“Give me one more chance God, please,” prayed Nick.

“I’m not prepared for today’s tournament. I’m good at outdoor sports. When they told me that I have to win all the tournaments, I expected them to be outdoor sports. I never played Chess at a tournament level. When are guys supposed to learn and play Chess, ” asked Nick to his friend Josh.

Josh grinned and said, “She expected that you would be good at outdoor sports. To get rid of you, she had to hatch a plan. This was the best part. She hit the nail on the head. Come on…look at you. Everybody knows that you are all brawn and no brain.”

A few weeks ago when Nick was continually pestering Anne to go on a date with him, she came up with this idea of challenges to get rid of him. She was always good with her homework and research. She came to know that Nick was a pure outdoorsy guy and would fail for anything to do with indoor games.

Nick fell for Anne the first time he saw her. He prayed to God to let him win this one match with her. He had hopes until the moment he came to know that she was a state champion in chess. Nick never knew there was any such championship in Chess in their country.

He had to go and give his best. He knew for sure that he would lose after the first few moves on the chess board.

Anne scheduled the chess match for the afternoon as she had some classes to attend in the morning. While most of the others ignored the classes, Anne attended all of them with punctuality and discipline. She thought she would taunt Nick during the course of the day before the game.

But, Nick was not to be seen the whole day.

In the morning, after his rather unusual prayers, Nick started to go for college on his bike. A few minutes later, he got badly hit by a car. He was rushed to the hospital. The doctors told him that he got hurt in the head and there was nothing be worried about. He was free to go home, though he had some bandage on his head and his arm.

Nick went to the college. He hoped that Anne would reschedule the match after looking at his state. He thanked God for this accident.

When Anne saw Nick badly bruised and with bandages, she remained silent for a couple of minutes. She burst out laughing after that. She said, “I knew it. I knew you would come up with something like this to get out of the match. You will need some more time to prepare. Why couldn’t you say it? You are such a chicken.”

Nick got angry and said, “I’m no chicken. I came here for the match. Let’s do it. You are the one who wants to run away because you know for sure that you will lose this match.”

Anne laughed indignantly and went to the sports auditorium where they were supposed to play the chess game. Many people were eagerly waiting for this match as this was their only chance to make fun of Nick who had bullied them all this while.

The chess tournament started. Anne started playing. Nick made the moves.

After a couple of minutes, Anne wondered if Nick was actually a pro at this game. Nick could not believe his mind and hand coordination either for the first few minutes. Later, he started enjoying the game as though he has been playing it for four or five decades. He had that aura around him during the game. The other students who came to watch the game were surprised at the way in which Nick was playing. They expected him to be nervous. But, he was so confident as though he has been doing this since his childhood. Within a matter of few minutes, he won the match and smiled at Anne. People were surprised at this reaction, too. Nick was famous for his acts of bullying the losers after winning any match or game.

Anne said, “Alright. You win the match. I’m ready to go on a date with you as I lost.”

Nick felt like the happiest man in the world. He won the match. He won his girl. But, there was something within him that was not happy. He said, “Listen. We cannot go on a date now. I wanted to take part in this challenge because I wanted to prove myself to you. I don’t want to forcibly take you on a date. We should go on a date when both of us want to go.”

Anne was perplexed. She wondered if it was the same Nick she met a couple of months ago. He suddenly turned from being an arrogant, snobbish, spoilt brat to an understanding, mature, and responsible young man.

Nick left the place immediately without making much noise.

Nick’s parents panicked initially when they saw the bandage on his head and his arm. His father expected Nick to throw tantrums for the next few days and demand a lot of new things. But, his father was ready to do anything for his son. Contrary to expectations, Nick acted responsibly and did not have any demands from his father or mother. Instead, Nick helped his father with thawing the snow from their front yard. His father wondered if the accident did something bad to him or transformed him completely.

Nick could hardly sleep that night. He had this recurring nightmare of someone torturing an old lady. And, that old lady was referring to him as her husband. She was praying for him to help him. He had many more nightmares and then a shock like awakening. The old lady was indeed his wife.

Nick woke up the next morning and asked his Dad to help him. Nick said, “I have to travel to Boston urgently. I need to help Carla. She is in danger.”

Nick’s father said, “Glad you are back. When you acted so mature, I wondered if everything was alright with you. Thank God, you are back with your demands. Who is this girl? Is she the reason behind this accident? But, I’m not going to let you travel alone to Boston. I’ll come with you.”

Nick and his father traveled to Boston that evening. Without asking people for directions or wondering about the address, Nick drove to a house as though he has been driving to that place regularly.

When they reached the place, Nick’s father was terribly shocked. Carla was not a girl. She was an old woman. Her adopted son was torturing her badly. Nick came to save her from his clutches. He saved her in time as her adopted son was trying to kill her to get rid of her. Nick got the miscreant arrested.

Nick and Carla spoke in another room. From outside, Nick’s father could see both of them crying. He noticed Carla hugging Nick. He was fine with all of it until Nick tried to kiss Carla. Nick’s father stepped in and said, “I cannot let this happen. Ma’am, he is the age of your grandson. How can you do this to him?”

Nick said, “Dad, she is my wife.

Carla had no words to say. She remained silent.

Nick said, “I know you must be wondering. She is my wife from my previous birth. This is my reincarnation. The accident made me recollect everything about my previous birth. I’m a renowned chess champion in my previous birth.”

Nick’s father had no words to say. He wondered if this was one of Nick’s games.

Nick told his father the entire story of his previous life. Carla showed albums as a testimony to this story. Nick’s father did not know how to respond to this.