This story is by Jackson DeBruzzi and was part of our 2020 Fall Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
It’s just another day at your average brick and mortar store. Sales were low again. My boss always expects five percent. Five percent of each and every customer must be “manipulated” into signing up for, what the company considers, an awesome savings card. A no brainer. A membership that costs a whopping one time payment of $49.99. That way, customers can pay to save for the whole year, woohoo! You know what they say, corporations know best. Today is Tuesday, which means we all join together for a fun conference call to discuss sales result. I love the job but my lord do I hate the company.
The store lacks staff, probably because the job doesn’t exactly attract passionate part timers. Nothing like toxic accountability, no wonder turnover is at an all time high. I use to have two staff, Jack and Lisa. Great people, not exactly good at sales though. My boss definitely didn’t like that! Nothing like getting weekly calls about why I should fire them. That’s not “stressful” at all. Eventually, Jack and Lisa left. I wonder why? Jack had to return to college, said he wont come back unless things change. And Lisa, well she was a no show. Left a note describing a very nasty interaction with my “friendly” boss. I cant blame her. Looks like I have the store all to myself.
Three weeks straight of shifts, open to close. Only relief I get now is on Fridays thanks to a borrowed employee that is willing to help, for now at least. My boss isn’t fine with the overtime, but the store needs to open everyday and she cant help, it is what is. Turns out the company is struggling, more than usual. Rumors of bankruptcy are swirling, yet I still just go to work and do what I do best, providing excellent customer service.
It’s a Friday and I’m at home, hoping to recharge before another long week of work. My boss decides to disturb me with a call. Turns out the company filed for Chapter Eleven Bankruptcy. The boss then explains that they are forced to close about twenty percent of stores nationwide. My store is one of them. I am now responsible for executing a laborious closing sale over the next month or so. After the sale is over, no more job. All my hard work will have been for nothing.
I’ve been saving coins in a pickle jar for a year now. After finally counting them, I’ve found I have at least fifty dollars in there. Since I wont have a job in a couple weeks, might as well take a chance on this months lottery. The jackpot is at two hundred million right now. Could you imagine winning that? At three dollars per ticket, I can purchase myself sixteen chances. I think I’ll spend the other two dollars on a king sized Snickers bar. Might as well burn the fifty dollars.
Well, I bought the tickets. I talked to God about it, seems like he’s willing to help me out. I feel pretty good about my chances, especially since I promised god that I’d help people if I won. In fact, I said I would donate half of the winnings and create my own charity to help the hungry. Sounds like a good deal if you ask me, why wouldn’t god want that? I kissed the tickets, signed the back of them just in case, and tucked them away in my old leather wallet.
Its 4pm, and traffic is always horrible around this time. Why did I decide to buy the tickets right now? I should of waited til later. I’m on the highway and I’m going at least 80 mph in the fast lane. I prefer to speed whenever I can. My phone begins to ring and guess what? It’s my annoying boss again. She knows it’s my only day off too. My phone is unfortunately on the passenger side floor, it must of fell off the seat when accelerating. Reaching for it turned out to be a grave mistake. Four long seconds that would change everything. Turns out traffic came to a complete stop and I wasn’t aware. Darkness takes me.
I wake up and I feel pretty miserable. Kinda freaked out to find myself disabled on an hospital bed. All sorts of IVs were sticking into my body. I hate the feeling of needles. I can barely move, but I manage to turn my head to see my mother passed out on a very uncomfortable chair. After three minutes of hurling words at her, she finally awakens. She begins to cry, informs me of my wounds, and thanks god a couple of times. She says I’ve been In a coma for a week and that I’ve sustained severe injuries. I’m pretty pissed.
A few hours go by and then of all things, I realized that the lottery numbers were drawn the previous day. I beg my mom for my wallet. The tickets were still intact, thank god. My mom pulls up the winning numbers on her Samsung Galaxy 10. The first nine tickets had no luck, maybe a few dollars in winnings so far. I start looking at the tenth ticket. My heart begins to race as the first few numbers match. I pass the ticket to my mom to have her read the remaining numbers. I close my eyes. Before she says anything, she starts screaming and jumping up and down. I’m stunned. I’m now the proud owner of two hundred million dollars, before taxes.
It’s been a long year since winning the jackpot. In that time, I’ve followed through with all my promises I made to god. It feels good to make a difference in this world. Right now I’m on my five million dollar yacht hanging out with Emelia Clarke. Me and her are collaborating. She likes helping people out too, so why not team up? After a long day of conversation, we retire for the night. I’m laying on my bed, staring at the stars through my sunroof. It’s just amazing how life works. I drift off into a deep sleep.
It’s the morning and my eyes are very sensitive to the light. I have no feeling in my arms and legs. Where the hell am I? I look to my left and my dad is sleeping in some crappy hospital chair. The nurse rushes in. Turns out I’ve been a coma for five years…..