"You'll come crawling back to me!" Freddie was shouting at Florence. "He'll make you miserable!"

Florence laughed, like he'd actually said something funny, and shook her head. "I was miserable with you, Freddie. Leave us alone." She closed the door before Freddie could respond, leaving him standing in the hallway of the apartment building she and Anatoly were living in at the moment. Freddie hesitated for a moment, not sure what to think, then shouted at the door.

"You wait, Florence. He'll let you down, and don't expect me to take you back when he does!"

There was no response.

Freddie ended up in a bar that night, drinking and talking to the bartender, the people around him, anyone with ears. None of them listened.

"She'll regret it," he said as the bartender poured him another double shot of whiskey. "He'll betray her, just like all Soviets do, and she'll come back to me. And I'll... I'll show her she shouldn't have left me." The whiskey was downed and Freddie stared at the empty glass for a moment. "No," he said into the glass, somewhat mournfully. "I won't. I'll take her back. I love her."

Time passed.

"I saw them out together," he told a nearly passed-out local a couple barstools down from him. "He was whispering in her ear in the park and she was laughing... I haven't seen her laugh like that since--" he cut himself off and shook his head. "She didn't laugh like that for me anymore. Why'd she laugh for him?" The drunk didn't respond, except to lean over and vomit on the floor. Freddie ignored him. "I'd do anything for her. Why doesn't she understand that?"

Drinks disappeared.

"I love you," he slurred to Florence. Or was it her door? Maybe a hallucination on the street. He wasn't sure anymore. He'd left the bar, that's all he knew.

"Oh, Freddie," she sighed, and didn't move.

"I'd do anything for you," he insisted.

"Would you give up chess?"

"... Floren... Flo... honey, you should know better. Chess is my life!"

"Then don't say you'd do anything." The door started to close, or maybe just became more solid in his imagination.

"You think your precious Soviet would give it up for you?" he spat. Florence shook her head.

"No. But he doesn't promise things he doesn't intend to follow through on."

"Like hell."

"Goodbye, Freddie."

"Florence, wait--"

The door closed. Freddie sank to the floor, his back to the wall facing the closed door. It wasn't possible, she actually would rather be with the Soviet than him? She'd been his second for seven years, his lover nearly that long. They had history together. They knew each other better than anyone else. Freddie sat there, staring at her door and silently wishing her to open it, until he passed out.

The next morning, he woke up with her quilt draped over him. After he remembered where he was, he knocked, to give the quilt back, to try to change her mind again. No one answered.

He took the quilt with him, back to his hotel, back to America.

It was all he had left of her.