Games by Noelle Q. De Jesus (Short Story) - Summary and Analysis

Games is a short story by Noelle Q. De Jesus. It's a very brief piece. Just a dozen or so paragraphs. As the title of the story suggests, it's about the games a girl plays with her lover. The characters in the story weren't given names so let's call the female character Girl and her male lover Boy.

Girl likes playing games with Boy. She would regularly call Boy at the office where he works. She never gives her real name when someone picks up the phone. She would simply say that she is calling to talk to Boy. If the person who answered the phone asks who's calling, Girl would invent a name - Tina, Fannie, Malou, Carla, Sharon, etc. She would also invent accents to hide her identity. She lowers or heightens the pitch of her voice if it needs be.

She enjoys playing the game. She thinks it's fun. And her lover seems to not mind. He would answer the phone and they would talk. After the day's work, the two lovers would cuddle at home.

Eventually, there came a time when Girl stopped playing the game. One day, the lovers had a fight. The next day, feeling guilty and realizing that she was in the wrong, Girl called Boy at the office to apologize. As usual, she used one of her invented names when someone answered the phone. When Boy got on the phone and referred to her using her invented name, she was taken aback. It struck her that it's not right to be using a fake name when trying to seriously apologize to a person. This was the last time that Girl called Boy with an invented name.

About the author - Noelle Q. De Jesus got her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Ateneo. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from from the Bowling Green State University in Ohio, United States. In 1995, De Jesus won second prize in the Short Story category at the Palanca Awards for her story Blood.

Here's a short excerpt from the story:

And there was no picture in her mind as she breathed anxiously. Waiting for him to come to the telephone, nothing compared to her even when she heard the voice say, not without a teasing note. "There's a Beth on the line for you." No, she had been thinking about the words she say, how she was sorry, how she had been silly to feel so badly and how she loved him. She had been thinking that it was right to call him this way, in the morning. It was right to take just two minutes to make it better, so they would feel wonderful again and things could go back to they way they were.