Powerball Ch. 01byWeb_Spinner©
This story is fairly long so I have split it into two chapters. The story is complete and I will post the second part the day after this one. There is no sex in the first chapter but there is in the second. My intent is to let the reader have a glimpse into the lives and emotions of the characters and the sex is the natural development of their lives and not the point or purpose of this story. I apologize in advance for any grammatical or punctuation mistakes. I was a Poli. Sci. major not an English major.
All in all it had been a pleasant enough evening. Lively conversation and some nice wine. Ever since I had won the lottery big time and retired in order to dedicate myself to more philanthropic endeavors, I didn't get out much anymore. But tonight I had decided to attend a charity dinner to raise money for helping rehabilitate abused animals. Owning two dogs myself I had a soft spot for animals and this seemed to be a worthy organization. Of course I had thoroughly checked them out before hand and was impressed by their dedication to their cause.
After the dinner was over I went to the bar for a drink where I was joined by the two primary founders of the charity. Over several glasses of wine we talked about some of their success stories. Though touching when the outcomes are a success I still have a hard time understanding how anyone can mistreat and even torture helpless animals. Finally I decided it was time to leave and after being thanked again for my donation I made my way to my truck and headed home.
Okay, I know what you are thinking. What's this multimillionaire doing in a truck. Well, its a pickup actually and a pretty nice late model with leather seats and lots of the latest gadgets. I had always liked driving pickups and didn't really need to have the latest hot sports car on the market. I've never cared about impressing others and lived a pretty simple life. It was just me and my two dogs ever since my wife had walked out on me.
Yeah, I was married before, back when I owned a landscape company. At the time I thought life was great and really believed my wife was as happy as I was. In fact it was the very day that I found out I held the winning lotto ticket that she left me.
That morning had started out busy and I had just picked up the paper from the driveway and tossed into the seat of my truck and headed straight to a job site where we had a large install going on.
There had been a bit of a snafu the day before with the crew and the foreman had called me to come help him straighten it out. I spent a fair part of the day working with the crew and by around two in the afternoon the job was running smooth again. I told the crew foreman that I needed to get back to my office and make some calls.
I got back to the office about 2:30 and checked with the gal I had hired to be my office manager. There were no major problems that needed to be handled, just a couple phone calls to suppliers to make sure deliveries were made on time. So by 3:30 I had time to take a break and picked up the newspaper I had brought in with me and decided to check my numbers. I bought a ticket for each lotto drawing but up to now I had only ever matched 3 numbers which paid 3 dollars so I wasn't expecting anything but I still liked to take a chance on a one dollar ticket.
This week I had changed a little and instead of buying a state lotto ticket I had splurged and bought a ticket for the multi-state power ball lotto because the pot was getting obscenely large. I opened up to the page with the winning numbers and reached into my desk drawer and pulled out the ticket I had bought the day before. Taking a sip of my coke I laid the ticket down next to the winning numbers and started comparing them.
When I saw that the first three numbers matched I thought 'wahoo' at least I could cash it in for a dollar profit. Then I saw that the fourth number matched too. Even better, this should be worth fifty or sixty dollars. Then I was stunned when I realized the first five numbers matched. 'Damn this could be worth a cool grand.' I thought to myself. Then the sixth number. Oh god, it matched too. Now my hands were shaking. This ticket was worth a lot of money. One number left, the power ball.
For a few minutes my vision went hazy and my head started spinning when the two numbers matched. When my vision cleared I thought I had to have made a mistake so I checked them again and then once more. It was no mistake. I had picked all the right numbers. The paper said only one ticket matched them all and I was holding it in my trembling hands. We were rich, my wife and I that is.
For the next twenty minutes I just sat at my desk in a stupor trying to think of what I needed to do. Lets see, hmm. A financial advisor. Yes that's it. I was going to need some good advice on how to handle this windfall. No wait, the first thing I need to do is deliver the news to my loving wife. Lets see what time is it. A little after four. She would be home soon from her job at the bank. This wasn't the kind of news to be delivered over the phone. No, I had to tell her in person.
Jumping up from my desk I rushed out to my truck mumbling something to my office manager about needing to take care of something at home and would see her tomorrow. Jenny would be surprised to see me home so early as my workdays were usually quite long. But she would be ecstatic when I told her about the ticket. On the drive home I daydreamed about all the things we could do together. Travel, see the world. Oh yes, she was in for a surprise.
But the surprise was mine, for when I pulled up to our house I saw her with another man putting suitcases into the trunk of a car I didn't recognize.
'What the fuck,' I wondered. 'What's going on here?'
Slamming on the brakes and skidding to a stop along side the curb I jumped out of my truck. "Jenny, what are you doing?"
I will give her credit, she at least looked to be a little embarrassed. I heard her tell the guy she was with to wait in the car. She then walked over to me and said, "I'm sorry Michael but I'm leaving."
When she said "Michael" I knew this wasn't good. The only time she called me Michael instead of Mike was when she was mad or had bad news.
"Leaving? What the fuck do you mean you're leaving?"
"Michael, I do care for you but, I want more out of life. I've met someone else who's going places. He can give me things you can't. I'm sorry. I left you a letter inside, I didn't want to have to tell you to your face."
"But Jenny, I thought you loved me. I thought you were happy."
"I'm sorry," she mumbled and ran to the waiting car and jumped inside.
I stood there totally dazed and watched them drive away. I was so confused I couldn't even react to what was going on. For the second time that day my vision blurred and my head spun. I guess I must have stood there for a good five minutes looking at where the car carrying my loving wife had disappeared down the street. Shaking my head to clear the cobwebs I turned and stumbled towards my house.
Once inside the door the first thing I did was go straight to the liquor cabinet and grabbed a bottle of tequila and took a big swig. I shuddered as the alcohol burned its way to my stomach. Then I took a second belt, followed by a third. Each one going down easier than the one before. I must have polished off a quarter of the bottle before I remembered she had said something about a letter. By now I was getting pretty buzzed and wasn't in any shape to read it. It could wait. I reeled my way upstairs and fell into the shower. I just stood there letting the water run over my body until the hot water ran out before I got out to look for my "friend in a bottle."
Not even bothering to dry off I found the errant bottle and fell into bed seeking the numbness of alcohol induced stupor. Finishing off another quarter of the bottle I did manage to do exactly that.
Needless to say the next morning I was in no shape to go to work. I called the office and told them I had things to take care of. Being the owner, rank has its privileges. With a spinning head and a queasy stomach, I made my way down to the kitchen where I saw a letter with two rings sitting on top of it. The events of yesterday came flooding back and I ran to the sink and proceeded to heave up what little was left in me.
With an empty belly I found my way to the coffee maker. Filling and turning it on I walked to the kitchen table and sank into a chair staring at the envelope with those rings on top of it. 'Oh god,' I moaned. 'Where did I go wrong.'
Still not being able to reach for the letter I waited for the coffee to brew then filled a large over size cup and once again sank down in my chair to stare at her letter. Two more cups later I finally reached out and took hold of the envelope shaking the rings to the side and opened it. Inside I found her letter telling me that she loved me but she needed more in her life and a set of divorce papers she had already signed. I looked the document over and realized she left everything to me but what she took with her. She obviously thought what we had wasn't worth fighting for and she was off to bigger and better things.
Well so be it. I hadn't talked to her about how my company was doing as she didn't seem to care. That should have been my first clue but I just thought she wasn't interested in the landscaping business. We were doing okay, my company brought in a decent pay check even if we weren't living in luxury, and with her job we were doing well by my estimate. Maybe if I had told her about the buy out offer I had received from one of the major national firms she wouldn't have thought so little of me.
Her letter went on to say that this guy she had left me for had accepted a job as a bank vice president but at a branch in another state. They were leaving that day and wouldn't be back. This was followed by how sorry she was to do this to me and that she really did care about me but, she had to do this for herself and hoped I would understand.
Understand? What I understood was I had mistakenly married a mercenary cunt that was more interested in material things than the comforts one gets from emotional bonding. Okay, fine. If that's the way she wanted it then I would do whatever I could to see to it that she didn't find out about my lotto winnings until it was too late for her to try to change the terms of the divorce she herself had proposed. Or to have her find out and try to come slithering back begging my forgiveness so she could get her hands on the money. That wasn't going to happen. I would never allow it. She took my love and threw it away then stabbed me in the back leaving me for another man. Hell would freeze over before I would ever consider taking her back.
As my despair began to turn to anger my mind began to work again. First thing I had to do was make sure the ticket was protected until the time came I could cash it in. So I went upstairs and prepared myself for a trip to the bank to place the ticket in the safe deposit box I kept there. While there I closed our joint account and opened a new one in my name only. I did the same with our credit cards. Better safe than sorry. She could have a change of heart and try to clean out our accounts.
My next stop was to see my lawyer. Though he practiced business law and not family and divorce law he did tell me that as long as I was satisfied with the terms as laid out he would file the divorce papers for me. I then told him about the offer I had received from the national landscape chain company and that as long as we could agree to a few stipulations I had, my intention was to sell. He agreed to represent me in the process.
My third stop of the day was to a Realtor to list my house for sale. I had no idea what I was going to do once the dust from this calamity had settled but I did know that I had no intentions of staying in that house to be haunted by the memories of my now failed marriage. It was no longer a home to me, just a house that had once been filled with happy memories from a time when I foolishly thought that my life was perfect.
Satisfied that I was on track to start my life on a new path, I made my way home to a joyous welcome from my dogs. At least I knew their affection for me was real. I fed my pets and then took them out for a long walk. I will admit that the smaller of the two was my favorite. She would scamper from side to side sniffing at everything, barking at butterflies before running back to my feet looking up for approval. I couldn't help but smile at her antics. At least for a while I could pull my thoughts away from my troubles and enjoy the company of my dogs.
Returning home I went to my home office and checked my e-mail to see if there was anything urgent that needed to be handled. Satisfied that I could wait to later to answer the couple of more important ones I decided to call it an early night and turn in. I was still feeling somewhat hung over after my bout with the bottle from the night before. I stripped down and slipped between the sheets and surprisingly fell quickly asleep.
The next few weeks passed fairly rapidly for me, what between running my company and dealing with negotiations with the company who sought to buy me out. In the end I was satisfied with deal after they agreed to keep my employees on for six months while they evaluated their performance. I felt the majority of them would retain their jobs as they were hard workers and well trained.
I stayed on for a two week transition period to help the new company and my employees become adjusted to each other. The change of ownership did go smoothly and even though I needed to start a new life the final day was one filled with mixed emotions. My employees held a going away party for me that was filled with many sad eyes accompanied with heart felt handshakes and several hugs. I had grown to think of many of these people as more than just employees, the were friends as well. It warmed my heart to know I would be missed.
All in all this had taken almost three months to sort out. In the meantime I had accepted a bid on my house and had agreed to vacate within two weeks of the time I closed the deal on my former company. Now there was only one major issue that remained and that was the divorce. I went to my lawyer to see if the proceedings could be sped up. He told me he didn't know but could see what could be done. He started by contacting the attorney who had prepared the divorce papers for my wife who in turn contacted my soon to be ex by phone. He said that she was willing to push for an early resolution to the divorce as well. So both attorneys petitioned the court for an early hearing. As it turned out the presiding judge was one who I had done work for, upgrading his landscape. I had even thrown a couple extras at cost which he appreciated. Hey, you never know when the good will of a judge might come in handy.
The judge listened to both sides agreeing to seek resolution to the petition. And then ruled that considering Jenny had abandoned the marriage and left the state he would grant the divorce to be final in one weeks time barring any further requests for changes to the terms laid out in the divorce papers. In seeking to be rid of me, Jenny had given up any rights to lay claim to any more assets than those she had taken with her. Big mistake on her part.
Now I did have an ulterior motive for seeking to end my marriage as soon as possible. You see I only had six months within which to claim my lottery winnings and normally a divorce in this state took six months to be resolved. Being that the lottery drawing was approximately one week before the papers were filed with the court meant that I would have to cash in my winning numbers before the divorce became final. If my winning made the news, which it would likely do considering the sizable jackpot, and Jenny heard of it she would most likely try to change the terms of the divorce seeking a large share of the winnings or worse yet, return here begging me to take her back.
A week later with the final decree in hand I breathed a sigh of relief as I felt that a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders and I could now get on with my life. That night I made a phone call to my sister. Mel, short for Melinda, was the only close family I had, my parents having been killed by a drunk driver while I was away at college. Even though she was a couple years older than me, we had always been close growing up. Until now I had avoided calling her as she knew me well enough that she could tell when something was wrong. I didn't want to worry her about something she couldn't fix or change.
"Hey sis, it's me," I said when she answered on the other end.
"Mike," she exclaimed. "Oh, it's so good to hear from you. I thought maybe you had forgotten you have a sister."
"Ah gee whiz sis. I'm sorry. It's just things have been a little hectic around here lately and are just now settling down."
Like I knew she would, she immediately sensed that not everything was right. I sometimes wondered if she didn't know me better than I knew myself. But, at the same time I could always tell if something was wrong with her just from her voice.
"Okay baby brother, out with it. What's wrong?" she asked immediately voicing her concern.
"Guess you could say I have good news and bad news." I paused to let that sink in. "The bad news is that Jenny and I have divorced."
I heard a gasp through the phone. "Oh no, Mike what happened?"
I then proceeded to tell her about coming home to find her with another man preparing to leave, the short conversation we had and then then the letter with the divorce papers she had left me on the kitchen table. I left out the part about my tryst with the tequila.
Finally when I was done telling my sad story my sister spoke up. "That bitch. If I ever see her again I'll claw her eyes out."
For the first time in a while I had a real chuckle. Knowing my sister and how protective she is about the ones she loves I could just picture her doing exactly that.
"Mike I'm so sorry. I know you really loved her. But you said you had some good news. What would that be?" she asked.
"Before I tell you I have to ask you to swear to keep it a secret and not mention a word about it for now. Will you promise me. Don't even tell George for now, please."
George was her husband and father to her two precious albeit oftentimes precocious daughters. Theirs was a relationship that I now envied very much. It was obvious to everyone how much in love they were and how they adored their daughters.
"Mike, you know I don't keep secrets from George," she stated flatly.
"I know that, Mel. But this is a secret about me, not about you. It will all come out shortly, I just want to keep this quiet for a little longer. Please Mel," I begged.
With a sigh she replied, "Okay Mike, I'll keep your secret. But you know that I don't like you making me keep it from George."
"I know sis. But it will be for only a couple days. Anyway I guess you heard about the big powerball jackpot about four months ago?" I asked.
"Sure I remember. I even bought a ticket for that one. Seems as I recall only one ticket matched all the numbers but I never saw where anyone cashed it in."
Pausing for effect I replied, "Hmmm, I guess that's because I had to wait for the divorce to be final before I could claim the prize."
"What? Are you telling me that you have that winning ticket," she shrieked.
Then in the background I heard George's voice. "Is everything okay honey?"
"Yes and no dear," she said. "It's Mike on the phone. I'll talk to you later about it, but for right now he needs a friendly ear."
"Oh, alright. Tell your brother I said hello."
"He's gone back into the other room now," she said in a lower voice. "Mike I can't believe you have the winning powerball ticket."