Hello. I’m Mallory Green—an ironic last name once you learn my story. I grew up in the foster system, so I’ve had a laundry list of surnames in my relatively short life. Then I got married (a colossal mistake) and acquired yet another name I’m currently trying to rid myself of.
Green is supposed to be lucky—four-leaf clovers, the luck of the Irish… the literal color of money and prosperity. But you couldn’t prove it by me. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t pinching pennies and dreading opening my mailbox full of overdue bills. I’m in debt up to my unplucked eyebrows over a college education I couldn’t finish, a multi-level marketing business my ex convinced me was a good idea, a lemon car that hasn’t run since a month after I drove it off the lot, and vet bills for my inherited French bulldog Nessie, among other things.
As a result of my accumulated poor financial decisions, I’m working round the clock: during the week, I’m a receptionist at a soulless office building, on the weekends I waitress, and most nights I pull the late shift at the GiddyUp GoMart.
To-date I’ve been unlucky in life, in love, and in fortune.
But that all changed the day my numbers came up—literally.
Can money buy happiness? Friend, I’m SO ready to find out!
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I smiled into the phone. “Hello, Detective. This is Mallory Green. You were kind enough to come to my house at Lake Lanier when I had a trespasser. You left a message to call you?”
“Hello, Ms. Green. I’m just following up. The company that services your security system sent me a still of the man who was on your property, but so far, we haven’t had a hit on our facial recognition search. At least you know he’s not a violent felon.”
I sighed. “That’s good… I suppose.”
“And for good measure I contacted your husband’s divorce attorney. He swears they didn’t hire anyone to tail you.”
“I didn’t think so, but thank you for checking.”
“Have you seen the man again?”
“I—” I thought of the maybe-glimpses and almost-there’s and realized I had nothing concrete to add. “No.”
“Okay, well, let’s hope he was just some random guy who wanted to talk to Lottery Girl, and now that he’s been spooked, you won’t see him again.”
“Yes. Thank you, Detective.”
When I hung up, I imagined the big man closing the folder on my case and filing it away. I realized I should probably do the same. ~
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