I cursed. Oh why had I been such an idiot? Why had I said that I loved her?
Not to mention making myself totally vulnerable, I had also lost the game that she had started all those weeks ago, a game I had forgotten totally about. I swore again. Stupid, stupid, stupid.. I thought irritably.
But then, looking on the bright side, at least this fresh new body no-longer had a head injury. And on the dark side, this fresh new body was inside the restart point. Crud. Crud, crud, crud. Right now, I wanted to curl up and die, rather than face the shame of I, Ace, a Royal, loosing. I buried my head in my hands and wept bitterly. I didn't want to be cast out... I didn't want to be an orphan, a nobody, ever again... I loved the high life far too much to give it up.
Just then, I heard a little knock-knock-knocking on the door of the room I had reawakened in. My head snapped up. There, her small face just showing in the small circle of glass that was in the door, was Dia, standing, staring at me with big, tear filled eyes. I jumped up and opened the door, my arms held wide. She fell into them.
"Oh Ace... I'm so, so, so sorry..." She murmured. Behind her came Queenie, King, Jack and even Joker. Noticing my stare over her shoulder, she said: "We all came to pick you up. This is a family thing. Solidarity of the Royal House."
"So I'm.... I'm not being kicked out?" I asked in a small voice.
"No... But I'm warning you, many people have gathered to hear how Ace, the one and only Ace from the house of Royals, ended up losing and in the Restart point. I gave a long-suffering sigh.
"Queenie, King, what are we going to do?" I asked breaking the embrace.
"We are going to go out, and confront the people. We are going to tell them this is all a mistake, just a silly game between you and Dia. If they find out you lost to another Royal, I'm sure the shame will be lessened." King said in a smooth voice. As one, the family strode forward, in a long, horizontal line, toward the exit. As we neared the door, we formed a crocodile, in pairs, Dia and I at the front, then Queenie and King, and finally Jack and Joker.
As we took the last few steps toward the door, Dia inter-laced her fingers with mine, bolstering my confidence. And with that, we strode into the glaring sun, the crowds of people staring, yelling, laughing, jeering.
But did I care? Not one bit. Because I still had my family, and my love, by my side.