He was dreaming more and working less. He was arguing all the time without having anyone to argue with. He ate what he found in his fridge, but he didn’t remember buying any of it.

He kept moving from the cube at his work to the cube where he lived. From the bedroom to the bathroom. They all felt the same. Except for the small apartment where he met her.

He went there three nights a week with a small amount of money, which was a small fortune for him. He didn’t even remember where he got it from. Did it matter?

She was always standing there, silent, as if she had traveled in time and lost her way. Nobody talked to her, and she obviously didn’t come to play. But it didn’t seem to bother anyone. It didn’t bother him.

She kept staring at him with a blank expression. He couldn’t read her mind, but it felt like she was inside his. By the time he lost his small fortune, she was already gone. So was his hope. He never saw her leaving, but he knew she would be there the next time he came to play.

She was dreaming less and working more. She couldn’t get him out of her head. It wasn’t professional, but this was the one thing she could not control.

She knew his routine. It was her job to know. But it was more than that. She was worried about him. She felt responsible for him. After all, it was her doing, but she didn’t have any choice, did she?

She stared at him as he tried to read her mind. As he rolled the dice and closed his eyes, she could hear his words, although his lips were not moving. Maybe just once. Perhaps she can make him smile just this one time. Would that change anything? Would that make him stop?

She closed her eyes too as if to stop time. She had her orders. She was there to make sure the rules were kept — not broken.

When she opened her eyes, she was no longer there. She didn’t have to wait for the dice to decide who lost. It was her job to make sure the house always wins.

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