Lucky Numbers

Maybe going to the Lucerne Valley Hotel’s bar at lunchtimes was a bad habit, but the food was well-priced and there were comfortable booths. The staff didn’t mind if you slipped off your shoes and sat in a booth cross-legged. That, along with the short walk through the park to get there, provided Sophie with a refreshing break in her day.

There were plenty of booths available, but a short, blue-eyed man with a shaven head scanned half the room, saw her – didn’t bother scanning the rest of the room – and walked towards her booth. “May I join you?” he asked.

Can you resist someone acting like that? She said, “Sure, nice to meet you. I’m Sophie.”

“Hi Sophie. I’m Michael.” His blue eyes were sharp, like dreamy icicles. “I have always been lucky with numbers. What about you?”

“I guess so, but I’m not sure what you mean exactly.”

Michael took a long look out of the window at Mt Alba, which gleamed like a white space pyramid. “I have a good birthdate. I was born on the seventh of July, 1977. If you write it as 7/7/77 and add the digits together, its sum is twenty eight; then add the two and eight to get ten, and the one and zero to make one, which is the supreme number containing all others, and from which all other numbers come.”

Sophie didn’t know what to say, and now it was her turn to look out of the window at Mt Alba.

Michael continued, “That was what gave me a good start in life. I was born to good parents in a happy home. My father was a doctor and my mother a dentist. They ensured I had everything I desired – a good school, great holidays, wonderful birthday parties, and amazing holidays.”

“You seem like a happy person,” said Sophie . “I am glad for you.”

“I was allocated an auspicious candidate number for my exams – 1122334455. The double digits reminded me to check and recheck my answers. That’s why I got A grades in everything.”

“Well done.” Sophie’s soup and sandwich arrived. She asked, “Are you having something?”

“Yes, thanks, I will.” He said to the waiter, “A double burger with the works please, and a chocolate milkshake,” and then continued. “My social security number is 0101010101, and that was very lucky too. It ensured that I always got good jobs, and then spaces between them to rest. I have never looked for a job in my life. They have always come to me when I have needed them.”

Sophie said, “What are you doing now?”

“We’ll come to that. I joined the army for five years. My service number ended in 9413, which means ‘nine die to one live’ in Chinese numerology. Knowing that ensured that I was that one to live every time. It was like an amulet deflecting enemy bullets.”

“Wow, did you…”

“My telephone number of 9876543210 means that every conversation, however frantic, always tones down, winds down and ends peacefully.”

Sophie wished that Michael would give her some peace in which to eat her lunch.

He said, “My lottery numbers were lucky. I won the jackpot.”

Her ears pricked up. He was a nerd, but a rich nerd.

“It’s a shame that your name is Sophie, which adds up to five. That has never been my lucky number.”

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