It was never about the money, or the endless calculations, or the disappointment she learned to expect and accept. The odds were against her. She knew that. Everyone said so. Many laughed.
And yet …
She could scarce believe it when she saw the numbers and date and words line up, when she knew that for once — in the way that mattered most — she was the winner.
She rubbed her eyes. Checked everything again.
She called to double check. Her heart thrumming in her chest.
She wrote down every detail: The place. The time. The plan. The day when her life would forever change.
Or had it changed already?
That night she tossed and turned and even though she finally fell asleep, she woke before dawn with her heart aflutter, and gazed into the ceiling till the morning brought with it the first few rays of sun.
A day reborn. Herself, perhaps, as well.
Nights will never be the same, she thought. Nor mornings.
Nor any other time in any other hour. Winter or summer. Light or dark.
She counted down the days, excited beyond words and somewhat frightened — should she tell? Who to? How much to share? How much to keep to herself?
Eventually she’ll have to. …
Oh, there will be a celebration! She could list in her mind the friends who’d rejoice with her. She could also note the dread of recognizing those whose green-eyed-monsters might awaken. Will she lose friendships over this? Will jealousy taint what she’d never quite dared to believe would be awarded her?
“I won the lottery,” she whispered to herself, holding the bit of paper between shaking fingers. “They’ve checked it out and they’ve agreed. It’s approved. Two more weeks … I won’t believe it till I’m there. Till after. Till I’m back home with a new life in my hands.”
She pulled out the photo. Drank it in. The ebony chubby cheeks. The dimple in the elbow. The eyes. These eyes …
“I’m coming, Bomani …” She kissed the picture that the orphanage included with the adoption papers. “Mama’s coming for you, my little son-to-be.”