Now Simon rubs the tile between his finger and thumb, his eyes darting across the crowded board. He chews his lip and glances up at the two players sitting opposite him. One, the old man, smiles and stares down at his own letters.
‘I did always like to take my time,’ he says, not looking up.
Now Simon scowls and hastily places four squares onto the board. It earns him forty points.
‘Triple word score.’ He leans back in his chair triumphantly and looks expectantly across to Simon In Ten Years.
‘Yet, always so impatient,’ Simon In Thirty Years adds with a wry smile.
They have been playing the game for years, yet the board never gets full; fresh words replacing moves made centuries ago.
Simon In Ten Years looks across the board and strokes the thick beard covering his face. Now Simon and Simon In Thirty Years do not have facial hair, although Now Simon desperately wants to know why he will decide to grow such a monstrous thing on his chin. He won’t ask because he doesn’t want to seem rude.
Simon In Thirty Years already knows why he decided to grow a beard and he already knows why he decided to shave it off.
‘Twelve,’ Simon In Ten Years announces, clicking the tiles into place.
Simon In Thirty Years knows what move he will make. He has played this game before, although he was sitting in two different seats on the previous occasions. Simon In Thirty Years already knows what his opponents are thinking and he already knows the eventual outcome of the game.
Now Simon opens his mouth to speak, but Simon In Ten Years interrupts him.
‘Careful, we can only ask one question each,’ he warns. ‘It’s the rules.’
Simon In Thirty Years knows what questions they will all ask. He slowly places his tiles on the board and hopes that, this time, one of him will notice his message.