad, show me your hand!”
“Nope. You win. Trust me. I had nothing. Do you want to deal again?”
This was a post for the RemembeRED prompt: This week, we want you to recall the games you played when you were young. Did you love Monopoly, Yahtzee, or Uno? Or did you prefer backgammon, Trouble, or Scrabble? Write a piece that explores one of your memories.
1 year ago