It’s the Sunday Whirl #369! The words we are to use in a story or poem are below.
She’d written and sent him ten letters to his one. Common sense told her that their relationship was over; finished. But she wouldn’t give up. Peri was in love with Daniel and nothing was going to change that. Even though he’d moved across the country (said he needed some space) Peri still hung on, telling herself that one day, Daniel would realize that he really did love her. Then, they would be together forever.
That Thursday evening, Peri’s best friend, Michelle, talked her into going to a bingo game sponsored by the church. Michelle said Peri needed to get out more, meet new people and do new things. She hated bingo, but Peri agreed just to shut Michelle up.
Peri was having a hard time concentrating on the game, as her thoughts were with Daniel–as they always were. She’d missed a few bingos but didn’t care. The prizes were stuff she neither wanted nor needed. At the end of the evening, they started selling $25.00 raffle tickets. Peri never won anything & hated to waste money on purchasing one, but Michelle insisted.
Michelle was getting to be a real pain in the ass, Peri thought.
The two young women hung around waiting for them to announce the winners. All Peri wanted to do was blow that joint and go home. She was tired and had to work in the morning.
Finally, an official-looking woman took the stage and cleared her throat into the microphone. She was dressed in too-tight black & red striped sweater dress that called attention to every roll, lump, and bulge the woman possessed.
“Attention please, everyone! I’m going to announce the winners now!” Her voice reminded Peri of Julia Child’s.
She cleared her throat again, and said, “The winning ticket number is…005182.”
Peri watched as everyone frantically checked their raffle tickets, and rolled her eyes.
“Aren’t you even going to look?” Michelle asked.
Peri sighed. “For what? These things are rigged. Can we go now?”
“Don’t be ridiculous! Someone won. Maybe it’s you.” Michelle gazed at Peri in wonderment. “Just look at the damned thing!”
“Oh, for Christ’s sake!” Peri was truly annoyed at this point. She dug the ticket out of the back pocket of her jeans. “It says 005182. There. Now can we go?”
“Duh!? That’s the winner. You won, Peri! Oh, my God!”
As she walked up to the stage, Peri decided that this proved she and Daniel were meant be together. After all, without the $7500.00, she’d never be able to afford to travel from Portland to Chicago, to Daniel, with some left over. Plus, it happened in a church, a sacred place, which makes the prize money “blessed” by the Holy Spirit or whoever is in charge of blessings. How much more proof does one need?
The Following Afternoon…
Peri finished loading-up her old Pontiac, and was now trying to persuade her cat to come along. Eventually she caught her and off they went to their begin their new lives.
It was a 36-hour drive, but rather than staying in a hotel, Peri pulled off at a rest stop for a few hours of sleep. She wanted to save as much of her prize money as possible to start a new life with Daniel.
As they (Peri and Annie, her cat) closed in on Chicago, Peri decided to simply surprise Daniel rather than call and warn him. Peri loved surprises. She was so excited those last fifty miles, that she really had to watch her speed. Suddenly her foot seemed to have a mind of its own and kept mashing the gas pedal.
She found his Wicker Park neighborhood and began looking for his street and house number. There it was! And he was home: there was a big black Cadillac Escalade in the driveway.
Hmmm. Daniel must be doing okay for himself since he had a fancy, new vehicle.
Peri parked her car on the street and took a couple of deep breaths. “Well, here we are Annie!” The cat looked at her through squinted eyes–obviously none too pleased with their road trip. Peri smeared a stripe lipstick on her lips and ran her fingers through her road-greasy hair.
“Annie, you stay here. I’ll be right back.” She gave Annie a loving noogie the head.
Peri cracked the car windows for Annie and locked the doors, just in case.
Peri jogged up to Daniel’s door and rang the buzzer. Her heart was in her throat as she waited for him to answer.
An attractive woman opened the door, and the aroma of fried chicken tickled Peri’s nose. Wow, he must really be doing good if he can afford a maid!
“Can I help you?” The woman asked.
“Oh, yeah. I’m uh, I’m here to see Daniel.”
The woman looked puzzled. “Daniel? Daniel Ferris?”
“Well, yeah.” Peri replied. “He lives here doesn’t he?”
“Yes, but who are you?”
“Who are you?” Peri’s instincts began to kick-in. Something was clearly amiss.
The two women started at each other, poker-faced. Neither spoke. Peri wanted to throw up.
She glanced at the woman’s left finger, and sure enough, there was a rock on it.
Peri sighed. “I’m Peri. Maybe you’ve heard of me?”
“Peri? No, I don’t believe Daniel has mentioned you.”
Peri’s heart sank. Hot tears sprang to her eyes, and it took every bit of Peri’s strength to fight them down.
“My name’s Sharona. Daniel’s wife?” the woman announced with knowing smile. “He should be home soon, if you’d like to wait…”
“No,” Peri mumbled. “No thanks. I think I have the wrong number…wrong house…sorry to have bothered you…”
Peri turned and sprinted back to her car. She turned on the ignition. “Well Annie, where should we go next?”
She glanced back at Daniel’s door, but it was closed.
“I know! How about some fried chicken?” Peri said to Annie. “You must be getting hungry.”