I broke my fixation on the woefully empty bottle of beer to glance down at my phone as it dinged, notifying me about an email. I sighed. Debt collectors and spam. That's all I ever got anymore. At least the latter allowed me the pleasure of pressing the fun little trashcan icon.
Would you like to change..., the preview of the subject read. Hell, yeah. I would give anything to change everything right now. My girlfriend was gone on some escapade with her not-so-secret lover, my student loan debt was three times what I made in a year, pre-taxes, the eviction notice was still taped to the door... I hadn't been too broke to buy beer since college, but here I was. Same old.
I swiped right and typed in the double 69 password; a relic from more cheerful times. The email was short and to the point.
Would you like to change the difficulty? Current setting: Very hard. Seemed about as legit as the Nigerian prince my grandpa was always helping out. My finger hovered over the trashcan icon but my phone dinged again, the echo bouncing off the walls of the nearly empty room. A text this time with the same message and a simple instruction: Reply YES for details. I shrugged and typed the message, arching my eyebrows skeptically as the message whooshed away and I turned back to the bottle hoping to leach out a couple more drops.
Pick your level: First World Problems, Easy, Medium, Hard, Very Hard. I sighed. Whoever this was, they were persistent. A cruel joke, most likely. Getting my hopes up that my life could be anything more than a miserable shit hole. I chose the first option and hit send, shrugging in mild irritation before sighing and heading to my bed. Without the electric bills paid and nothing to entertain me, I was sleeping by dusk, my schedule more Amish than an Ohioan's. My phone rang a moment later, just as I was settling in and starting to tell myself a bedtime story.
"Mom?" I said hesitantly, surprised that she would call after six months of not talking to me. She let out a muffled sob and I sat up in my bed. "What happened?"
"It's dad..." she stuttered as she struggled to catch her breath. I frowned. My dad had been getting cigarettes since '95 and if he was suddenly showing up now, I wanted nothing to do with him. "Your grandfather passed away," she said quietly and I scowled. Disrupting my 8 o'clock bedtime for this? The man was a grade A dumbass and had provided more for random hookers than he had for me.
"I... I'm sorry," I managed to say half-heartedly.
"You barely knew him," she answered softly. "I can't see what he saw, but he must have thought very highly of you. He left you his fortune and the house by the lake. You're rich..." she said mournfully and I quietly gulped as I tried to fathom the idea.
"Goddammit," I sighed knocking my head against the headboard of the bed. "I'm gonna have a shit ton of taxes to do."
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