"What are you doing?" A gray haired woman asked her Granddaughter.
"I'm trying to catch the wind," replied a young girl innocently as she ran around the front yard. "I'm trying to hold for my own.
The older woman smiled as she continued to watch. "Well, Delaney, when you catch the wind, let me know."
"Don't worry Grandma; you will be the first to know." Delaney yelled back as she continued to run with her hands spread wide from her sides, nature's invisible force blowing her long blonde hair all over the place.
Delaney jerked from her musing as the subway stopped and the doors swooshed open. She stood up and made sure her laptop was still in her bag at her side. "Miss you Grandma."
The hordes of people passing back and forth paid no attention to the small woman as she walked up the steps to the cold snowy roads of the city. At the last step a car sped by hitting a puddle right in front of her, almost getting her wet. "Damn, I miss the country." The sound of several horns blaring filled the air. "Plus it is way quieter."
Delaney saw her favorite coffee shop and quickly headed for it. "Oh, a hot cup of a vanilla cappuccino is just what the doctor ordered." Stepping inside, the heat and smell of the place hit her and she was instantly warm and fuzzy all over. She waited in the short line until she reached the counter. "Larger Cappuccino with extra vanilla."
"Do you want a lottery ticket?" The cashier asked not even slowing down as she filled the order.
Delaney was thinking about it when an old woman tapped her on the arm.
"It's up to $157 million now." The elder lady informed Delaney. "Never hurts to try out your luck."
"Sure why not," Delaney smiled at the woman who reminded her of her Grandma. "If I win I'll share it with you."
"You just buy me a coffee and we'll call it even." The woman laughed.
The small blonde reached into her coat pocket as she shook her head. "Nope, I don't usually buy these things and since you suggested it and I'm taking you up on it. It is only fair."
"Well, since it seems we are partners I should tell you my name." The woman held out her wrinkled hand. "Esta Storm."
"Nice to meet you Esta, my name is Delaney." She shook hands with the smiling woman. "Would you like to sit with me?"
Esta nodded and waited for the cashier to hand Delaney her drink and lottery ticket.
"How about over there by the window. We can watch all the people scurry around in the cold." Esta laughed as she pointed to a cozy table for two in the corner by the big window.
Delaney paid for her two things and followed Esta. They sat there and talked for an hour or so before Esta needed to head home.
"I should be heading off now. My Granddaughter will be over for dinner tonight and if I'm not there she will worry." Esta gathered her napkin and cup to throw away.
"When is the drawing for the lottery?" Delaney asked as she followed Esta's lead to the garbage can.
"Tonight at seven, but if you miss it they repeat the numbers on the ten o'clock news." Esta explained.
Delaney nodded her head and stayed with Esta until they were outside. "If by some odd chance our numbers come up how will I be able to find you?"
"We can meet here tomorrow at the same time. If we do win, we can celebrate and if we don't we can always have coffee and talk like we did today." Esta patted Delaney's glove covered hands.
Delaney grinned, "Sounds perfect. Bye, Esta, and it was a pleasure meeting you."
"You too, dear," Esta turned slowly and carefully made her way down the block.
Later that night Delaney sat watching TV in her T-shirt and shorts eating a small bowl of popcorn. She had forgotten to watch the show where they did the pick of the numbers and was reminded that they would show the picks during the news broadcast. Waiting for that part of the news, she watched what was happening with the war and the different events going on around her area.
"Think we have the number Wheels?" Delaney asked her bright orange cat that sat next to her licking its paws. "If I do win I'll get you a friend to play around with."
Wheels looked up at her owner and then continued to clean its self.
"I can tell you have about as much faith as I do." Delaney scratched the cat on the top of her head. "Well, here we go. The numbers are next."
Delaney looked at her number on the ticket and waited for them to pop up. When the first one popped up and it matched one of her numbers, she nodded. "At least I can say I had one." Then when the other five popped up Delaney just stared at the TV screen then back down to the pink ticket then back at the TV.
"Oh my?..OHHHH MY!" The excited blonde jumped up and looked back at the TV once again to make sure what she saw was right. "Wheels, we won. We won the jackpot." She looked all around her small apartment. "I can't believe it."
Wheels looked over at her owner and licked her chops.
For the rest of the night Delaney bounced around trying to find something to do since she was too excited to sleep. Her closets were organized and her kitchen sparkled. Not a single dust bunny was found under her couch.
When six am hit, Delaney called her work and promptly quit. "Never did like Mr. Jones anyway." She sat with the phone in her hand. The late night excitement and all the cleaning she did was finally wearing off. Slowly her eyelids closed soon she was asleep on her couch with the phone on her lap.
Wheels jumped up and rubbed her head against the still figure before she snuggled down and took a nap herself.
Delaney stood out in front of the coffee shop, pacing back and forth to keep warm. She would look down the sidewalk hoping to see Esta coming. When she finally spotted the elderly woman, she smiled.
"Hello dear," Esta said as she got closer.
Delaney offered her hand and it was gladly taken. "Hi, how are you today?"
"Well, it is two degrees warmer than yesterday, so it is pretty good." Esta gladly walked in ahead of Delaney has she held the door open for her. "How are you today?"
"Not too bad." Delaney smiled as she stood behind Esta. "Why don't you go take a seat and I'll get your coffee today." The small blonde pointed toward the table they sat at yesterday.
Esta patted her young friend's hand. "I think I'll take you up on that. These old bones aren't what they use to be." Slowly she made her way through the tables to take a seat.
Delaney made it to the counter and was quickly handed her order. She looked at Esta as she walked to the table and sat the coffee down. She had no clue how to even say they had won without causing the woman to have a heart attack, but the will to hold it in was killing her. "How was your dinner with your Granddaughter last night?"
"It was good," Esta replied before she took a careful sip of her hot coffee. "She likes to cook for me and we had meatloaf and potatoes. Then we played a little rummy and watched TV." Esta undid her coat. "What did you do last night?"
"Just the usual, made dinner, played with my cat, Wheels, watched some TV too." Delaney grinned. "I forgot to watch the lottery pick show."
"Maybe before you go they can check it for you. They just put the ticket in and it pops out if you won or not." Esta explained.
Delaney leaned over and whispered. "I remembered that you said they play the number back on the news. So I stayed up and watched them and we did match a few numbers."
"Really, how many?" Esta asked.
Delaney whispered even softer so no one around could hear her. "All of them."
The silence at the table lasted for only a few seconds before Esta yelled at the top of her lungs. "HOT DAMN!"
Delaney could only sit back and laugh as the older woman bounced in her chair and slapped the table from excitement.
"What do we do now?" Esta finally asked as she calmed down a little.
Delaney shrugged her shoulders. "Not a clue. I was going to call and ask them."
Before Delaney knew it, Esta had her cell phone sitting on the table. "You can use my phone."
Delaney smiled at how excited the woman was and wondered if she had looked like that last night. She unzipped a small pocket that was in her coat and pulled out the ticket. Looking in the back, she saw a number to call and quickly dialed. After several rings someone answered and told them that if, they had a winning ticket that they should come down to the lottery office so the ticket could be verified. Delaney asked what time the offices closed and looking at the clock on the wall, she saw they had two hours to get there.
"You ready to collect your half?" Delaney smiled at the older woman. "We have two hours to get there."
"Well, let's go. Time's a wasting." Esta tossed her cup in the trash and zipped up her coat. She turned to look at Delaney. "You sure you still want to share. You don't have to."
"Yes, I do." Delaney hugged Esta. "I said I would share and I always keep my word."
Esta tightened her hold for a few seconds before she stepped back. "Come on partner."
Delaney happily followed the older woman out of the coffee shop and the sidewalk where she hailed a cab. They looked on the back of the ticket for the address and soon they were off to their new beginning of friendship.
"Grandma, you here?" Sharki yelled as soon as she stepped through her Grandmother's backdoor. Not hearing anything, she walked into the living room and turned the TV on. The news was just starting and at the top right hand corner was a fuzzy picture of two women with big smiles and an even bigger check in front of them. "Lucky sons of bitches." She mumbled as she started to flip through the stations. She passed by one of the other news stations but quickly flipped back when she noticed her Grandma.
"What the hell?" She nearly fell off the couch when she realized what the newsperson was saying and what all the excitement was about. "My Grandma won the fucking lottery?"
The phone next to her rang and without taking her eyes off the TV, she reached for it. "Hello?"
"Is this Mrs. Storm?" A man asked.
Sharki looked at the receiver before asking, "Who wants to know?"
"This is Mr. Jones from Children of Hope." He said as sirens and gunshot blared through the phone. "We're an organization that helps needy children in war torn countries and gives them food and clothing. We also get them to a school to get educated."
"Well listen up Mr. Jones if that is your real name. I'm not Mrs. Storm, but I am a relative and if the yelling in the background is any indication what this truly is, you won't be seeing a single nickel. So don't call again." She yelled and slammed the phone down.
Not two seconds after the first call, the phone rang again and it was basically the same call just different person and different organization. She finally took the phone off the hook and waited for her Grandma to come home.
"That sure was exciting. I can't wait to see Sharki's face when she finds out." Esta said as she unlocked her front door. "She'll surely flip."
"I bet so, I know I'm still shocked at learning we had the only winning ticket." Delaney held the screen door open. "What is the first thing you are going to do? I think maybe a new set of clothes for me is a good idea." She looked down at her muddy wet clothes that were splashed by a passing car as they waited for a cab after they had redeemed their ticket.
"I would have to agree with you and I think I'll donate a bunch of it. No way can I spend it, hell I can't even remember the exact amount after taxes." Esta laughed as she walked into her warm house.
"There you are," Sharki stated as she stepped out of the kitchen.
Esta brought her hand up to her chest. "You little dickens scared me."
Sharki smiled at the old name she has been called many times in her life. "Sorry, Grandma."
"Don't worry about it." Esta hugged her granddaughter then she stepped back and cupped the tall woman's face. "I have some exciting news to tell you."
"Ohh could it be that my Grandma won the lottery?" Sharki brought her hands up to cover the cold wrinkled ones on her face. She saw the surprised look and smiled. "I saw the news as I was waiting for you and if that didn't tip me off you have gotten several calls to donate you winnings."
"Oh my," Esta mumbled. "Guess I'll need to get an unlisted number."
"My bet would be that you might have to move." Delaney said making her presence known to Sharki. "Hi."
"Who are you?" Sharki asked as she stepped around Esta. The sight of the grungy looking woman standing in her Grandma's house made her angry. "The vultures sure do move faster than I though. Sure, a few phone calls, but to sit outside and wait for her to get home so you can scrounge money from an elderly old woman. Unfucking believable." She grabbed Delaney's arm and pulled her towards the door. "Get the hell out of here before I beat the hell out of you." She shoved the smaller woman out the door and watched her fall down the steps and hit the sidewalk hard before she slammed the door shut.
"What did you just do? I can't believe you did that." Esta tried to move past her strong Granddaughter. "Move, now."
"Grandma, you can't just let in any Tom, Dick or Harriet into your house. It's not safe." Sharki tried to explain to her Grandma who was still trying to get past. "They could hurt you and kill you."
Esta stopped struggling with Sharki and looked her straight in the eyes. "You're right, but that woman you just tossed out of my house was not some nut looking for money. She is the reason I won. In fact I wouldn't have won if not for her since she split HER winning ticket with me."
"Huh?" Sharki tried to wrap her mind around what her Grandma just told her. "What?"
"That was Delaney Scott. She split the one hundred and fifty-seven million dollar lottery jackpot with me just because I suggested she buy a ticket." Esta moved past a still Sharki and opened her front door. Luckily, Delaney was sitting on the steps with her hand pressed against the back of her head. "Oh dear, are you okay?"
Delaney looked up at the door and shook her head. "I think I'm going to be sick." She said before she passed out from the blow to the head..