Hello, Internet! Please welcome Kenzie Cade with her piece “Bad Luck.” In this delightful story, Adam is the unluckiest man alive. But when he wins the prize of a lifetime, perhaps he’s been lucky all along.
by Kenzie Cade
“Come. On!” I yelled at Mark.
I couldn’t believe it. I’d won! Me. The one man in all of space and time who had the worst luck. My luck was so bad I would have been better off having no luck at all.
Like at my sister’s wedding two years ago. She’d worn the most beautiful dress, a creation of a satin and pearl bodice with a tulle princess skirt. Of course, I walked her down the aisle. Before she met Winston, I was all she had by way of family. At the end of the aisle, before she was to be joined with her man in holy matrimony, I hugged her. But in my infinite klutziness, I stepped on the train of her dress and as she walked away, her skirt ripped, dropping from her waist and exposing my big sister to… everyone.
That was only one example of my complete and total bad luck. I won’t bore you with the tales of disaster and woe that follow me around. And don’t get me started with the time I sleepwalked onto the set of KANP’s news broadcast. Naked. Shortest lifespan of a job in the history of working. Now I worked from home for obvious reasons.
I ran past Mark, who was still lounging on the sofa, watching whatever it was he watched at this time of night. “Are you even listening to me?” I called over my shoulder. “We don’t have much time to pack and I don’t want to forget anything.”
“I’m not kidding, Mark. Have you even thought of everything we’ll need for a trip to space?” The grin on my face actually hurt, it was so big.
That was right folks, I—Adam Kendall Ruhl—won a trip on the first commercial space shuttle flight. Me! The man with a history of bad luck! I won.
Opening the top drawer to my chest, I began rifling as I heard Mark approach from the living room.
“Did you know the moon is two-hundred, thirty-eight thousand, nine-hundred miles from Earth?” I told him, not turning around as I picked out my best pairs of underwear and tossed them blindly to the mattress.
“Oh yeah?” Mark sounded amused, his deep chuckle warming our already homey bedroom.
“Yes. Do you know how long that would take to drive?” I finally spun around, momentarily caught off guard at how stunning he was—all dark hair, golden skin, and gray eyes, tall, broad-shouldered, and strong. Truly for a man who had the worst luck in the world, I sort of lucked out when I found him. He was perfect in every way, finding my oddities and quirks endearing. I figured he was my boon. The one good thing that destiny was willing to bestow upon me. Possibly to assuage the guilt Fate had to have with creating such a human disaster.
Mark’s eyes crinkled as his smile grew. I loved the way he looked at me, like he adored me to the ends of the earth and back. He made my bad luck… not so bad. “No idea.”
I had no idea either. “Forever,” I said instead, turning around and pulling out the second drawer. Time to grab T-shirts. “That’s how long.” I held up two pieces of clothing. “Long sleeved or short?” Mark’s opinion always mattered to me.
“You’re right.” I twisted and tossed both shirts onto the bed then pulled out more. “We need to be prepared for anything. Who even knows what the temperature will be like?”
“Babe.” He was closer. I could feel him closer.
“I mean, it’s not like we’ll be disembarking from the ship. Not yet, anyway,” I told him, moving on to the next drawer. “Maybe in another couple of years.”
“Adam,” he said again and this time his arms came around me, wrapping me in heat and comfort I knew very well.
But this time, I tried to shake him off. “Mark,” I all but whined. “What are you doing? We have to pack. The final frontier awaits us.”
“Not for six more months,” he finally said, telling me what I already knew.
I stilled in his arms, my shoulders slumping, and huffed. “I know,” I told him in a quiet tone. “But besides you, this is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
“It’s exciting.” Mark squeezed me tighter, his lips skimming the side of my neck. I shivered. Then I wiggled around until I met him face to face. He brushed a kiss over my forehead. “But I think you’re forgetting a very important event.”
I felt my brows scrunch up. Forgetting? What was he talking about? I racked my brain. Then it came to me. My sister. “Ellie! I need to call her. She’s gonna kill me if I don’t tell her before she finds out on the news.”
This time, Mark’s grin was big enough to showcase his straight, white teeth. He still didn’t let me go. “Yes, telling Ellie is important,” he agreed then he turned us and backed us toward the bed. When the back of my knees hit the frame, Mark’s arms finally loosened from around me, but only enough that he was able to shove me until I fell to the mattress. “But she can wait. I think there’s one thing we need to get out of the way first.”
The look in his gray eyes was smoldering and stormy. My breath hitched and my heart raced. “Oh yeah?” I repeated his words from earlier, although mine were significantly more breathy.
“Yeah,” he replied. “We have a celebration to get to.”
My heart tripped over itself as Mark crawled onto the bed. A trip to space was the most exciting thing that had happened to me in a long time, but Mark was the best thing to happen to me in forever. Maybe I was luckier than I gave myself credit for.