The Meeting by James Somers

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SUMMARY: A poor man who wins the lottery has an unforgettable meeting with a wealthy man who has just lost everything. Neither of them will ever be the same again.

The Meeting

He was almost unable to breathe another breath as he looked down into his hands at the ticket. Had he really done it? Had he really won? It was just so unbelievable as he looked over the numbers again, and again. Yes it was correct; he had the winning numbers. Harold Wallis had just won the Lottery. Thirty million dollars was now his.
His hands quivered at the realization of his situation. He had always been poor. His inability to hold a steady job had not helped either, but that was of little consequence now. He was rich; super rich!
He jumped up off of his old worn tan couch to his feet and then on into the air. He landed and banged his foot into the coffee table. He didn't even regard it. He tripped his way past the battered piece of furniture and headed for the phone on the kitchen wall. He had to call Sheryl.
They had talked of getting married on a few occasions but she had never taken him seriously and truth be told he had never really taken himself seriously either. But things could be different now. He could move out of his one room hovel of an apartment into a mansion if he liked. He could have a wife and a family; he could have anything he wanted now.
He picked up the receiver so quickly he almost dropped it as he punched the buttons. It rang several times before the answering machine picked up with Sheryl's personal voice message playing. Harold looked over to the wall behind the television. It was still an hour before she would arrive at home from her job down at the diner. Wait, he thought, I'll surprise her. I'll show up with my winning ticket and she'll flip out.
He hung up the receiver and headed for the bed. It was all one room, with the bed on one side of the room and the kitchen on the other. His clothes were already wadded on the unmade bed from where he had worn them the day before. He quickly put them on and searched for his car keys. He paused at the door to look around the apartment again. He took another moment to really take it in.
"This is the last day I'm going to live like this"
He pulled out his tattered brown wallet and put the winning lottery ticket inside where the money should have resided. He stared into the empty space and laughed as he placed what was as good as gold inside. He replaced it in his back pocket and headed out the door without bothering to even lock it behind him. After all the only thing of real value he had was on his person; If somebody wanted the rest they were welcome to it as far as he was concerned.
The car parked in the gravel outside was a battered skyblue Ford LTD that had seen better days. It was running and that was about the best that could be said for it. Multiple fender benders had left their rusted out scars upon the vehicle and it looked ready for whatever graveyard might accept it, but it had yet to give up the ghost.
Harold pulled hard on the driver's side door to get it open. The dented appendage popped from its stuck position and creaked loudly as it swung out. He climbed inside, pushing aside the various old worn out cassette tapes and fast food wrappers occupying the length of the front seat.

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