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How Fate Plays

Sasha is a dreamer. She sits in her father’s comedy club after closing hours and rolls a single purple die on the billiard table. She has done this every Friday night for about an hour since last October. Every Saturday morning she will lie in bed and try to remember what numbers she rolled, and because she can remember a large amount of numbers she will remember enough to buy a single lottery ticket at the Shell gas station five minutes away from her house. She is only seventeen, not old enough to legally buy a lottery ticket, but Derek the gas station clerk who always works the Saturday morning shift looks the other way because he thinks Sasha is attractive.

Sasha will probably never win the lottery because she does not realize that she only rolls a six sided die and the lottery she now participates in uses numbers zero through nine, because her old lottery tickets one through like regular dice. She did not adjust her system when she changed tickets. So her chances are dramatically lowered when she doesn’t ever use a single seven, eight, nine or zero. This has never occurred to her. And even though her chances were not very high in the first place, God would probably let her win a modest amount once or twice if Sasha rolled those extra numbers because He knows she would use the money to move to New York and become a method actress where her performance in an Off Broadway production of the Glass Menagerie would be fantastic. So fantastic that, on opening night, a depressed stockbroker named Hayden would be so enamored by her performance that he would decide stay after the show to meet her. If Hayden did not stay after and left a good twenty minutes earlier he would have been brutally hit by the 415 bus to Brooklyn when he tripped on a sewer grate and landed face first in the mass transit line. If Sasha won some lottery money Hayden would live to be a successful investor but with Sasha’s current dice system, he would die at twenty-seven.

Derek has worked at the Shell gas station near Sasha’s house since he was twenty-one. He is the type of “young adult” that old people complain about. He wears his hair in a short ponytail, has golden grills on his teeth,, wears Rastafarian clothing and talks like a rapper, despite the fact he is Caucasian. He is certainly more bark than bite. So far in the twenty-two years of his life he has only been romantically involved with two girls. He kissed one of these girls in high school, and it was something he would like to experience again. Derek makes small talk with Sasha every Saturday morning. Once in their many conversation so Sasha confessed to him exactly how she chose her lottery numbers Derek wants to ask her out on a date. But because he mixes her up with another regular customer named Jenifer. Derek would probably say to Sasha, “Hey Jennifer, girl, would you wanna go to the movies or something next Sunday, which is uh, uh I think December 17th?” Then he would do this sort of urbanized chuckle that he thinks is hip. Sasha would probably respond no to his request because she expects potential boyfriends to know her first name. God knows Derek needs this date because if Derek went to the movies on December 17th he would not go to a party where he would feel inclined to buy barbiturates from a mutual friend. He would be happy enough with the butterflies in his stomach that Sasha gave him, to not be so vulnerable to peer pressure. He would not overdose the next day, and not fall into a dangerous coma. If only Derek remembered names.


Derek would buy the barbiturates from Simon, a timid tone-deaf kid who Derek knew from his high school days. Simon earned himself an internship at a local hospital, a job he got through a program at his university. He abuses this job and gradually steals small amounts of medicine from the hospital. He sells these to pay his way into art school. His parents want him to be a doctor; his parents have not seen his paintings. Simon is a really gifted artist. His entrepreneurial venture, which flowed from the stolen hospital meds, has gotten him in with a rough crowd. Simon sold his last package of barbiturates to Derek, who was willing to pay a higher price than the regulars. One of these regulars who was in a serious withdrawal did not take this too kindly, and pulled a gun on Simon. In his weakened state the man with the gun could not shoot straight or fast enough before Simon, who had no experience with this sort of thing, grabbed hold of the gun with both of his hand attempting to pry the gun away. In a single flash, Simons right index and ring fingers would be nowhere to be seen. With a single scream he would wrestle the gun away from the attacker, severely breaking his left arm. The attacker would run away and Simon would never paint again. God knew what Simon was capable of. God knew that Simon would otherwise go to art school in Bostonwhich would eventually lead him to a travel abroad to an artist program in Bangladesh. There he would paint exotic birds in such a way that they resemble people, and the beauty would bring a lot of meaning to a lot of people, if only he didn’t sell Derek his drugs.

Cassandra Ka is a forty two year old assistant manager at a hobby shop. One cold December day, the fourteenth to be exact, she witnessed something not too extraordinary, but would not understand the impact it had on fate in a million years. She sold a twenty two year old with a P Diddy shirt and a wallet chain a game of Dungeons and Dragons. When Cassandra was young she was a frequent player of the game herself, so she asked if the customer played he responded to with a faint chuckle, “Nah man, I actually just want it for a certain piece.”
Cassandra expressed a puzzled look on her face, which the boy responded by opening the game box and pulling out a ten sided die.
“See this here, this is my second chance. I asked a hottie on a date but she said no. Then when I told my homeboy about her, he realized something, and this, this is going to change her mind. And on December 17th I might just take her to the movies.”
Cassandra just nodded without understanding a word and let him leave. She didn’t know if he got a date or not and didn’t really care. She would never know that he could have had anything to do with her favorite painting of birds in Bangladesh she would buy five years later at a local art gallery.



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