A novelette by Sean Sandulak
Copyright 2012 All Rights Reserved
Names, characters, places, and events are used fictitiously or satirically, and are the product of the author’s overactive imagination. Any resemblance to actual locations, incidents or persons, living, dead or otherwise, is a complete coincidence and the product of your imagination. This is a work of fiction.
“Why does nothing good ever happen to me? It’s not like I need to win the lottery or anything. I just need something to break me out of the rut I’m in.”
Jacob Cutter rummaged through the convenience store fridge. He had to get some milk if he wanted something besides toast for breakfast tomorrow. He didn’t know why he bothered to check the expiry dates. He’d never had milk go bad on him, not for as long as he could remember. Still, it was a good idea to get the freshest stuff. If Mr. Wu was going to charge so much for it, he was going to get his money’s worth.
As he walked to the counter he bumped into a young guy he had never seen before, thumbing through the magazine rack. He had a shifty look about him, but Jacob couldn’t say he was doing anything wrong, so he excused himself and walked away. He didn’t like to get involved in other people’s business anyway. Some called him a loner but he didn’t care. He was happy enough when people didn’t bother him with all of their troubles.
On an impulse he grabbed a chocolate bar and a bag of barbeque chips. I’ve never had a cavity either, he thought. Funny, I guess I’m just one of the lucky ones.
He paid for his things and waved goodbye to Mr. Wu. He was tired after working all day in the warehouse and just wanted to go home and relax.
“Lottery ticket, today?” Mr. Wu asked. “Are you feeling lucky?”
Jacob thought about it for a second before giving in. “Sure. Why not? Give me that one.” He scratched the ticket and won back his two dollars. He smiled and handed the ticket back to Wu.
The old man opened his eyes wide in surprise. “Every time you win back your money, but nothing more. I’ve never seen anything like it in my whole life.”
“Maybe some day my ship will come in.” Jacob shrugged, picked up his bag, and walked towards the door. As he was leaving, he noticed some fresh graffiti on the front of the store. He leaned back and caught the door just before it closed. He couldn’t see the man behind the counter but he knew he was there, so he called out, “Hey, Mr. Wu. The kids have tagged your store again. Better get out here and clean it off before it dries.”
Satisfied by his good deed for the day, Jacob made his way home with thoughts of TV dinners running through his head. It was unseasonably warm for so early in the spring. The bars and restaurants had already opened their patios and were getting ready for the evening supper rush. Jacob took off his jacket and carried it, enjoying the enticing smells from the diner across the street. It would be nice to go out for a change, he thought. But I don’t want to eat alone. Isn’t there someone in this world for me?