I've only got eight letters, and those eight letters are all I need to tell you exactly what you need to know. I know exactly what to say, but not how to say it. The tiles in my hand are pointed and cold, and I'm waiting for a way to tell you what I need you to know.
Z is worth 10 points, an amazing gain. I've got one in my hand here, but I can't put it down. It's not the thrill of winning that I want you to see in my eyes, it's that one word that's too many letters for me to spell across the board, making a bridge from me to you.
C E R T A I N T Y. I cannot make this bridge to you. I don't have enough tiles and you're too far away. I need a better strategy, some better reasoning, another path that makes sense.
C R A Z Y. That's how in love with you I am. But that really doesn't cover it. That can't describe it. I am so irrevocably infatuated that I don't know if all the letters in the world cold begin to tell you. Your eyes graze my consciousness as I place these letters and gave a sheepish smile. Double letter score on the Z. You feign a glare as I tally the score and I swear you can read the thoughts flickering at warp speed in the runaway slideshow that has become my brain. Somehow, you're still ahead. You know. You've got to know. I'm too obvious. But I need to tell you myself.
E N I G M A. Your A intersects CRAZY straight down the middle. Inside I'm laughing, because I can tell from your smirk that you're trying to tell me something. Something I'm not. Maybe I'm overanalyzing. You make good plays. You are strategic. I wish I knew how you played this game. I wish I knew how you always managed to win.
B R A V E. We share an E. Sometimes I think I'm playing more with symbols than I am letters, playing more to tell you than I am to win.
Just when I thought you were going to respond, you spin the board to the left and build off another letter, changing our words without sound, our conversation without speaking. There's a leftover C from the beginning of the game—you've been thinking about this since the start. E X C E P T. Your X manages to snag a triple letter score. My eyes catch yours as you add the score.
The smirk is gone from your L I P S, my next word. You break the stare to look down. Transfixed. You look up. Vulnerable. You spin the board back toward you, look down at your letters and shake your head. Grab the letter bag. Spin the board back to me.
I'm looking down at my letter tiles. I have all the right letters. Eight letters that tell it perfectly. It's not one word, but it says everything. I can't play it. It's against the rules. I'm about to exchange a letter and spin the board back to you, but I stop. Then it wouldn't be right.
Who cares if it's against the rules?
With shaking hands I place the pieces down below our sprawling words, our silent conversation. At the bottom of our Scrabble board, eight simple letters say everything I've been trying to tell you.
I L O V E Y O U.