The alarm clock said 7:23, when Maya’s crying woke Steven up. He brushed his fingers on the buttons to turn off the clock. Oh how he longed for the day he would actually get woken by the alarm. Was wanting to sleep four hours straight really too much to ask for?
He rolled out of bed, and bumped into Tina on his way to the bathroom.
The bank called again yesterday evening, Stevy… You really have to take care of that today. We won’t make it, if they block your credit card again!
”And good fuckin’ morning to you too!” he thought. Mumbling something that seemed to satisfy his girlfriend momentarely, he closed the bathroom door and headed to the shower. Had he not been so very exhausted, he probably would have cried under the hot stream. How was he going to break the news to Tina that the card was already blocked?
It was his fault, and his fault only. Eager to leave his day job in that horrible warehouse at the other end of the city, he had taken all they had left, and gambled it. On his only night off, the week before. The bet was supposed to be safe. Almost an investment, really. He so wanted to make it big, and not have to worry about money for a while.
But he had lost it. Lost it all. And he hadn’t had the courage to tell Tina just yet.
These two fuckers better not come back to the bar, after scamming him like they had. Steven sure didn’t need to get in trouble for beating up two scumbags. No, he had more important things to take care of, if he didn’t want to lose his girlfriend and, God forbid, his precious little girl, Maya.
When he turned off the water, Trina was shouting from the kitchen.
Steeeeevyyyyyy! I have to run, my car won’t start, I’ll catch the bus to get to the office on time, Okaaayy?? Can you take Maya to daycare please? I can’t afford to be late again, they’re going to fire me! OOOh and Grace called. It’s supposed to be super important, don’t forget to call back hon!! Byyyyye!
Well, he didn’t have much of a choice now, did he?
When Steven got to the kitchen, where Maya was in her highchair, Tina was already out of the house. Great!
After feeding his fifteen month old daughter, Steven picked up his cellphone on the counter and dialed Grace’s number, while trying to get both Maya and him dressed for the day. When she picked up, she had her usual happy go lucky tone of voice.
Hey, little bro’, glad to hear from you… I didn’t think you’d call me right away. Tina told me you two were kind of in a rush this morning?
Aren’t we always? Steven thought for himself.
Yeah, well, yeah, a bit… You know how it is… No, you don’t, but he kept that to himself.
Grace was a happy stay-at-home mom of three. Christian, her husband, was wealthier than Steven could ever aspire to be. The big house, the fancy brand new cars… They couldn’t even imagine what life was for Tina and him.
I just wanted to remind you about the party, on Saturday. You did get your night off, right?
Oh come on! How could he have forgotten the party?? Their parents were celebrating their fourthieth wedding anniversary, and he had forgotten. George would kill him for missing a night at the bar on such short notice. Just what he needed.
Hmm hmmm, sure, Gracie, you know I wouldn’t miss that!… Listen, I gotta drop kiddo here at the daycare, ’cause Tina’s car broke down again. I’m kind of in a hurry right now, but I’ll give you a call later today, ok?
Grace wished him a lovely day, and hung up.
Lovely day my ass… Not as if he would plan their next cruise to I don’t know where, sipping on a good cup of coffee, while someone took care of the house chores for him, right?? Steven fought hard not to be jeaous of his big sister, but he couldn’t help it.
Grace was just so God damn lucky!
If he only knew…
To read the previous installment of this story; Lucky – Jack the barfly