Janice and I were over her laptop, waiting for the page to load. First the banner, Bank TD North, then some blue frames, which finally filled with numbers. Her account balance was eight figures long. She jumped up and gave a little cowboy cheer, then toppled me and we fell to the floor together. She was kissing my cheeks and neck. Then she sat on top of me, she had a huge smile on her face.

“I never have to go back into work again,” she said.

I made myself laugh but I could not get happy. Ever since I heard she had won the lottery I was just worried that now it would be completely stupid to break up with her.

“Oh my God,” she said, “I never knew this could happen. I mean, chances of winning are astronomically low. Do you have any idea how many times I’ve calculated the odds? But somebody always wins, and this time it’s me.”

She got up, looking outside the window.

“I need to get this garden in order. What am I saying? I’m going to get a new house, somewhere nice, like Sausalito. It’s got good weather, yeah. And my car? It’s history!”

I sat up.

“I know we’ve been over this already, but now the money is real. I mean, no more credit for me. No need. I can have whatever I want. I can start writing again. And paint.”

She picked up the magazines from the coffee table, then put them back down. She closed the lid of her laptop. She went over to fix the curtains. Then she stopped and looked at me. She had sad eyes.

“Dan,” she said, “I’m sorry it has to end like this,” then her eyes changed, “No, you know what? Actually, I am not. Pack your stuff, you’re out of here mister. Adios,” she made a thumb gesture showing me the way to hell.

Two hours later I was walking towards Lisa’s house. A bag of clothes over my shoulder, a set of chiseled abs under my shirt, a new era was about to begin.

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