I drop a bomb. NUKE for 28 points.
It’s after 11 p.m. I’m playing Words With Friends against my wife. She’s already in bed. She’s on her iPad, continuing a game we started days earlier when we first downloaded the app. She might be nursing the baby.
I’m in the dining room, checking my iPhone while hunched over my laptop, joking about Mass Effect with my buddy and writing a complaint to Monster Energy. Costco stopped carrying my flavor. Bastards.
It’s a cheap move because to get NUKE, I had to play the two-letter word NE. Two-letter words come a lot easier in Words With Friends than in Scrabble because you can guess at ones you don’t know. If the game accepts your move, it’s all good.
But what if she asks? Ne? That’s a word? What does it mean?
I play a lot of videogames, far more serious stuff than Words With Friends. I’ve reviewed them for major news sites. Fancied myself a critic. Videogames got me through a lot of cold nights back when she was buried in law books. But we’ve rarely played together.
Sure, she’s been supportive. We camped out for the Wii together. We’re going to the Zelda symphony. Our son’s middle name is Link (OK, it’s a family name. But it didn’t hurt that it’s also the Hero of Time).
NUKE. Am I ruining a good thing by being too competitive? What the heck is NE? It takes a few Googles, but I find the answer on a Scrabble strategy site.
Turns out it’s an alternate spelling for née, as in born, as in maiden name, as in this is what my name will go back to when I ditch your sorry ass. Now I really hope she doesn’t call me out on my cheap point-grab.
I wash my face and brush my teeth. As I pull back the covers, I find her iPad lying on my side of the bed. I hope she’s not trying to send a message. I hope we can continue playing videogames together.