“I just remembered I bought a lottery ticket today,” she said.
“But you said there would be no more of that,” he said.
“Yes, that’s right. Except there was this offer today,” she said. “It came with the price of gas. Look up today’s drawing, would you?”
He pulled out his phone.
“Here it is,” he said. “Read me your ticket.”
She fished it out of her purse and read the first four digits of the series number. Each ticket began with four for the series, then there was a dash, and then two more for the ticket number.
“Series 2938, number 43,” she read.
“Hold on,” he said.
There was a pause; long enough for her to notice.
“What’s wrong?” she said.
“That’s your series,” he said. “That’s it completely. 2938.”
She looked up; her skin had gone all cold. “Really?”
He looked at her.
“Well,” she said. “Finish. Find the last two.”
He didn’t answer her, a magnificent smile slowly playing out across his face. What he said next he spoke slowly with a touch of dazed amazement, “$340 million. It’s a great deal. I imagine that the fear of college fees would be gone. The kids would be well-positioned for God knows what they might need. You could study. I might stop this infernal work at the market. There would be no need to bicker over the lawn-care. Think. All those past moments of brisk wrestling which tied us down for so long… Gone.”
As he spoke, she slowly stood from her knitting chair and crossed to the window. She fingered a strand of her hair as she breathed a few times deeply. Then she said, “Yes. If we had it…I suppose I could find reasons to hate you.”
“Let’s just not know,” he said.
“What do you mean?” she said.
“We need not know, after all,” he said. “Isn’t that right?”
After a moment she understood him. “All right,” she said. Falling leaves blew across the lawn. One caught and fluttered. Then it too was gone.