Roy turned out normal. Well, he wants to think so. He has two kids, a beautiful wife and a career to be proud off. He doesn’t like over dramatization but he has a dark story. Well, he knows everyone has a story but he thinks his is darker than most.
It 20 years ago. Roy was a Sophomore at College. Active in sports, chasing girls, ignoring the books, doing what most Sophomores do. He, however, has an addiction. In this part of the world, that does not mean drugs. It is more likely to mean gambling and in this case it is.
By day he is the smiley college kid wanting to do all. By night, he retreats to his computer, opening 15 browsers to monitor football matches all over the world. With his phone he makes calls and places bets of almost every match out there. The issue is, it is not with money he has. He has no money. He had some to start but has lost it all on day 10. It’s day 30 now and he is fueling this addiction on borrowed money. Money borrowed on false premises. “My dad is sick”, “my mum’s insurance payout is delayed” and “My uncle had a workplace accident” have been used.
On day 34, he was 200k down an his leads to borrow more have expired. He already owed over 200k to near 15 different friends and 2 cousins.
On day 35 he noted a chance. It was Real Madrid vs Celta Vigo. Madrid had lost 3 games in a row and had not lost 4 in a row since forever. The odds were real. 250k on a Madrid win by 2 clear goals and he is over the line with 50k to keep. He called every bookmaker he know and to break up the 250k bet. It is not easy to place more bets when you are already running credit lines.
The game kicked off. After this, no more, Roy thought. He would be clean, on the other side and will never look back. 10 mins in, Celta struck the bar. Roy is not worried, plenty of time to go. 44mins in, wave one of the relief came - Real Madrid scored a sitter to into half time 1-0 up. Easy. Half way done. 45mins and I am safe, he notes.
Half time came and gone…
I stared, unknowingly of course.
“What?” he looked back. “What’s the matter?”
I had not thought it through about when to break the news tonight but I knew there would not have been a perfect moment. A perfect moment is one with the less imperfections and this felt as good as it gets.
“I have cancer. Doctors gave me 2 months”
He did not react. I am glad as this isn’t even the biggest news I have for him tonight.
“And one more thing. I want a divorce.”
He still did not react. Good. Part 3 is my climax.
“I know about her. This is why this is happening. I want to live out the rest of my life away from this forsaken land and I want Charlie to be with me”.