The Lucky Winner

All Rights Reserved ©

Chapter 9

“I should start buying my lottery tickets there, too!” Zoe screamed, visibly exhilarated.

The next morning, everybody was talking about Tesoro Gas Station where the one hundred and two million dollar Powerball winning ticket was purchased. People seemed quite determined to discover the identity of the winner. They knew it was someone who lived in town. There was no possibility anyone would visit this town and purchase lottery tickets. If the gas station were located right off the highway, maybe, but Tesoro Gas Station wasn’t.

Rumors were the life blood of the people in my town, and something they all needed in order to survive. Not knowing who won the jackpot was like being fatally ill because of nutritional deficiencies.

I kept my silence. The hardest part was keeping it a secret from Sophia and Zoe. We’d been discussing just about everything, and now I had to keep something so wonderful and amazing from them. But I couldn’t betray Mom’s trust. After all, I was a good girl.

“Can you imagine not having to work ever again? I wouldn’t even have to save for my boob job! I could just get it. Just like that! Anytime I want. Wow, can you imagine?” Zoe couldn’t seem to get over her imaginary windfall.

“When you have over a hundred million dollars, a boob job is all you can think about?” Sophia giggled. “I’d travel all over the world. See every country in Europe. Then I’d go to South America. I’d sail everywhere, too.” She looked up in a contented state of reverie.

I felt strange. I had to restrain the urge to scratch my head until my hair looked like Doc in Back to the Future. I was overwhelmed by the thought of becoming a super rich girl overnight. Yet, I still didn’t have a bedroom with a door. We couldn’t even buy a new house. Mom promised we could after a while, but when would that be? I hoped it would not take three years. I could understand why they’d proceed with caution, but at the same time, I was frustrated as hell. After all, I was a bubbly teenage girl!

“We should watch for any unusual actions by the people,” said Zoe. “Oh, my God, really. Who in the hell is the lucky winner?”

Yup, that was why I had no choice but to agree with Mom. It was way too dangerous—not that my best friend would try to murder me or steal from us, but someone else might. Mom always warned me how fast people could change when money was involved. And unfortunately, it was very true.

“They must be under a lot of pressure though. Whoever it is,” said Sophia, twirling her smooth, blonde hair. “I mean, can you imagine being stalked by everybody because of your money? No wonder the winner wants to remain anonymous.”

Sometimes I wondered if Sophia were really my age. Not that she looked any older, but she was always so calm and sensible about everything. Maybe growing up so comfortably affected her like that. She never had to cry for more toys as a child. She had a whole room full of doll houses, the entire Barbie collection, stuffed animals, and anything else you could think of. I was relegated to one worn and torn Cabbage Patch Kids doll. And heck, Sophia certainly didn’t have to fight to get a door for her bedroom like a pathetic beggar, which I was—well, I’d been. Now I was the wealthiest girl in town. If only I could enjoy it…

“I know, right?”

Jerry put his arm around Sophia’s shoulder when he showed up out of nowhere. He’d never done anything like that since Sophia had terminated their brief relationship. Perhaps learning that Kyle liked Sophia strangely stimulated him, or he simply realized how pretty she was and how much he lost by not having her as his girlfriend any longer. I wasn’t sure.

However, owing to the last incident, he’d quickly become—if he hadn’t always been—our worst enemy.

“Excuse me,” Sophia yanked his arm off her shoulder.

“Hey, I thought you were my girlfriend.”

“In your wildest dreams!” said Zoe, raising her eyebrows nearly to the top of her head, while Sophia’s mouth dropped open as she struggled for words.

Jerry shot a look at Zoe, but seemed to be seeking a peaceful encounter. I supposed that was his new strategy. Make friends with your enemies.

“Zoe, I know you secretly dream about me,” said Jerry, lifting one eyebrow. That was his signature look—which many girls found irresistibly hot.

“I dreamt about you wetting the hay bale, sleeping with the cows at my uncle’s ranch.” Zoe stuck her tongue out and seemed to be having some fun with him. Maybe his new strategy worked. At least for Zoe.

“What are you doing here in our classroom?” I asked, impaling him with a hostile look. No matter how embarrassed I was over my brother’s nerdiness, he was still my brother. And Jerry had given him a nasty black eye. I had to show him how upset I still was about that.

“Talking to the prettiest girls in school. And I mean that in the plural sense.” Jerry used his well-practiced smile.

Jerry always aspired to become a model. He wanted to be featured on the cover of GQ magazine so badly. He was very confident that he’d make it happen. I was pretty sure he’d been practicing his smiles and cool looks in front of the mirror every morning for a long time.

However, no matter how hard he applied his best work in trying to deceive us, I could see through it in a flash. Luckily, Sophia was smart enough to see right through it, too.

“Well, you did. Now go. Bye,” said Sophia, turning her back to him.

I caught a change in his expression. He didn’t take rejection very well. Especially in public. He was too narcissistic to think some girls wouldn’t fall for him. He erroneously believed that if he really tried to make Sophia his girlfriend again, he could—well, at least, that was his assumption.

When he caught me looking at him, he quickly resumed his previous peacekeeping smile, as if he suddenly thought of another plan.

“I’ve got to go now. Don’t miss me too much, baby,” he crooned, as if he didn’t hear anything that Sophia said.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.