When Luck Runs Out on an iPhone

By Terveen Gill

It was one of those gaming arcades where the noise and psychedelic lights could induce a seizure. The games were mediocre and the prizes more rubbish than ever. But Bob had promised his wife that he’d chaperone five ten-year-old girls to the place for his daughter’s birthday. Though he could have made some excuse about work and his demonic boss who was a royal pain in every part of Bob’s body. But the man thought otherwise and decided to be the jovial and fun-loving dad.

As soon as the group of six stepped into the arcade and purchased the gaming cards, the girls began running around, shouting, and laughing.

Who would play what first?

How many tickets would they win?

What prizes were they aiming for?

The excited girls couldn’t decide which question was more important, and giggled and pushed each other, trying one game after the other, their squeals confirming the fun they were having.

Bob sat down on a comfortable sofa and took out his phone. It was a battered Nokia that had been breathing its last since the past six months. Bob couldn’t figure out why the lousy thing wouldn’t just die so that he could buy a new one in peace, without any guilt.

Bob, you know we have three kids and each one will be going to college.

His wife had a way of rubbing salt into his financial wounds, highlighting every penny he spent on himself which could have been saved for the family.

Looking up from his phone, a gaming showcase caught Bob’s eye and the brand-new iPhone inside made him take a closer look. It was the newest model and a spectacular color.

‘Why don’t you try to win it?’

One of the girls stood next to Bob handing him her card, encouraging him to give his luck a try.

Bob wanted to refuse but instead asked the girl to get the game started. She swiped the card and offered the man a thumbs-up.

There was a lever that controlled a robotic arm with a tiny disc at its front, and a button that launched it. The goal was to guide the arm towards a black dot that was centered on a white cardboard. If the disc hit the dot, the iPhone would drop into a basket inside a metal drawer that would then open.

Winner takes all.

Bob steadied his hand and held in his breath; he would not let this chance go in vain. Just as he was positioning the disc near the dot, two girls ran by him, a bit too close, one’s shoulder hitting his elbow. His hand jerked the lever, and the arm swerved from its course, hitting the cardboard.

The horror made Bob swear and smack his own forehead. But his eyes saw something that made his heart fill with glee. The iPhone dropped out of sight, and the drawer slid open revealing the electronic beauty.

Bob couldn’t believe his luck. It was too freakish to be true.

The girl shouted and all came to see. They shook Bob’s hand and even took photographs. It was a moment never soon to be repeated.

The man turned the box over and over in his hands. With nervous fingers, he opened the seal and as he began lifting the lid, the bottom portion slipped out, dropping the delicate phone on to the hard floor. It flipped twice before settling with a cracked screen. Horrified by his stupid mistake, Bob cursed himself back to the sofa. He knew his life would be changing forever.

It’s not every day that realization dawns – when luck runs out on an iPhone.

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