Today’s prompt: “Write about the contents of a coat pocket that could change someone’s life.”
Frank was in line at the church he knew gave food and clothing to people like him. He hoped no one grabbed the dark green coat before he got up to the front of the line. He had seen it the moment he walked in, but was scared to hope too much. Things usually didn’t work out in his favor.
Today was his lucky day, however. He was able to grab the dark green coat that no one had given a second glance to. He was surprised to see that it actually fit like a glove. He had forgotten what it felt like to own clothing that fit. He slipped his hands into the pockets of his new coat. He knew from experience that the previous owner usually left some change in the pockets, but this one only had a piece of paper.
Frank took out the paper to see what it was. He had seen many tickets like this in the trash, but had never seen a brand new one like this. He carefully read what it said:
“Match any of your numbers to any of the winning numbers, win prize shown for that number. Reveal a 10X symbol to win 10 times that prize”
Frank sat down and started dreaming with what he would do if he won serious money. The ticket claimed he could win cash for life, but that is not at all what he wanted. What he most wanted in the world was to get a job. He would no longer be humiliated by those words if he had money to clean himself up, and afford a home. “Get a job!” people would often yell at him when he asked for spare change, as if it were the easiest thing in the world, as if it wasn’t the only thing in life he truly wanted. He was scared to hope, things didn’t usually work out in his favor.
He began scratching at the top row: “Winning numbers: 25,62,35,11,48” Okay so if he got any of those numbers he would win. He had 15 chances. He scratched them all at once: “4,27,9,6,14,6,30,2,12,10,15,53,7,23,60” Nothing. He didn’t win. Despite himself, he scratched off the prizes to see what he could have won. That is when he noticed, he didn’t finish scratching off the 10. It said 10X!! He won!! The prize said, “$1,000” multiplied by 10… $10,000 dollars!! He could not believe his luck!! Things didn’t usually work out in his favor.
He gathered his things and made himself as presentable as possible to claim his prize. He made his way to the bodega up the block, who’s owner always smiled at Frank. The owner was quick to offer Frank a smile as soon as he walked into the store. Frank showed him the ticket, and the owner could not contain his joy. He hugged him, and quickly made Frank sign the back. He walked Frank through the entire process and told him that if he had nowhere else to send the check, he could always have it delivered to the store. Frank really had no choice; he had no home, so he agreed that it could be sent to the store. The owner told Frank to come in about 3 weeks. He should have the check by then.
At the 3 week mark, Frank waited until 10am, the time the bodega usually opened, but it was still closed. He waited for what seemed like an hour, but the store was never opened. He felt robbed as he walked back to the church for food. He had dreamt of the new life he would start with that money, and now that it was taken from him, he felt worse than ever. He was so sad, he didn’t hear when someone kept yelling out “Frank! Frank!” Once he looked up, he saw the bodega owner running towards him with a huge smile. He pulled out of his pocket Frank’s check. He told him the whole family had gone to church for him and prayed that this money would change his life. Frank looked up at the man, and smiled gratefully. He was used to things not working out in his favor, but that era was now behind him.