I think it correctly, but I cannot say it right. I mean, I think "rose" and it comes out "wose".
Oh, they make fun of me all right. All my life, I get shit everywhere I go. I'm 25 years old and the advantage is I stand 6'4", weight 225, sandy hair and green eyes. The girls think I am cute, I have a mostly larger than average dick, Shoulders are broad, sculpted abs, tight and small butt, strong muscular legs; the girls swoon until they hear me say, "hewlo, my name is Biwl Lwewlelwen". Sometimes they cackle right there, sometimes they giggle. Sometimes they think I am screwing around with them and try to get me to say it right; to my frustration. My name is Bill Lewellen, but I can't say it right.
So, I don't talk much. When guys push me too far, I push back. More than one young cowboy has found he wasn't able to tell the difference between the horse and the plow after fucking with me.
I have one true friend. Wesley Williams and I have been best friends for years, he's about 45, I think. I think it all started because I didn't mispronounce his name too bad, and he didn't make fun of me when I mispronounced other people's names. Wesley had been a hi-falooting lawyer at one time, but fell into the bottle. There are more guys like that around than you probably even realize.
Wesley and I were hanging around in downtown Denver, begging for change, going through the trash and looking for cans or bottles to sell. I could make enough in 1 day usually to feed myself at least. The rescue shelters usually offered us a bed, but if we didn't get there right at 5 pm, somebody else would generally take our spot and we' be out on the street all night. I didn't mind that when it wasn't too cold or snowy.
I met a girl who was on the run in the Park right off Welton and 23rd. She was cold and hungry, and, when I met her she was crying that day. I couldn't stand to see a girl cry, so I told her where we could get some hot soup and a sandwich, and they might have a warm soft bed for her at the women's' shelter, and that I'd show her how to get there. She never mocked my poor enunciation, just seemed grateful for the kind help.
Said her name was Vickie, said she was from a little town in Northeastern Colorado called Holyoke. She looked to be about 22. She was cute beneath all the rags she wore, the dirt on her unwashed face and her greasy stringy blah-like hair.
She told me her husband of 3 months had stuck a steel shish kabob rod up inside her when he found out she was pregnant and that she was bleeding and sick for days. Apparently she'd healed some, because she hitched a ride from Holyoke to Brush, off to the West and then from Brush she got a ride into Denver. This had all happened 2 months previous to when I met her, and she'd just arrived in Denver the day before I met her. She hadn't eaten very much or bathed at all for quite a while. Her clothes still carried dried blood stains from her horrible assault by the father of her dead baby. That had to be 2 months old. She hadn't changed for 2 months.
She didn't know about any of the services that are available to homeless women, where they are or anything. So, I told her I'd help her find some of them and they could help her from there, if she'd like, and she said she would.
I took Vickie down to the women's rescue mission at 23rd and Lawrence and introduced her. One of the ladies there took her by the arm and said they'd get her a shower and some clean clothes, a hot meal and safe place to sleep for the night. Vickie was real grateful for that. I told her I'd see her as soon as I could, told her that I am Biwl Lwewlelwen.
She never flinched when I spoke, never indicated that my speech impediment was a distraction at all.
One of the things I liked to do when I had an extra two dollars that I didn't need for food; I went to the seven eleven store at 18th and Larimer and bought a Power Ball ticket. I usually could only afford a ticket every couple of weeks, or so. I always played the same numbers every time and the same power ball number.
This week I saw the cash jackpot was nearing 67 million dollars. "'Course then taxes taken out would leave about 43 million." I yawned. Looking at my ticket, "I could make that do if I stretched my budgeting a bit, I bet."
I missed the shelter that night and had to sleep under the 23rd street Bridge. So, in the morning I had a hike to get to my corner to beg for food or money handouts. On the way, I saw my buddy Wesley heading for his corner, too. He asked me if I'd hit the big lotto last night, that "someone from downtown Denver had bought a ticket, the only winning ticket, but hadn't come forward yet."
I said, "Yeah, I bought one, guess I need to check my numbers."
I stood out on the corner of 6th and Broadway all day and only got a total of six dollars. That wasn't hardly enough to get any dinner, much less a little wine for keeping warm with tonight.
I stopped by my seven eleven on the way back to the bridge and asked Rose to check my ticket. When the clerk put my ticket into the machine, everything froze up. Then in a few seconds the machine said, "You are a winner" in a mechanical sounding voice.
I heard it and said, "What'd I get two dollars again Rosie? I could use it after the day I've had."
Rosie, the seven eleven clerk's eyes were huge and her mouth was open as she looked at the paper that the machine had spit out. The phone started to ring and when Rosie answered it, she handed the phone to me, said, "They want to talk to you, Bill."
"To talk to me? How do they know I'm hewe, how do they know me at alw? Who's they?"
"Helwo?" I said into the phone.
A male voice said, "This is the Colorado Lottery Commission. Are you the person who just presented the winning ticket for this week's power ball?"
"I just pwesented a ticket, I don't know yet if it is the winning ticket, Wosie tode me it is a winner."
"What is your name, please?"
"Biwl Lwewlelwen" I said.
"Pardon me, what was that?"
"Biwl Lwewlelwen, I said." I said.
"Well sir, if you'd please wait right there, we have a couple of folks on their way to the store to pick you up and bring you to Lottery headquarters right now."
I hung up and asked Rosie for my ticket back. She handed it to me and told me to "sign it right away and put my social security number on it."
I didn't understand why, "If it is the winning ticket, it is, if not, it ain't. What diffwence does it make?"
But, I did sign it and put my social security number on it.
In about 15 minutes a "Colorado Lottery" SUV pulled up to the seven eleven and three guys and a woman got out, looking for me, I guess.
They asked Rosie and she pointed me out to them.
They came over and asked if I had the winning power ball ticket.
I said, "Wewl, I guess so. That's what I'm tode." I replied.
They asked to see it, so I handed it to the one man.
They all looked at it and checked it against a paper they had on a clipboard. They asked to see my id, and I showed them my Colorado Driver's license, proudly.
They took note that I'd signed the ticket and then, "Mr. Lewellen, we'd like you to accompany us to Lottery Headquarters where we can verify your information and check the ticket for authenticity and if everything is in order, we can issue you a check today. This appears to be the jackpot winning ticket. There will be a news conference and you'll get your picture taken a lot. This will be fun."
I waved good bye to Rose, got in and we went to their Headquarters. They seemed somewhat put off by my smell and raggedy clothes. The woman mentioned that I could clean up at the men's room there in their offices.
"But, I don't have any cween cwothes" I said.
"Oh, ok, well we can step out and get you some. There is a J.C. Penney just a few doors down from our office." The woman said.
They took me to a large bathroom and it actually had a shower and lockers in it. They said that they'd be getting the new clothes while I took a shower. They sure seemed anxious for me to get a shower and take my old clothes. The hot water and soap felt so good. I hadn't had a really nice hot shower in weeks. They even found a razor and some shaving cream for me to use.
"I hope they don't lose my six dollars." I thought. "It's all I got."
I was toweling off, looking at my clean shaven mug in the mirror when they brought in a sack with underwear, socks, shoes dress slacks, pull-over polo type shirt and sports jacket. Wow, I hadn't dressed like that since... , well never.
They apparently were verifying and validifying and all that, so after I got all spiffied up, they led me into a room with a whole lot of bright lights and people in it. I was asked to stand in a certain spot. Pretty soon some guy started talking and then he mentioned my name, 'Bill Lewellen, ' and handed me this huge cardboard check for seventy one million one hundred sixty three thousand nine hundred and twelve dollars.
The final amount had increased due to a buying frenzy the last 8 or 10 hours before the final drawing. I'd get about ½ of that after taxes and such.
"Let's see, how much is half of $71,163,912?" I was thinking.
There were lots of pictures being taken. Some cute lady came up and stuck a microphone in my face and asked me what I'll do with the money, where I bought the ticket, all about my life and what this money would mean to me.
I just said, "I bought the ticket ovu at the seven eweven downtown and Wosey, she tode me it was a winner. Then, they bwought me hewre and cweaned me up and gave me this check. Now, I guess I'wle get an apartment, since I'wve been lwiving on the stweets so wong."
"Do you have a family? Will you give any of this money to your other friends on the streets? What will this mean for you in your life now?" She asked
I looked at her like a jackass looking through a gate, "Lwady, how the fuck shoulwd I know about alw that?" I said on live TV. "Can I go now?" I asked. They led me to a private room with a desk and three people.
"We're sorry for all that Mr. Lewellen. We should have anticipated a little better and either warned you how to answer those questions or warned them to ask more basic and general questions." A lady offered.
She continued, "Where would you like this money deposited? How would you like it?"
Well, I didn't have a bank account, I'd been kicked out of most of their lobbies when they were giving away free Christmas cookies and punch, so I didn't know what to do or where to go.
"Can you just keep it hewe for now, and give me a few dolwars for lwalking awownd money until I can figuwe something out?" I asked.
"Yes, of course Bill. We will help you for a while, but you will need to get something set up so we can deposit the funds or issue you a check pretty soon." The older man said.
"Wewl, lwet me think on it and I'wl get back to you." I replied. "How much can you get me today in cash?"
"We can get you whatever you want, but we don't advise that you carry a lot of money on you." He said.
"Ok, just give me some and I'wle get back to you."
They gave me five hundred dollars and I hopped a bus down to the women's mission to check on Vickie. No need to walk now that I can afford bus fare.
Vickie was tickled to see me and she was all cleaned up, had clean clothes on and had eaten a few meals. She had a sparkle in her eye, and was grateful to me for getting her a place here, and not trying to molest her. She said I looked so handsome and that she could have a guest for dinner, if he was sober and not stoned, and it looked like I would pass the muster. I told her that I'd be glad to stay and eat. I told her she was more beautiful than a spring flower. We both blushed.
During dinner, Vickie told me about her life with her husband. She'd graduated from college at 21, with a degree in accounting. She met her husband in her senior year and they got married after she graduated. Then, she got pregnant right away and he flew into a rage and they were only married three months when she fled here to Denver, still not totally well from his butchery. After dinner I left, promising to look her up again the next day or so. She never mentioned anything about the lottery win, so I assumed she didn't know or didn't know it was me. It was just as well, for now.
When I got back to the Rescue Mission, they had saved me a bed and I had 32 messages from different banks, financial planners, and big wigs like that wanting to talk to me. Also, I had a lot of my friends ask for a little help. I gave them all I had that night. It all went to wine or some cheap booze, I'm sure.
Wesley had a big jug of Muscatel and found me. Of course it is against the rules to bring booze into the mission, so he hid it and came in and found me and asked me to come on out and help him drink it.
"Wesley," I told him, "I'm gonna need a lwawyer. You used to be a lwawyer didn't you?"
"Yip, I did. Still am, in fact. I mean I still have my license, but I don't have any clients." He replied.
"Wewl, I need a lwawyer, will you be my lwawyer, Wesley? I hit the lwottewy and they tewl me I need someone to helwp me figure out alw this lwegal stuff." I said.
"Billy, I'm just a wino. I can't be trusted. I need my booze, you better get someone else." Wesley told me.
"Wesley, would you like helwp with your boozin'? Maybe I coulwd pay to get you dwied out, back on youwr feet. I coulwd be your clwient, your first clwient after you got well?" I suggested.
"Let me think on it Bill" and he left.
I saw Vickie the next morning and told her I'd need to speak to her when she could give me some time. The ladies at the shelter had her cleaning rooms, cooking and working real hard, to help pay her own way.
"Sure, for you Bill, I always have time. You probably helped save my life, no, you did save my life." She hugged me as she told me this.
"Lwets go somewhewre pwivate, 'cause I need to talk." I told her.
"Vickie, I am the fewlwo who hit the lwottewy. I need tax advice and helwp to manage this money. The folwks at the lwottewy tode me that I need a CPA, and a lwawyer. Would you helwp me, Vickie ... I can pay you?"
Vickie blushed when I said that. She is a petite, small girl of five feet tall, blonde locks, tiny breasts with mosquito bite nipples, blue eyes, and maybe ninety or ninety five pounds and as cute as a kitten. She was so pretty at that moment. "Bill, I'd do anything for you. No need to pay me."
I held my hand up, "Vickie, I won over thiwty six milwion dolwars, take home. I can affowrd to pay you. Will you helwp me? Aren't you a CPA?"
"Bill, I don't have my license. I am just an accountant now, I have a few things to complete to get my CPA license, but I'm not that far away. I'll help you, what do you need?" Vickie responded.
"I need someone to speak for me, to help me make the rwight decisions. Evewy one thinks I'm an idiot because of the way I talwk. Wesly said he couldn't helwp because he's a dwunk."
"Bill, I will help you. I need help myself, to dry out. If you can help me dry out, I'll help you with your legal stuff. This may be my one and last chance, I'd better take it, and you sure need help right now, you are in a predicament." It was Wesley and he'd found me after our conversation earlier, thought about it and came over here to the women's shelter looking for me. He'd heard some of Vickie's and my conversation as he was walking up to us.
So, I had my team. We, three; a wisp of a girl, a tired old drunken attorney and me, but a lad of 25, walked into the Lottery office that afternoon, the day after I'd won the lottery, just before closing.
I got my check from the lottery, a one-time payout of thirty six million twenty five thousand seven hundred seventy five dollars ($36,025,775). That included what they withheld for federal and state taxes, but we'd have to file a return and see if we owed more or not. They said that the clothes they bought and the cash they gave me were already deducted from the amount, along with the taxes owed.
I thought Wesley was going to need a drink, he started shaking so bad. But, Vickie was a consummate professional. She took the check, looked at it and said, "Bill keep this safe until we find a bank." She was taking charge, just as I'd asked.