Patience is an obsessive neat nut.
Today, her plan is to clean her ancient, dusty old closet in the attic of her Victorian house. She has neglected that closet for years and its against her better nature to leave even a dust bunny to survive her keen eye. The closet door creaks as she opens it. Being a neat nut, Patience is determined to take on this challenge and rid herself of needless junk. She arms herself with rubber gloves and a spray bottle and goes to battle with the attic closet.
In an obscure corner of the closet, she notices a faded old heart-shaped box. The box intrigues her. She pulls it out and notices a tattered red ribbon tied around the box. Opening the box, she takes out a thousand dollars, a deck of cards and three mysterious envelopes. Each envelope has a cryptic note inside.
She opens the first. The words "Talent " are written in red ink.
She opens the second. The word "Wheel of Fortune"is written in red ink.
She opens the third. There are two full sentences. "Life is a game of chance. This is your Day of Reckoning."
Patience is stunned by the cryptic messages and right then and there, decides to let today take a different turn. She abandons her dusty attic closet for a more ambitious journey. She leaves a pile of junk by the closet and stuffs the old heart-shaped box into a draw-string bag and heads for the bus station.
She buys a ticket.
She waits for the bus on this hot July morning. A feeling of luck swims in her veins today. She can feel it. "Where's that bus?", she checks her watch frantically, in a hurry, as always. She finds a bench in the shade. The street is deserted at this early morning hour and sun is unrelenting. The bus arrives at last and pulls up to the curb, opening the door with a rush. Climbing aboard, she takes a seat up front. Clutching her bag tightly, makes a mental list of its contents, three envelopes, a deck of cards and one thousand dollars. Taking out the deck, she shuffles the cards nervously, then puts them back in the bag. A gambler by nature, she has played this game before and must win today. Her whole body breaks out in a cold sweat. She takes out her mirror to fix her face.
Her eyes are anxious.
Why does she feel this sense of urgency?
She senses someone or something aboard.
The day of reckoning is here.
The city skyline gives her a glimpse of sunshine, but her mind is racing too fast. No one would ever guess what tomorrow will bring. Her hands are shaking . It is all there. She fans herself and looks around the bus. She notices an artist in the corner. He is not smiling either. He looks worried. She catches his eye and motions for him to sit by her. He approaches her seat and nods a cautious hello.
"Are you playing your hand too?" she asked the artist.
"Yes, I have one trick left to play."
"I know.", the Artist replies.
"How do you know?", she inquires, taking out the cards and shuffling them nervously.
"Calm down, Miss. Why are you so edgy?", he wonders.
"I have to win today. I just have to!", she mutters quickly, fidgeting in her seat.
"Is winning that important?"
"Absolutely.", she replies, looking him dead on.
"Okay, you win! You happy now?", he teases her.
"The game hasn't started yet!"
"I know I have been lucky at cards and I will win today!", she predicts with a smug grin.
"What makes you think you know me?", she asks.
"Don't ask. I just know.", he answers with a smile.
"What do you have in the case?"
"I have my paints and brushes. It helps me relax and focus."
"I wish I could paint.", the gambler whispers softly.
"It's easy if you have the gift."
"What gift?", she asks.
"Where do you get talent?"
"You don't get talent, you either have it or you don't."
"Your gift is your talent and your wits take a chance on it."
"How do you know if you have it?"
"You try your luck and you if you feel inspired, then you have it."
"I know I have something, but I don't think it's talent."
"Can you show me how?"
"No. Like I told you. You have to feel it. Inside.", the Artist says.
"By the way, my name is Patience, what is yours?"
"I am Destiny.", he replies.
"Patience, do you see all the people on this bus. They are all going somewhere. Rushing, up and down streets to get to work. Being rude and not saying hello to the person next to them. Being afraid of tomorrow and not enjoying today. Then one day, they play the Ace of Spades and their number is up."
"Destiny, how do you know all these things?"
"I have seen it all before. Its human nature. People can be vain, selfish, mean and petty. It flows through their veins like a cheap wine. I feel no pity for them."
"But, Destiny, they can change."
"Perhaps, Patience. But highly unlikely."
The bus stops at an unknown destination.
We are here.
"Where are we?", Patience asks.
"This is where we play our game of chance, Patience."
"I will win this game, Destiny!"
"It's the luck of the draw. You cannot control destiny. It is already written for you."
"We'll see about that!", Patience says.
"Well, you'll find out soon enough.", Destiny whispers.
"I always win!"
"Don't be so sure, Patience."
"Just play the game and take your chance."
Patience and Destiny exit the bus at an unknown destination.
Patience walks into a waiting area and the card game is just starting. A ticket counter is in the corner of the room and each take a number and sit down to wait for it to pick up their chips.
She places her last grain of talent on the table waiting for her number to come up.
Number twenty-two! Come pick up your chips.
Patience turned to Destiny.
"Instead of playing the same game of chance, why not use my deck of card instead, Patience?"
"Why is that, Destiny"
"I have the Wheel of Fortune Card and that is the luckiest card in the deck!"
"Great! I'll spin the wheel of fortune and whatever comes up, is my destiny."
"That's what gambler do, my friend, put their talent on a game of chance."
"Who wins at luck?"
"It depends which side of luck you are looking at.", Destiny smiles and walks away.
She put her talent on the wrong number, spinning the wheel of fortune.
An old heart-shaped box lays on the sidewalk. It's tattered red ribbon entices another
to peek inside for another spin at the wheel of fortune. It contains four envelopes, a deck of cards and a thousand dollars. The words "Talent", "Wheel of Fortune," and "Patience" and "Sucker Bet".