One thing Freddie knew about Florence was that she'd always come back. No matter how terrible he was to her, she always came back, and he'd apologize, and everything would go on like it always had.
He never meant to say the things he did. It was just his way, how he was raised, and as much as he tried to hold his tongue, he couldn't; he was never taught any different.
Throughout his whole life, he was abandoned; his father, his mother, teachers, friends. The first two simply didn't care and the last two were turned away by his attitude and his quick temper. They never tried to show him differently, only left before they even gave him a chance.
Florence was different. She could see him for who he really was, not the outside, not how he acted, but how he really was. And she stayed with him. For seven years, she stayed.
She was the first person to give Freddie a chance. It was only natural that he'd fall in love with her. Of course, not knowing what love really was, he didn't recognize it as love until it was too late.
There was no way he could know that that last time was different. That she'd been stolen from him. That his black queen had been captured and he had no pawns to send after her.
When he saw her with the Russian, he never thought that it would turn out to be love. It didn't make sense, that she'd be with him. He was their opponent, their enemy, what kind of gambit was he playing, trying to take Florence from him?
But she was falling for it, and as much as he wanted to try to talk to her calmly, he was hurt, really hurt, and when he was hurt he lashed out, using his anger to burn the tears from his eyes.
He noticed that she had a lot on her mind. Rightly so, this was the World Championship, and they had worked hard to get here. They had to work hard to stay here.
But she kept refusing to meet his eyes, and that trust he had in her was suddenly gone. It wasn't the Russian betraying him, after all, was it? It was her.
Just like his mother.
She was just like his mother, and every man was easily replaced.
He couldn't concentrate on the match because he kept looking at the man across from him and thinking he'd taken Florence, he'd already won.
He was afraid. He was afraid she would really leave him, and he'd be alone again, like he'd been his whole life until she found him. But he was also hurt. And he could never think straight when he was hurt. He hated himself so much for that.
He hated himself more when he watched her leave, knowing she wouldn't come back this time, knowing that it was over, he'd lost her, and he'd never, never, get her back.
It was his final loss.
He'd never play chess after that.
His queen was gone for good, and he couldn't play with a piece missing.