Luck of a Penny

Luck of a Penny

By Anonymous

It’s lunchtime on February 2, 2014, and they’ve run out of rice in the fifth line. Disappointed once again for being in D lunch, I moodily go back to my seat. After eating the “meal”, I still feel unsatisfied. I’m easily cheered when I remember my loose pocket change. Jumping from my seat I’m about to head for the vending machine, when I notice a lone penny where previously my butt had rested. Excitedly I pick it up; however I’m disappointed when I realize it’s tails side up. I lay it on the table, but this time heads up so that the next person to find it can get the luck of a penny.

Practically skipping to the vending machine, my mind is set on food. After scanning the items critically, I decide on number 131: cookies. The cost was $1.25, but I had only quarters and dimes. So I put in four quarters and three dimes expecting a nickel in change. Expecting.

I watched as the twirling medal slowly loosened its grip on my dessert. It’s halfway there when it stops. Barely holding on, the metal is relentless as it claims my cookies. Faintly I hear my change rattling down the machine, but I don’t go to get it. My eyes are glued to the cookies waiting as they slightly sway, fighting for release. But they don’t win. Dejectedly I accept my fate of lost cookies. However, when I turn around I see a man. He’s bulky with strong muscles and a tall build. My heart soars.

edited cookies length waysQuickly I approach him. “Excuse me sir,” I say timidly. He’s a bit intimidating-looking with his giant form next to my near midget size. He looks down at me in acknowledgement.

“Well,” I continue, “I just put money in the vending machine but my cookies aren’t coming out.” I lead him to the criminal and he inspects it for a moment. He looks at me and says, “Don’t do this.” He then takes both of his massive hands and grips the machine on both side, and shakes. He shakes it so hard and fast, I’m left wide-eyed watching the phenomenon as not only do my cookies fall, but so do the ones behind it.

He stops and walks away. I reach in and grasp the two bags. Still wide-eyed I look back and forth from the bags to the machine. At first I’m immediately overjoyed with the idea of two-for-one, but then turn guilty. My eyes shift to the helpful man. Eyes slightly falling I call to him.

“Excuse me sir, the machine gave me two.” He looks back at me with a raised eyebrow.

“Do you want it?” he asks. My eyes widen.

“Yes,” I reply bashfully.

“Then keep it.”

I look at him a moment more, than smile widely. I take the two bags of cookies and start to head back to the cafeteria. But then I’m reminded of my change. Quickly I head back. However, when I take my hand out of the slot, I’m not holding just a nickel. In my hand is a nickel, and five quarters.

That day the vending machine gave me two bags of cookies and an extra 30 cents. My luck, which had originally been unlucky, had unexpectedly given me a welcoming surprise. When I got back to my table I saw the penny that I previously found tails up. I, like the penny, had turned from unlucky to lucky; we only needed another person’s help to get the luck of a penny.