Two years ago she couldn’t stand her job. Found new ways to dislike it every day. The way the coffee maker dripped, how Stan talked, the smell—seriously, what was that?—in the break room. One year ago when the state lottery hit nine digits she thought Why not try? Stopped into a party store, bought two tickets and a six-pack of beer. Passed out with the TV playing episodes of some Netflix comedy she sometimes chuckled at. Forgot about the lotto until she heard people at the office saying someone in their city had won. Forgot to check the tickets by the time she got home and only remembered because they were stuck to the fridge. Held in place by a magnet in the image of California’s flag.
When she saw she’d won she sat in her chair for twenty minutes trying to figure out what that meant. Now a year later and she still isn’t sure. Kept her job until a week ago on the advice of the therapist she hired first thing. Figured it’d be a good idea to have a professional to talk to. “You’re going to need time to process this. Quitting your job straight away might be the worst thing you could do. Unless you want to be bankrupt like so many other winners you hear about. There’s a lot of truth to the phrase more money, more problems.”
A week away from her job, watching whales breach, she thinks back to that job and smiles. As much as she disliked it, and that was quite a lot, at least it gave her something. Gave her a reason to get up, a reason to complain, a reason to be. Ideal? No, far from it, but the need to work gave her life purpose. Since quitting she’s realized that her millions don’t care whether or not she spends them. She thought travel would fill the hole being unemployed left, and in a way it did. Not the travel itself, but pieces of it. The need to get to the plane on time or be at a certain place for a tour—like this whale watching one.
Sitting on the boat’s edge watching whales play she wonders if there’s a way she can turn her bank account with something like seven-million in it (the other ninety is spread between various investments) into a reason to wake up. She gets up and heads to the boat’s bar. The small top and bikini bottoms not things she would have worn even a month ago. It strikes her that winning the lotto has supercharged her confidence. Having “Fuck you” money allows her to not give even the smallest shit about what someone might think. A flurry of ideas swarm her all at once. She can pursue anything she wants now, she wants to help others, she has always been interested in the world of mysticism, magic, and witchcraft.
“Jane?” the bartender asks.
“Your wine.” He smiles.
“Oh. Thank you.” She sips the crisp rosé, smiles, heads back out to the railing to watch the ocean and thinks about where to start the next leg of her journey.