Dylan came home from work on a Tuesday night in early November, took off his clothes and climbed in the shower. He was exhausted, he had painful blisters on his feet, the sciatic nerve in his back had been acting up, he was dirty, lonely, and cold. The shower let out a warm wave of water, it felt so good, but the moment quickly ended when the water stopped running. It took a minute to process but Dylan understood quickly that the downstairs neighbors didn't pay their electric bill again and some of Dylan's utilities were tied to his apartment. He had wondered why the heat wasn't on in his house either, but that was also tied to the neighbor's electric. He couldn't complain to the landlord because he himself was three weeks late on the rent. He got dressed and came out of the bathroom and saw his fourteen year old daughter sitting on the couch in the living room playing a video game wearing her winter coat inside. He hated being poor, but what was worse is that Summer had to live in this as well.
"Hey Summer, did you have dinner yet?" Dylan asked his daughter with a high pitched hopeful tone.
"Yeah, I had some hot dogs, you should go grocery shopping, we don't have any food."
Ugh, such a depressing scene. The thermostat said it was sixty degrees in the house, very little food, no running water, late rent, the problems extended far beyond that, car problems, the IRS threatening wage garnishment, overdue utility bills. Dylan had forty two dollars in his wallet and a few hundred in the bank that he'd been saving to use for the rent, but it was clear he was going to have to use the money in his wallet to buy some cheap groceries, like eggs and pancake mix.
It had just been Dylan and Summer living in the house for the past two years after he separated from his ex. They were never officially married but had Summer together and lived with each other for fifteen years. Dylan had dated a few women since they split up, but decided a couple months back that he didn't have the time or more importantly the money to date anyone, instead he would just focus on making his life better and being a good dad, but so far he was failing miserably. His ex had moved out, and Dylan stayed behind in the tiny second floor apartment of a 2 story house. He was never quite sure if he was ever going to be able to move, there was so much heavy furniture, and moving is expensive. He often thought of just leaving everything behind and starting over someplace else.
Dylan, although poor, wasn't a lazy man. He often worked sixty to eighty hours a week, but working two jobs sometimes wasn't enough. In the days he worked for Target pushing shopping carts, and his nights he worked for Domino's delivering pizza. Some days he would work from 9am to 5am, with just a few hours off in between jobs, and today was one of those days. He finished his day job at 5pm and had to leave in 2 hours to start his night job and all he wanted to do was take a shower and take a nap.
"Hey Summer, I'm gonna take a quick nap before I go to work."
He hated that he didn't have more time to spend with his daughter, time and money were two things he never had. While other kids her age were going on week long vacations to Disney, she was home alone cooking herself hot dogs in the toaster oven.
Damn it, the alarm is going off, time to go back to work. He had a couple minutes to lay in bed, so he figured just for laughs he'd open his old E-Trade account that he hadn't bothered to even look at for a few months, just to see if maybe he could sell some stocks. He invested in penny stocks a few years ago, but kept losing his money, like one giant money pit. He still had thousands of shares of worthless stocks, and every once in a while he'd open his online trading account just to see if anything changed.
Dylan wearily looked at the total assets number, and thought it was a mistake. He quickly sat up in bed and looked at the number again. This had to be a mistake. Somehow the account went from $75 last time he checked to $174,396.85!!!! But it was true! As a joke Dylan set one of his fractional penny stocks to sell at thirty cents a share, and he had a few hundred thousand shares, which actually climbed all the way to thirty cents in the few months that he was away from his E-Trade account.
That very night, Dylan quit his two jobs, transferred the money to his bank account, took his daughter out to the fanciest restaurant in town, and booked a one week vacation to Disney World, just for the two of them.