If you have followed my stories for quite a time, you know that my brother John is a proverbial Huckleberry Finn. Adventure and mischief seem to cloak him as comfortably as silt on the bottom of the mighty Mississippi. Who could ever have guessed that as the nation held it's breath waiting for the winner of the Mega Millions to be revealed, a voice from my brother's past would provide an ending to a story.
Deeana was just the type of girl my brother was crazy about; long dark hair and deep brown eyes, a Spanish beauty whose R's rolled attractively. My brother, in his mid-twenties was lean from summers lifeguarding and as dark of skin as she was. She thought he was Spanish as well. An immediate attraction that soon found the pair sharing an apartment together.
For my brother who has the wanderlust heart of a Gypsy, this was a step toward domestication I thought I would never live to see. I was invited with my family to meet Deeana and her large family. We fell in love with them all.
I will forever remember the weekend spent in John and Deeana's beautiful apartment whose walls were hung with my brother's beautiful art. My brother pulled me aside to tell me he planned to ask Deeana to be his wife. I would return to Ohio filled with such joyful expectation for my brother's future. A telephone call with bad news left heartache in it's wake. It seemed Deeana turned down his proposal. It seemed she wanted more. It seemed she had met someone with very deep pockets. A school teacher's salary was just not enough. John would not hear from Deeana for more than a dozen years.
With the Mega Millions payout reaching dizzying heights, John and his lifelong childhood friend Greg purchased two hundred tickets at a 7-Eleven in Maryland. The very store where the winning ticket was purchased. As the news would report, it seemed there was controversy regarding a McDonald's worker who claimed she held the winning ticket. This was not the case. She was not the winner. A call from the past, a voice with rolling R's.
"John! It's Deeana! I heard on the news the unidentified winner of the Mega Millions is a teacher who says he will use his winnings to return to Italy to finish studying art. It's you John, isn't it!!!!"
My brother replied, "Shhhhh! I haven't even told my sister yet. Don't say a word about this to anyone." Deeana quickly asked, "Can we get together to celebrate?" My brother said yes, the next day.
My brother called Deeana the next day before the time they were to meet. "Deeana, the worker at McDonald's isn't the only one who didn't tell the truth. I didn't win the Mega Millions, I'm still a school teacher who is so glad I wasn't worth enough for you to marry all those years ago."