posted on Sep, 8 2019 @ 12:38 AM
Going back to square one
I listened intently as they rang off the daily matching numbers, blankly staring into my 6th bottle for the night. Idle chatter around the bar went in
and out around me, drowned out by my own drunken thoughts; All I could hear in my head was "What led me here?".
"...27, 13, 58 - And that's all for today folks. Check over those ticket numbers, because you might be a winne..."". Well lah te dah, I
didn't win again. It's not like this was the first time I've tried against the odds, hoping to claim some victory in this life: My wife (now ex,
sigh) was a lottery with a false prize, for she ran off with the lawyer that basically signed away the money I used to have from my 6 figure position,
which went up in smoke thanks to my "drinking problem" (it was an office party for Pete's sake! Everyone was drunk). My home: gone, replaced with
the loser's lottery of a one bedroom apartment in a somewhat shady part of town. And so, here I am: At a bar, spending my last few dollars on beers,
and a now worthless piece of paper.
Ack, ack, boy, you look like you could use some cheering up. At first, I ignored the voice, assuming it came from another lamenting soul at the
other end of the bar. However, its owner again called out, seemingly testing my ability to ignore people. Finally, I turned around, and there he
We eyed each other as a mouse does a cat; in fact, he looked very much like a cat, with a grin that seemed to stretch out wider than a 12-inch ruler.
"Well, it's about time you looked. How's about you and me have a little chat?" he mused, never once losing that insane grin.
I knew it was bad idea, but when you're in so many beers that you put Jiminy Cricket to sleep, any idea sounds good (especially when money could be
made). So yeah, I agreed to hear him out. I will say, he didn't really try to hide himself too well: I already had a vague notion on just who my
special friend is at the bar. No, there wasn't any of that "sulfurous stench" or "signing the black book with the blood from my left hand"
garbage. The agreement he made was simple: All of my previous bad luck prior to this point would be erased: I would still have my job, my wife, and
also the winning lottery ticket, for he would even throw in resetting time so that my "worthless piece of paper" (as I had dubbed it) would actually
be worth about 2.1 billion. Heck, a soul for returning to normal? Count me in! I didn't see it when I signed, but there was a glint in his eye that
mirrored the firelight; Should've guessed there'd be trouble, but drunk me assumed nothing could be worse.
I must've passed out, because next thing I knew, I woke up in my master bed, in my house, with my wife; the old version, that is, the one I knew
before she had dollar signs with my then-new six figure salary. I smiled, knowing I'd be going to my normal job, and later, going on to win the prize
money. Sure enough, I did win! Of course the first thing I did was foolish: I quit my job. I was living the life I always wanted, so I spent a small
portion of the funds buying expensive presents for the wife, taking us on cruises, and living like royalty in their own castle.
The Devil is a smart cookie, and I now know what that glint in his eye was, for though I now lived a life of adventure, my wife started to be
more...distant from me. It finally came to a close one night, when I discovered that she was no longer there. In her place, my divorce paperwork came,
along with a summons to discuss funds. Her lawyer friend, whom I thought was finally out of the picture, had discovered that I put both names on the
ticket, with me verbally saying "I hope I win for the two of us" to a witness.
Which is why I'm here, at the bar, knocking back yet another beer. I'm expecting a friend to join me shortly; It's not like I've been in this
position 12 times prior.