Shrugging his shoulders, Bob told the cabbie to ignore his flag. He’d asked for a ride to the Silver Club, but the driver did not recognize the name. Walking to the bus kiosk, Bob purchased a ticket and waited for bus to arrive. It actually was not a long wait, and it seemed shorter, still, as Bob tried to figure out what the cab driver had found confusing in his request. Leaning back in his seat, Bob drifted back to twenty years ago.
The night had been clear, as this night was. Bob had just aced his last final exam at the college, and was thrilled to know that he would graduate, with honors, in just a week’s short time. A group of his fellow students were taking in a show at one of the local casinos, and having dinner at the Silver Club first. Tables had to be rearranged for the big group. One of the waitresses pulled persistently on a stubborn table. “Here, let me help with that”, Bob told her, as together they pulled the table into place.
And then he looked at her. Yes, you have it right. Bells, whistles, fireworks, stars, and an instant recognition of a soul mate. Bob forgot the show, and stayed until the restaurant closed, trying to come to grips with the arrow jammed into his heart. Falling for someone was not in his plans. He had a great job offer down South, and was leaving for Little Rock right after graduation.
The waitress came by and told him he would have to leave, so the final cleanup for the breakfast crew was done. Smiling, Bob paid his bill and left, leaving a big tip on the table. Just outside the restaurant was a bank of slot machines. Deciding to stay and talk to the waitress, Bob sat down and began playing a machine.
There was really no one to talk to. People on either side of him were intently watching the wheels spin, hoping for a winning pattern to appear. Finally, Bob broke the ice and asked what you had to do the win. The lady next to him glared at him for interrupting her concentration, but told him if he got 3 red 7’s together on the middle line, the jackpot payout was $27,000, since there had not been a winner in a while. “Sure, like that is going to happen, ” thought Bob, as he turned back to his machine.
Sighing, he pushed the button for some assistance. The machine was not working; the reels would not spin. Suddenly, the machine let out a piercing ring. “Oh, my, you hit the jackpot!” his neighbor said. In no time at all, staff were surrounding him with forms to complete, identification to present for the win, and an offer of a room for the night. The final decision he had to make was how he wanted disbursement. Bob opted for $1,000 cash and a check for the balance. He waived the offer of the room, as he wanted to get back home as quickly as possible.
“Sir,” someone called, “this is your stop.” Bob glanced out the window and noticed the dark building. He inquired about the Club, and heard the story of how it had exchanged hands and finally closed.
“That’s too bad,” he said “The best memory of my life took place there.”