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Chess Club (workshopped in an "Art of the Scene" course at Emory University)

Author: Riakeem Kelley

Hey, Josh. My roommate is finally giving me some alone time so I decided to call. What are you up to?”

Nothing much, Babe. I just finished a paper and am going to shower and go to sleep. My roommate just stepped out as well. He went to take a shower so I’ll go when he gets back.”

I miss seeing you.”

I miss seeing you too, Steph. But I’m sure you are doing great things at Yale. Once we both get settled I’ll fly up to visit you in Connecticut.”

Or I could even come down to Georgia. Go bulldogs.”

That’s right, go dawgs. How is the spirit at your school? The kids here all love to get drunk on the weekends, but most of them are just trying to impress fraternities and sororities. I’m not interested.”

Oh, don’t say that. College is a great opportunity to experience new things. You should go for a frat.”

Nah, not really my thing. Chess club crossed my mind.”

You are something. State national champion of Georgia after all.”


So, I think I am going to try and join a sorority.”


You don’t have to say it. I know what you are thinking, but I think it will be a good experience for me. I’ve been feeling so restrained here and I haven’t really met a whole lot of people.”

No, yea, I completely understand. You want…new experiences.”

I didn’t mean it that way, Josh. I would never do anything to ruin what we have.”

Oh, yea, of course. No, no, I get it. You just want to make new friends so you don’t have to spend so much time alone there.”

Exactly. You know, I tried going out with Beth the other day but I couldn’t drink with her. She got really crazy and ended up in some guys’ apartment for the night. She came back the next morning completely hung over and landed on my bed. You know, two feet opposite of where her bed is.”

She’s just trying new things. I bet she was a valedictorian at the high school she came from.”



Well, I was valedictorian at our school.”

You did get into Yale.”

You should have applied here. You are smart enough.”

But I’m not as smart as you.”

Smarter, if you’d try harder.”

I didn’t call to talk about getting into Yale. I wanted to talk to you. I miss you so much.”

Have you made any friends there? How do you get along with Richard.”

He’s a cool guy. He can be a little messy or noisy when I’m doing work, but we click. We played ball the other day and he won miserably. But he’s encouraging, almost as if I had an older brother.”

But you two are the same age.”

Nope. Something went wrong with the housing. He’s a senior.”

He can show you the ropes.”

He can show me the ropes.”

Let’s stop talking about our roommates. It’s been nearly a month since we’ve last seen each other. That’s the longest we’ve ever been apart.”

It’s been too long. I should visit.”

We have a break coming up in October. Fall break. It’s a week long. I’ll be in Georgia visiting my family so you should stay over a couple of nights.”

“That’s great. I can’t wait.”

“So, I have an idea if you are interested.”

“What’s that? Idea for what?”

“Well, I have really missed you.”


“Ha! But seriously. I have really missed hugging you. Holding your hand. Kissing you.”

“Me too. So what were you thinking?”

“Well, I was thinking, maybe we could try something… new.”

“Something new as in phone sex .”

“Yes. Something new as in phone sex. I’m already taking off my bra.”

“Whoa, hold on. We can’t do that over the phone.

“My bra is on the ground and I am completely topless.”


“I just unpinned my hair and it is flowing down my back. It’s warm against my collar bone and I am brushing it away slowly with my hand.”

“Why are you doing this, Steph. This isn’t like you.”

“I’m reaching down into my pants, slowly, and I am…”



“I don’t like this. I don’t like this new Steph that is trying all of these new things. I miss the girl I went to high school with. The girl that promised me that she would never change.”

“Listen to yourself. You expect to go to college and not change. That’s impossible. That is what makes college what it is.”

“I know, but. Phone sex , Stephanie. It took us dating three years before I could even get to third base.”

“Look, Josh. I thought if I called you and tried this I could rekindle what he had. Honestly, us, is fading.”

“Don’t say that.”

“We never talk on the phone, and when we do it’s about everything other than what is going on in our lives. We’re not as close as we used to be. I just think, it’s time for us to…”

“Try new things. I get it know. I knew it would come to this. What’s his name. Who did you meet up there in Connecticut.”

“Stop. I didn’t meet anybody but I feel like our relationship has no life anymore.”

“It’s only been a month.”

“I know, but even in high school I could feel it. I could feel us growing apart. We were so in love. But you didn’t even apply for Yale. I feel like you didn’t fight for it, and you could have easily got in with your credentials. And not even just Yale, but anywhere you really wanted to go you could have. You pulled yourself away from me when I got in. You were accepted into that state school that you really didn’t want to go to, and you’re keeping your life in a pattern. I don’t want your misery, Josh. You refuse to let the past go. I don’t want Chess club.”

“Well it’s not like I had any choice, Steph. You know why I had to stay. I had to be here, for my mom. And I didn’t pull away from you, you pulled away from me. You didn’t even tell me that you applied to Yale. ‘Valedictorian Stephanie Bell accepted into Yale. Student and Chesslete Joshua Frickerman with the sick cancerous mother gets accepted into local schools so he can be close to home’. It’s you who left me.”



“I have to go, my roommate is coming back in.”

“Mine too. I guess this is goodbye.”

“I guess it is.”

DMU Timestamp: September 21, 2012 23:54

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