HOW LJ BECAME UNLUCKY
*warning - Adult content*
Ok. This is the story of how LJ became unlucky.
Right from the early days, back when we were kids running around, he was always lucky. That’s how he became “Lucky” Justin. It started from the small things. We wouldn’t do homework, the rest of us would get hit, but somehow he wouldn’t. When we wanted something, and we couldn’t find any, or they were sold out, somehow he’d find some.
Like he’d get away with not having enough money for something, like the guy would say: “it’s cool, don’t stress, pay me the extra later”, but if we didn’t have all the money, he’d just tell us to fuck off.
We’d steal sweets from BK’s. When we did it, he’d catch us, or we’d have to drop them and bolt, something like that, but LJ would do it, he never never got caught. Like the one time the guy’s flip table got stuck, another time BK tripped, that never happened with us, but it always happened with LJ.
And in our neighbourhood, there was a whole lot of things going on, that being lucky really helped.
Like when the cops shot at these guys hitting the atm at the BP, Simon got hit in the arm, but LJ, standing right next to him, didn’t even get blood on him. There was this time when we were going up the stairs to the bar above Cash Crusaders, and this guy coming down slipped and just knocked us all back down the stairs. I broke my arm; a couple of the other guys got cuts, but LJ, nothing.
And there were all these other things, all these other little moments, that happened for years. And he became LJ, Lucky Justin. Old guys would ask him for horse racing tips, lotto numbers, all kinds of shit. He was this guy.
But things changed as we got older. We all got proper jobs, we all began to get all sorted out. Justin hooked up with this girl, Marie, had a couple of kids, and got hooked on meth and all that shit.
And he became more desperate. He always needed cash. He hooked up with this bunch of fuckups, they had this fucked out house down by the park, by the freeway.
And he started riding his luck.
Like instead of hitting a shop and just taking cash from the till, he’d try to take the whole till, so he could get all of it. He started dealing, cutting his stash with all kinds of crap. He’d smash windows of cars at the Pick n Pay, the Checkers down by Rossburgh. He became this really fucked up, dodgy, guy.
And we all tuned him. All of us. We put him in this clinic, paid for it. Allan got him a job. But LJ just ended up stealing some stuff and just bolted.
But he never got caught. He’d do all this crazy shit. Doing shit right in front of the cops, really taking a chance. And it came off. He was Lucky. LJ.
And he’d do crazy shit. Like really bad stuff. Pissed off real hardcore guys, got chased through shopping centres, just again and again, over and over.
After a while we’d basically just given up on him. I let him crash at my place once. Came back, the fucker had stolen my TV, microwave, tried to get the fridge out of the door. And like I’d known the guy since we were kids. And he screwed all of us.
But today, the neighbourhood whatsapp news group’s just put out this message.
He’d grabbed some cigarettes from the shop at the petrol station, he’d made for the road, obviously guys were chasing him, he tried to dodge the one guy, tripped, fell into the road and got knocked by one of the trucks going to the quarry.
Suppose he’s lucky that the truck just took him out on the spot. But that’s it. Just heard it now. Some guy posted pictures on the group.
So that’s it. LJ’s luck finally ran out.
This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events, is purely coincidental.
Nick Miles is a Durban based writer, with a zany and distinctive writing style.
He lives with his partner Sarah and their two dogs, Nandi, Maus and Ginger cat.