About 'On the Avenue': When I was a teen, well it started when I was a child actually, I formed these families in my head who all lived in the same neighborhood and I and started writing stories about them. As I matured, the stories matured. I want to condense it into a single tale, but there were so many characters I couldn't do it. So instead of following a straight plotline, I focused on a different character in this "imaginary" neighborhood so I dealing with the same set of characters at different points in time and I try to reveal different sides to any given character in each story.

TITLE: FATE'S GAME
AUTHOR: D. M. Kelley
RATING: PG
WEBSITE: silentbard.net

Summary: Confronted in her adult years with the love of her childhood, fated previously to love him only to lose him, will she she takes what may be her last chance to love him?

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Not intended to represent any real persons, places, events, or things. All rights to these characters belong to me.

Feedback, always appreciated.

ON THE AVENUE: Fate's Game

Dawn sank into the cafe stool. It had been a long hard day. Though she came to this place everyday after work, there was no friendly ear to hear about her day and sympathize with her plight. As always, she was alone. Disappearing into the crowd had become second nature, a bad habit she couldn't break. Oh how she wished for some change in her hum drum life. What was a life without living, is it life at all or just existence, and what separated existence and living. All that was required to exist was a social security number or a birth certificate. Now a days her pay stub was a reminder that she still ate and slept like the millions of other people who walked the earth. She wanted her life to mean more, so much more. If only she could lose herself in something for awhile, but what. No boyfriend, so she couldn't lose herself in sex. No friends, so she couldn't lose herself partying or clubbing. And there was no way in hell she would make the mistake of turning to food.

She inhaled the aroma of coffee, her approaching cup would give her just enough energy to get home. Home, a hole in the wall with a rock hard piece of furniture that tried to pass itself off as a bed. She could have stayed at her mother's home, but she was determined to be on her own. College had been done for a long time and she had to stop livung off her mom like some carefree teen.

"Hard day," a male voice asked from beside her.

"I guess," she said turning toward the voice. Her gaze locked on the familiar smiling face. What was he doing here? Who cares, he was here. Just when you think fates got it in for you, she surprises you.

"Bis--, Francisco?" She questioned knowing full it was him. He smiled in response. They hugged. Oh, it felt so good to be close to him again, close to anyone actually. What a great temporary relief for her loneliness.

"I can't believe I ran into you like this Dawn. I wasn't sure it was you at first, you look like you lost a person."

"Thank you, but I know I'm unattractive otherwise."

"Oh stop it," he replied as they sat side by side.

"So what you been up to?" Dawn asked.

Wrong question. He talked about his wonderful job and the house he had, which only served to make her feel like more of a waste. Then he talked about the dogs he owned, Good, Dawn thought, I love dogs. Then he said:

"I just got married to a wonderful lady and have adopted her little girl."

Wait a minute, her mind screamed, he can't be married. Fate was really teasing her today. First she brings this man back into her life that she's loved since childhood. Then she let's him be married, with a kid. Ah well, at least she could see him. How much worst could this get?

She finally noticed the wedding band on his hand. Her own hand glided over to his and began playing with his fingers and the wedding band. The electricity was still there, she thought as his warmth sunk into her. How else can you explain a feeling that comes from so little contact?

"So you got a picture of the little woman?"

Francisco used his free hand to lift his wallet out his pocket and flip to a picture of the woman and child.

"She's white!" Dawn exclaimed as she examined the blond mother and daughter.

"Problem?" Francisco asked.

"No, I'm just a little shocked."

"It's not like I hand picked her, it just happened."

"And how come it never 'just happened' between us."

"Too young, too distanced, otherwise attached, pick a category."

She laughed knowing in fact fate had always played games with her love for him. Fate had set her up to fall in love with him only to snatch him away. Then fate teased her with his presence only to end that without warning. And still fate made sure she heard about him enough to remind her of her unfulfilled love.

That was cruel of fate, to bring him here at the low point of her life and let him be married. That wedding ring told her Fate was now ready to place that checkmate on her heart. It was time to reach for the ace up her sleeve. Fate wouldn't win the game this time.

"How long you around for?"

"Two more days, then it's back to my wife and Shanice."

"Oh, they're not with you?" Dawn asked trying not to sound as elated as she truly was. "How about we have dinner today or tomorrow?"

"I guess tomorrow would be fine."

"Cool," Dawn said pulling a pen from her bag. She wrote her name, number, and address on a napkin. Then she was gone, she had to find something presentable to wear that night. She would seduce him the way she had always wanted.

He picked her up outside her apartment building. He'd called earlier and said she might as well dress casual, they were old friends no need to get all gussied up. From his tone she figured any plans of seducing him for the evening wouldn't work or would send him running for the hills. So she did her best to feel good about an evening out with an "old friend". It turned out better than she thought though. They went to an early movie and then took in some familiar sights .

It was a fun evening. That in itself was something she hadn't experienced in a long time. That night, as Dawn stood beside him looking over the water she felt the world had finally come off her shoulders. It was the first time she could remember just her and him anywhere. It was exhilarating.

She felt blessed by the black night that hid them from the rest of the world, because inside she felt like the sun had finally risen for her. The world was so perfect at this moment, she felt she could go dancing on Baltimore's busy streets. Just hearing his voice was enough to make her feel like she was floating.

"I think you should just go and stop preparing or your going to be preparing forever," Francisco said. "That apartment you hate, it's just giving you the illusion of freedom."

"I don't have enough money and I owe to much on student loans to borrow any," Dawn said trying not to reveal the intoxicating effect his voice was having, "Besides I'm not as good as I thought."

"Every time that mouth opens you insult yourself, can't you find one good thing to say about yourself, your life."

"I'm with you tonight," Dawn said looking into his eyes. And he was looking right back, she had questioned her desire for him all evening. Would she ever stop loving him? Her life would be so much easier if she didn't feel him everywhere. Feelings that reached down to the core of her belly, grabbed up her insides, and shoved them in her throat. Yet, if he didn't fill that space, what would?

Why him? Who cares, here he was. She reached for him and met no resistance. Dawn knew for sure this had to be a dream, because it could never happen in reality. As his lips came to hers, she felt fear, fear that this first true kiss between them could end years of built up desire and fantasy. Then what would she have? But if she didn't allow herself a try, what would she have? Another useless day and night where no risk were taken.

Her lips touched his with butterfly softness. Those lips took charge of all sensation, turning her into a receptor for the warmth of him. They invited tongues to join in the taste touching that had been waiting forever. There were no disappointments until he pulled away.

"I can't do this, I'm married."

"Nobody has to know," Dawn said pulling him back toward her.

"I'll know, I can't," he said.

Dawn felt tears welling in her eyes. He couldn't leave like this. He couldn't warm her heart with a kiss and then say no. But he was, she knew fate was taking over the game again, check.

"Francisco I don't know where this woman you married came from and I don't care. I'm the one who's spent most of there life wishing for a moment like this with you." Dawn sighed, she could feel the tears welling in her eyes. She'd hung on for as long as she could and fate was ready to take him away, she wouldn't outwit fate tonight. The tears were streaming down her face. "Go home, you have a life and I won't keep you from it any longer. I'm just being selfish anyway."

"Dawn," he said reaching for her.

"GO HOME," she shouted, snatching away from him.

"I can't, Not like this."

"Don't stay unless you can give me my one night. One night, in both our lives, when we are totally with each other."

Francisco hung his head. Dawn's heart dropped to the pit of her stomach. How could she have been stupid enough to make that threat? Because she meant it, that's why. Things were always going be the same if she didn't try something. Nothing this good could work in her favor anyway. Defeated, she turned to go home with tears clouding her vision.

Then she felt it, a firm grip on her arm. His grip, she turned toward him feeling that movie magic she didn't know was, or could be real. And then his lips met hers again. Was that a yes? Hey fate, checkmate.

She felt as if she was born again that night as her hole in the wall was transformed into a garden of forbidden passion. In the middle of cold winter a gorgeous summer appeared. In the morning, she was alone, but all traces of her nighttime lover were not gone. Inside she was filled with him. Alive, she was alive for the first time in a long time.

As she walked out her door that morning, she hummed a tune, skipping to work. Was the sun shinning brighter today?