The Winner (Chapter 2)

Once back John noticed that the three customers who had been in the restaurant had finished their meal and left while a new customer had come in on her lonesome. It was an 18 year old girl he was more than familiar with, Elizabeth Wu was her name and how attractive he found her. She was not very tall standing at 5'2' in height, which made her average for a Chinese with a small figure of a beauty that gave her a look like a doll from her country. Elizabeth also had facial features like almost none John had ever known though he did not take the time to observe details but the overall look of the women he looked at. Elizabeth, however had all the characteristics of those ladies from the race she was so proud of. Her eyes were slanted but not overly, with a nose that was small which was not atypical for someone whose parents were from China; though she herself had been born in New York City. The rest of her face was also pleasing to look at as it contained high check bones with a pair of lips that were thin though made to look bigger by the red lipstick.

Elizabeth had come in wearing her school uniform which was composed of a dark blue blazer, a white shirt, a tie and a blue skirt. There was something about this uniform which she liked, as it made her look like a young girl who was experiencing the growth that leads to womanhood while constantly reminding those who saw her that she could not have been past her teens. It was on that particular day; a Tuesday that she got out of school late because of her extra curriculum activities that included a class in ballet, as well as piano lessons though on that day it had been the first of these classes that had detained her at school till that time.

She had gone to Jackson Hole, as she was a student at the prestigious Nightingale Bamford School (located on 92nd Street between Madison avenue and 5th avenue) who lived on Park avenue between 91st and 92nd street, making this the ideal place for her to have her evening meals; specially on days like this one. This being the case since her parents were out of town and would not be back till the weekend. This of course did not mean complete freedom to do as she pleased; for they did have a house keeper. Who though not a live-in would be keeping tabs on her but this was not a problem. Elizabeth after all had no intensions of doing anything she would not have done had her parents not been away.

Elizabeth in fact did not really go to Jackson Hole that often, as there was something about burgers that she really could do without but however did enjoy this place because of their salads and the fact that a lot of her friends from school were regulars. John was also another reason, not only because she found him attractive and interesting to talk to but because he was one of the few men in his twenties who paid her the attention she strived for. As on one occasion their flirting had brought them ever so close to the intimate acts to be performed between members of opposite sexes.

It had been a little under a month since that Saint Patrick's day on which Elizabeth and some of her friends from school had run in to John and some of his friends at the Clancy bar on 86th street. Was it the spirit of the day or the drinks John introduced Elizabeth to A friend of his being the bartender, who did not bother to ask for her ID. Beer and wine had been all the liquor Elizabeth had ever tasted until that day. On which after having spent the whole afternoon watching the parade, Elizabeth and her friends (Marsha and Jane) ran in to John, who more or less goaded them in to trying a shot of Irish whisky. Him claiming it was the true drink of the Irish.

In reality nothing would have happened other than having a few drinks at the bar if Elizabeth had not suggested going over to her house to watch a film, only to have Marsha invite John over without basically consulting her. Elizabeth was even surprised to see John in her apartment, not being aware that he had been asked over.

During the film John and Elizabeth took to talking about poetry with John talking out the book Tropic Of Cancer by Henry Miller which he wanted to show her. It was when the film came to an end that Marsha and Jane left while John stayed on to read to Elizabeth from Tropic Of Cancer, only to have Marsha and Jane make innuendos about what they considered to be Elizabeth's real reason for wanting him to stay.

Elizabeth strangely enough was not a virgin, since her recently turned ex-boyfriend had brought about an end to that part of her life but this was a new situation for her, being home alone (her parents at a Saint Patrick's day party) with a man who she was attracted to. One who she could see had eyes for her as well as the experience she so much longed for. It did not come to intercourse on that day though Elizabeth was made to feel John's root in her mouth as he introduced her to the feel of oral sex for the first time; only to have it all end with John preferring not to put an end to his satisfaction in her rose due to neither of them having a condom. How disappointing it had been for Elizabeth, perhaps more so than John but deep down she knew it was best however contrary this episode to bringing them closer only served to bring them apart. In many ways Elizabeth's and John's last sexual encounter which saw her touch upon many a new sensation was like the wave that comes on to the beach, very deeply but does not by necessity have to return with more or even the same strength which was what happened or in their case did not. John had thought they would be a couple. Elizabeth's age being only 6 years under his but she felt embarrassed to face him after what she had done; specially since it had been John to stop their actions while she and her boyfriend were still together. All of which making her even feel guilty. Time however had gone by and though it had not been over a month; much had changed in Elizabeth's life and one of those things being that she had separated from her WASP boyfriend.

Regarding what had happened between her and John, this she had talked over with her friends; swearing them to secrecy not to breath a word of it to any living soul while being told by them that she need not worry over what had happened between her and John; as they too had had such encounters with men or boys that did not necessarily finish in intercourse.

Elizabeth on that day observed John wearing the clothes he usually wore which came covered by that apron he always had on to keep the grease off however on this occasion something was different. He was smiling in a way that reminded her not so much of being happy but of having received great news and seeing John next to Bob; she got up the courage to finally face John and say as she looked at him standing behind the counter And what are you so happy about.

John, all his life had heard about people winning the lottery; where they had won millions of dollars and going mad with joy over the fact and much to his almost shock this was not his reaction. True, he was happy but his was a controlled joy rather than the ones he had seen or thought he would experience if he ever won the lottery however all things considered why should this bring him so many sensations He was not in such a bad financial position as some of the people he knew; he had no debts or at least none he could not handle. As he never charged on his credit card more than he would be able to pay back by month's end. Therefore from this point of view he really did not need the money desperately. He was on his way to finishing his education, knowing full well he could get a good paying job though not one that would make him rich by any means and as for his future; he had written a book he had sent to a publisher and was waiting for a reply which he had several reasons to believe would be positive. In reality this money would just help him out; his idea being to just put it in the bank or one of those institutions and live of the interest. He naturally would not have to work but would do so in order to prevent himself from spending his now acquired fortune.

I have just won the New York lottery! were the words Elizabeth heard from John that left her almost stunned; not only what he had said but the way he had said them and how it seemed that Bob who stood next to him was more exited than the one who claimed to have won at least a million dollars. At first Elizabeth did not know what to say, she knew such lotteries existed but never had she played them and now she was being told by a man who seemed as calm as could be; given what he was declaring. All of which making her believe it was some sort of joke.

Get out of here, your putting me on. Elizabeth said as both Bob and John looked at each other while the first walked away apparently to his tables saying with some disbelief in his eyes after having seen the ticket Some guys got all the luck, well it's back to work for us poor folks.. Bob was actually the one Elizabeth found the more attractive of the two, as he was more her type, him having black hair though perhaps not such refined facial features while being the more muscular of the two. Now, Elizabeth got the feeling that she had really been told the truth and seeing that there was a distinct possibility that she was talking to a very rich cook asked How much did you win, almost as if it had been herself whom she was asking about. John at that moment stopped to think about what was happening and wondered, in all the rush to find out if the number was a winner he had not even asked but knew he got all the numbers right so he figured the prize had to be in the millions at least. It was with a laughter, more aimed at himself that he replied I don't know, to tell you the truth I don't know. (now looking for a while, as if he were making up what he said, also not wanting to say how he got the ticket) I bought a ticket on Friday and didn't even check to see how much the prize money was this week and only now did I remember about the ticket and I called and found out that mine is the wining number..

Elizabeth was now unsure; not so much based on what she had heard but the way John had had a look of almost hesitation about him as he told her about the ticket but it could be after all. Maybe he did not think he would really win, for in all truth; how many people count on winning a lottery With some doubt Elizabeth said Oh, come on let me see that ticket. It's hard to believe anything your saying. as she laughed in a way that almost took them back to where they had left off in her apartment.

Elizabeth seeing John holding what appeared to be a lottery ticket held out her hands as she saw hesitation in John. I can trust you to give this back After all it is worth perhaps a million dollars John retorted with a laugh, as the look on his face showed his was trust in this girl who he knew well. Yes, you can trust me with a million dollars. A month ago you trusted me with something more valuable remember Elizabeth came back in a reference to how she had taken the most delicate part of him; not only in her hand but mouth. Yes, I remember (feeling bashfulness about what had been suggested which showed on his face) now tell me what your order is before I get fired! was his reply.

I can see you blushing but after what you did to me, you should! Well ok, I will order the usual; Greek salad and I don't know what you so worried about, you're rich! You don't need this job. Elizabeth cried out with some frustration, like she had felt on their first romantic interlude. Elizabeth for the most part limited herself to ordering a salad and sometimes though rarely one of the large burgers; they had which ranged in a variety of toppings that included blue cheese, bacon, mushrooms and many others. Elizabeth was feeling particularly hungry on that day and contrary to her usual habit decided to order a burger and as she looked at the list was tempted by the choices, some of which she had never tried. John seemed strange to her, as she looked at him; her now ready to order. He seemed almost unaffected by the fact that he had struck it rich and would never have to work again. This to her had always seemed like the kind of news that would make one shout for joy but he seemed just glad and little else.

This however for the time being was not her concern; for now her appetite for food rather than knowledge of John's reaction was a more urgent matter. All of which led her to cry out I'll have the Greek Salad I ordered and a Texas burger. You know the ones with chili and a diet coke and I'll see after what I will have for desert though after all that I may not have any... as John stood in front of her though not really paying attention to her but as if looking over the bar, hoping to see something that needed to be taken care of or perhaps cleaned up.

John in a way seemed surprised and strangely enough more by all the food Elizabeth had ordered than anything else and as his concentration went back to her; he witnessed how she put down the menu and with a big smile on her face, as if she had just made up her mind and said trying to look directly at him with all the enthusiasm she could get up in spite of how tired she felt and you know what Come to think of it, I will order desert now, I figure if I can't finish it now I will just take it home and that will be a.... slice Boston crème pie.. Wow, I've never seen you so hungry John exclaimed as he wrote down her order in his pad, and continued speaking Well, if you don't finish it; we can always wrap it up for you to go. as he went off to get the order which had just been given him.

Elizabeth, then as she waited; took out one of her books to perhaps get some reading done as she was due to give a book report. She found it surprising how she was able to concentrate on the book despite how tired and hungry she felt but then again reading was something she had always enjoyed, specially classical literature. It taking her back to a time, when none of the things she now put so much of her need on did not even exist and perhaps life was simpler though not easier because of it.

John as he went about making Elizabeth's order had more or less accepted that his would be never again to worry about financial problems; as he would take his money and buy an apartment in the city, not even a big one but one so he would never have to pay rent and a car. Nothing of luxury however but a simple American car; perhaps a comfortable station wagon, which was more his personality than the sports car some of his friends might have bought. Money there would be plenty and the rest well this he would put in the bank and live of the interest which added to his job as a teacher would give him more than enough to lead the life he had always wanted. It being one of comfort but not sumptuousness; as this did not concern him.

So much had he heard of people going wild after having received large sums of money. All because they wanted to do or have what life had always denied them along with pleasing the financial needs of those around them. Some going to the extreme that in a very short span of time, of maybe a year or two were back where they had been before wining the lottery and in some cases some of those winners were even worse of than they had been. This John was sure would not happen to him, as he really had no plans for the money other than letting it sit in the bank and getting the interest it should give him. Naturally, if he could find a sure mutual fund he would invest the whole bundle. All of which would give him what he needed to live well.

Elizabeth had been in love with John since they first met, as she and he had always been friendly with one another when ever she came in to the restaurant. This not to mention the night they came ever so close to starting a sexual relationship which though unknown to John would not have been Elizabeth's first. Elizabeth, after all did not have such romantic notions of white weddings or issues of the sort.

Elizabeth was young and did not think of bigger or longer term plans than meeting with boys, and perhaps letting them experience the feel of her body, though this she had only done with one, at least all the way as she referred to it while John had come close. Ideas of dating someone on a permanent basis were just passing fancies in her mind; not to speak of marriage or the children that often came as a result of which; as she considered herself too young to even ponder such concepts though she like most of her girlfriends; held room for such concepts. This however was a different situation as John was well off financially. It was true; he was still a waiter and would probably continue to be one till he finished his studies and became a professor at some college and even if he did not manage to get the kind of job he had always talked about he still could get a simple teaching job which added to the money he would get from his lottery winnings would make her father accept him as her boyfriend.

In truth; he was older than her but the difference was not that great, as in fact her father was separated by more years from her mother in the upward direction than John was from her, so this should not be a problem. He was still a waiter but this had changed, for now her father would see him as a man with financial benefits at least. Elizabeth had wanted to date John and perhaps would have done so, though in all honesty she could not claim it all to be fear of her father's disapproval. As the occasional cocaine consuming she engaged in was also something she should have stayed away from, if this had been such a big concern of hers.

John was a nice and friendly guy. This she realized on that Saint Patrick's day which she would never forget and not only because she had wanted him but the way he made her feel; not only leading up their near moment but even when he was around her friends who could tell something was between them however she stopped herself. John was a waiter or worked in a restaurant and there was something in her pride though she knew her friends would probably not say anything that dating someone like that was in a way beneath her.

It was true; Elizabeth would never be rude to anyone. Given that to her people were equal regardless of anything; at least when it come to the issue of respect but being with a waiter, in a way that involved dating and sleeping together was another issue. It was almost as if she were sleeping with one of the help which was for the most part not done and then again how would he feel when he could not spend as much as the rest of them on the things they all shared and enjoyed that cost so much Would she have to always spend on him, as he not only could not spend on her but she would have to on him Now, things had changed because money had made a difference. He was rich, she could say to herself and the rest that he only worked as a waiter, as a part time job to have some extra money till he finished his education. This being much like even her girlfriend's boyfriends, some of whom went to college as did John and also did jobs of the sort to have some money for their expenses. This would be John's situation from now on, for working as a waiter would now longer be his only source of income but an additional one.

Elizabeth, now could see herself being John's steady and why not She waited for her meal and as she did so she continued reading Crime and Punishment which she was close to finishing with half her concentration on Dostoevsky's words while the other part lay on John and how he had suddenly become acceptable for her to not only present to her father and friends but to her own self-respect. The thought of what she and John had done even excited her as she almost peeped up at him, almost as if in an attempt to hide behind her book; the way she was now seeing him. At first, she had been slightly if more so ashamed of what she had done with John, which made her even avoid him at times but now she looked upon him differently. Taking certain pride at how he had almost been hers, to make love to a man older than herself; not a teenager or even a waiter but a millionaire or at least a would be one.

My name is Gianni Truvianni, author of many an article to be found on the internet along with the book New York's Opera Society. My works also include the books What Should Not Matter, Love Your Sister and several others which still remain unpublished though I am presently looking to change this.