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One Letter, Two Numbers
My palms are sweating, I hear rattling in the background, keenly aware that everyone in the room is looking at me. My heart rate increases as I hear a creaking noise, but I don’t move.
I roll out of my empty bed, already knowing that coffee is brewing in the kitchen. I make my way to the bathroom for a warm shower, and catch a glimpse of my silver, gray hair in the mirror along with the intricate map of wrinkles lining my face.
When I’m done I pad down the stairs to see my husband reading the paper, and I walk over to join him, already seeing my mug on the table.
“You ready for today?” he asks, knowing my nerves for the coming event.
“So ready,” I reply.
Once our conversation is finished I set my mug in the sink and I head outside to go to the grocery store, making sure to grab an extra handful of candy for my purse before I leave. I make my way to the store waving at all the folks I know, and wander around the store completely disregarding my list. I grab some extra sweets for the grandkids and a few things for dinner tonight, knowing that with today’s event we won’t be making dinner. I walk aimlessly thinking of other things I could waste my money on until I finally leave the store. On my way home I make sure to blast my favorite 2000s jams on the car radio.
Once I’m home I put away the groceries, putting the vegetables and iced teas in the fridge, while letting the fruits be arranged in a bowl by my husband. Then wait expectantly for the daily call from my daughter. When the phone rings I grab it and sit on the couch listening about her morning with the kids, knowing that she’s on her way over here to drop off the youngest at daycare. I listen, but I can’t help but my mind wanders elsewhere, specifically for the afternoon. She knows I have other things on my mind, so she hangs up early, promising to stop by tonight.
The day feels like it is dragging on while I pull the weeds and water the plants. I’m anxious for the afternoon and my hands are shaking, and it is not from my old age . As the day nears towards the time, I get even more anxious, but try not to let it show. My husband feels the tension radiating off of me as I carry my gardening supplies in, wishing I had other things to preoccupy my mind.
When the afternoon finally comes, I put on my nice jeans and a t-shirt, and double check to make sure I packed my blotter in my purse. I grab my keys and kiss my husband goodbye, knowing that I’ll see him later.
Once I get to the reception hall, I buy my board and take my seat, close to the front. I wave and laugh with all my friends, waiting for the event to begin. We talk for awhile, all of them joking and reassuring me for today. I laugh along but I’m nervous. I see a lady about my age walk on stage and she starts to ask everybody to take their seats and get ready because they are about to begin. I start to take my blotter out of my bag and put it on the table, and I lay out all five of my bingo boards on the table ready to skim each one as the numbers are called.
We start to play and after four rounds I start to lose hope in my win today. My board is barely filled and we are already on round five. I need only one letter and two numbers to win in order to win.
My palms are sweating, I hear the bingo balls rattling in the background, keenly aware that everyone in the room is looking at me. My heart rate increases as I hear a creaking noise of the gate opening, but I don’t move.
“B12,” the lady speaks into the microphone.
My hand starts moving like it’s automatic and I scream, “Bingo!” to create my one hundredth win in my league.