Gail and Rob and Lizette and Rich Davies
As the blue-gray clouds assembled in the morning sky, Gail and Lizette noticed the sunrays peeping through. It had rained or threatened rain every day in Lambert for the past few weeks. The dismal weather may have had as much to do with their dreary existence as all the chaos that had surrounded them. Their mood brightened in hopes that the sudden change in the weather was an indication that their lives would likewise change – for the better.
“Let me see that ticket.” Gail took the paper from Lizette’s hand. She closely diagnosed every inch of it, holding it up to the morning light shining through the patio window. Her eyes moved slowly as she examined it – front and back. Silence hung in the air like an unfriendly visitor while Lizette waited for Gail’s acclamation. Gail sat calmly on the sofa. Her hand pressed on her head that hung down; the ticket still her focus. Finally, she looked up at Lizette who stood over her with a half smile.
Lizette almost looked innocent staring back at Gail, although the cigarette pressed between her blood red lips argued against it. She was anxious to speak, but she waited.
In the meantime…
“What’s on ESPN,” Rich asked as he reared back on the sofa with Rob’s remote control clasp tightly in one hand.
Rob stared at Rich like he had committed murder, “Hey man, get your feet off my wife’s sofa.”
Rich laughed, “As many times as I’ve been here with you sleeping on it like a bed…”
“Yeah, but I’m trying to change. I just shampooed it. Gail said it smelled like feet.” Rob brushed off the sofa and sat down next to Rich. He took the remote control.
“Man, what are we going to do?” Rich leaned forward. Worry gripped his face like an old catcher’s mitt. “Crap done it the fan! I don’t have a job. I can’t go home. I hadn’t seen Melissa since she caught me dodging her at the mall.”
“Yeah Lil’ Rob told me he saw you ducking and dodging like a fool. What was up with that?”
“Shoot man, I was broke. I tried to return some stuff Lizette had bought - still in the truck,” he said shaking his head. “I needed some dollars since they froze all my money. All that ducking and dodging was for nothing, man. She had charged all that stuff.”
“All you have to do is tell them you lost the receipts…”
“Too late! I returned it and got a credit on my Visa. I know she’s going to be mad, but that can’t be any worse than the mess I’m already in.”
“Yes it can be,” Rob laughed.
“You’re right, that woman of mine is crazy. No telling what she’s up to. She probably got a hit man gunning for me by now. Especially if she’s tried to get some money from the ATM.” Rich made light his depressing state of affairs - on the outside.
They leaned back on the newly cleaned sofa, in a spotless house. Silent, Rob summarily flipped through all the channels and returned to ESPN’s Sports Classic.
And on the other side of town...
“Well, Gail. What do you say? Do we go get our husbands?” Lizette seemed sober now. She also appeared irritated that Gail didn’t share her lucid enthusiasm. What is wrong with this heifer?
“Yeah! I agree that we should go get our husbands. I miss Rob like I don’t know what. I miss my house, my kitchen, and I miss seeing my baby everyday. It don’t make sense for us to suffer like this, does it?”
Lizette perked up, “No, it doesn’t. Since we’re not broke.”
Gail interrupted, “ Lizette, if you hadn’t found that ticket, would you be over here asking me to go with you to get our husbands? Would you, Liz?”
Lizette hesitated. I guess. But, what does that have to do with anything. That ticket is worth one hundred thousand tax free dollars.”
Gail laughed loudly. She laughed wildly. Lizette stared at Gail. She’s ready for Bull Street – straightjacket and all, Lizette thought. She remembered Gail’s laughing that way when one of her schemes had backfired. There was no scheme this time. Why is she laughing like she’s gone crazy. Lizette couldn’t understand Gail’s hilarity! Not now; not when they were able to put their lives in order – get back with the men they obviously still loved. With all his faults and temperaments, Lizette still desired Rich and she would make everything right again. It wasn’t right for Gail to laugh. Is she laughing because she’s gone stark raving mad? What is wrong with this fool?
The laughing subsided enough for Lizette to interject, “Are you losing you freakin’ mind?” Mixed tears streamed down Gail’s face: some from the raucous laughter and some from the reality of the recent disclosure. “Liz,” she asked while gathering her composure, “Have you really looked at the date on this Lottery Ticket?” … To be continued