Last Summer: JJ Tells Lila

            “Lila, it’s JJ.”
            “Oh shit, not again.  It’s 4:00 AM.  JJ, you have to stop.”
            “It’s not like that.  Something happened to me.”
            “Have you been drinking?”
            “No.  Maybe just a little.”
            “Good bye, JJ.”
            “Wait!  I just found out I won the lottery.”
            Silence, then the rustling of sheets.  “What?”
            “I won the lottery.”
            “You don’t play the lottery.  I remember what you said.  Extra taxes for morons.”
            “It was a whim.”
            “JJ, I swear, if you’re messing with me.”
            “Lila.  6.2 million dollars.”
            Silence then the rustling again.  “What?”
            “I won 6.2 million dollars in the lottery,”  JJ said.  Then he heard a muffled male voice over the phone.  He could picture Lila’s bed, her pushed over to one side with the phone and…who?  “Who’s your friend?”
            “JJ, there’s no one here.”
            “It’s none of my business.  I just needed to tell someone.”
            “Wait.”  And JJ heard the voice again, a querying tone.  Like, who the hell’s calling at 4:00 AM on a Tuesday?  The hollow drag of a hand over the phone and Lila’s muffled response to her bedmate.
            JJ said, “Do you have permission to talk to me?”
“I’ll call you later,” Lila whispered and hung up.
JJ looked at the winning ticket.  He had the urge to put it in his pocket and run to someone.  He thought of Charlie Bucket winning the golden ticket and the shopkeeper telling him to run home, to run from all the creeps and shady adults.  He thought of Charlie running to his family in their little shack with the four grandparents sharing the one bed.  Grandpa Joe couldn’t get out of bed because he was too weak and hungry.  But now that he can go to the chocolate factory he’s doing a happy dance around the shack.  Deadbeat. 
JJ’s phone buzzed and he looked at the text message from Lila.  “lunch jakes noon.”
“OK,” JJ said.  “Ok.”  He went to find a pen to sign the back of his golden ticket.

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