General Fiction posted February 4, 2023 Chapters:  ...61 62 -63- 64 

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Dana ponders what to do now.

A chapter in the book Some Call It Luck

Some Call It Luck - Chapter 63

by Jim Wile

A brilliant and beautiful but insecure, nerdy young woman befriends a going nowhere older alcoholic caddie. Together, they bring out the best in each other and collaborate on a startling new invention
Recap: Dana Griffin (nee Padgett), who was Abby’s chief tormentor all through grade school, finds herself in Altoona, Pennsylvania. She is a good golfer and joins Kettle Creek Country Club soon after moving there. While practicing one day, she sees a young redheaded girl practicing as well who reminds her of a young Abby. She then reminisces about her relationship with Abby back then and how poorly she had treated her.

Dana is invited to have lunch and play golf with a woman she met on the practice tee. At lunch the next day, who should show up to have lunch and play in the foursome but Abby, who is also a member at Kettle Creek. It’s been 20 years since they’ve seen each other, and although they are cordial, they are also rather cool towards each other. Dana learns from the other ladies in the group how successful Abby is at her job and how good a golfer she is, having won the ladies club championship the previous year.

Dana finds out that the young girl she saw practicing on the range is Abby’s daughter, Claire, who seems to be struggling with the game. She is having trouble learning the golf swing, which leads Abby to the idea of a new invention: a golf suit training aid that will swing for you to give you the proper feel of the swing. She tells Kenny about it, and they decide to invite E.J. and Eddie over for lunch and to bat the idea around. The team is onboard with the idea, and over the next few years the golf suit is created.

Now it’s time to try it out on a guinea pig—Claire. She has terrific results with it, and Dana notices the vast improvement in Claire on the practice tee. She sneaks into the locker room and steals the suit while Claire is in the shower. Abby is irate when Claire tearfully relates that she has lost the suit.

At home Dana puts on the suit and figures out how to use it. Over the next two weeks she practices with it.

The first day of the club championship is over, and Dana is in the lead, two strokes ahead of Abby in second place. On the second day, Abby is paired with Dana. Both play well, but through the 7th hole, Dana has picked up another stroke and is 3 ahead of Abby. She is swinging very well, and Abby has a suspicion about this sudden improvement. She soon realizes that Dana has the suit on, which is cheating. Dana falters at the end and barely ekes out a 1-stroke victory over Abby, but Abby chooses not to say anything just yet. Abby plans to get the suit back from Dana and will confront her that night.

Abby calls Dana and reveals that she invented the suit and wants it back. She goes to Dana’s house and finds it hanging on the door knob. She takes it home, and the family is relieved she got it back.
Dana Griffin
That same evening
August, 2004
Oh, my God! She invented that thing? What can that woman not do?

I thought I would feel better about winning the club championship, but it didn’t bring me much joy—any joy, if I’m honest. And now I find out that I beat her by cheating her with this brilliant aid that she invented!

How can one person be so lucky in life and have it all, the way she does? It’s not fair!

When she called tonight and dropped that bomb on me, I was speechless. I couldn’t deny that I’d pinched that suit. She knew! I felt so miserable then that I just got it, put it in a bag, and hung it on the doorknob. I had hoped that she would just take it and leave, and fortunately, that’s what she did. How can I ever face her again?

All my life, I’ve been jealous of that girl. I hate her, because she makes me realize what a shitty person I am. I’ve teased her unmercifully, gossiped about her and turned other kids against her, made her break her arm, and now cheated her out of winning the club championship. I really am a terrible person, and I’m miserable. I can’t continue to go on like this, but what do I do now?

After two days of brooding and soul-searching, I finally decided what to do. I called her a while ago, and we talked for a couple of hours. I had tried rehearsing what I would say to her by way of an apology, but in the end, I decided to wing it and just talk to her.

It came pouring out of me, and I talked non-stop for 15 minutes before she said anything at all. I bared my soul to her and told her how sorry I was about the way I’d treated her all my life.

When she finally said something, she was gracious and forgiving. I confessed to her that I felt like such a failure, and that I had never done anything in my life that made me feel successful or proud of myself. She tried to deny that by saying she’d heard I had been very successful at selling real estate, but I told her that was only because I had slept with many of my richest clients to ensure the sales.

“Dana, you didn’t!” she said, and then we both started laughing about it. That seemed to break the ice, and we started really talking after that.

I apologized to her again about stealing the suit and robbing her of the victory, and I told her that I plan to go to the club tomorrow and confess what I had done, so that she could be the rightful winner, and then I would resign from the club. She implored me not to do that. She suggested that maybe we could try to start over and pretend that we had just met, and take it from there. I told her I would think it over.

We made arrangements to meet over lunch tomorrow where we can discuss it some more, and we bade each other goodnight.

I have to say that call went much better than expected, and I think I’ll be able to sleep tonight with a great load off my mind.
Abby Payne
Lunchtime the next day
August, 2004
I sat waiting for Dana in the clubhouse dining room where I sipped an Arnold Palmer. She came in shortly, saw me, and came over to sit down.

She looked far better than the last time I saw her—at the end of the club championship when she was a sweaty, agitated mess. Now, she looked pretty, and relaxed, and like an immense weight had been lifted from her shoulders.

We greeted each other, then the waitress came over to take her drink order.

“Abby, I’ve thought a lot about it since yesterday, and I still think I need to fess up to what I did so that you can earn your rightful victory, and then I should resign from the club,” she said to me.

“Dana, I wish you wouldn’t do that. I already earned my rightful victory; I just didn’t get the recognition for it, which doesn’t matter to me very much. If you decide to stay, I know it will be difficult for you to get that trophy at the dinner tonight and see your name on that plaque in the hall, knowing you didn’t earn it, but maybe that will be your penance. I think you have the potential to turn your life around. By what you told me last night, it certainly seems like you want to.”

“It’s so hard for me to relate to your saying that it doesn’t bother you not to get the recognition you earned. My whole life has been about getting recognition for things—whether I earned them or not.” She put her hand on my arm right then and said, “I’ll think about it some more.” Then she sighed and said, “I’ve been so wrong about you for so many years. You really are a good person, and I wish now I had gotten to know you better when we were kids.”

“Me too. I could have used a few more friends.” After a few seconds had passed, I said, “You know, there is one good thing that came out of all this: You sure helped give me further proof that the golf suit works.”

“Well, glad I could be of some help anyway,” she said with a chuckle.

We spent the rest of the lunch just talking, and it was actually quite pleasant. When it was time to say goodbye and we stood up to leave, she noticed something and said to me, “Hey, Abby?”


She then put her finger in a little hole in my sweater that I hadn’t noticed before and said, “I’m not going to have to start calling you ‘Shabby’ again, am I?”

I cracked up at that, and she laughed too.

I don’t really know what she’ll decide about staying or resigning. I think there’s hope that she’ll turn things around in her life, and who knows? We might even become friends one day.

(Final chapter coming tomorrow)

Abby Payne: She is intelligent and beautiful, yet shy and awkward with most people her age, having been picked on quite a lot while growing up. She worked at the snack bar and as a waitress at Brentwood Country Club during the summers where she met both E.J. and Kenny, who is a member at Brentwood and became her boyfriend and eventually her husband.
E.J. Budrowski: 18 years older than Abby, he is an alcoholic with a traumatic past (an abusive father and a mother driven to suicide) who is a caddie at Brentwood CC. One day he finds a dirty old golf ball on the edge of a pond that seems to have unusual powers, for he makes two holes-in-one with it. He and Abby become friends when she encourages him to take up both golf and bridge again after long layoffs. He finally quits drinking and returns to college at age 40 and earns a degree in computer science. Eventually he becomes a professor of computer science.
Dana Griffin (nee Padgett): Grew up with Abby back in Butler. She is a bully and teased Abby unmercifully all the way through school. Coincidentally, 20 years later, she finds herself living in Altoona, where Abby lives, and joins the same country club as Abby.
Kenny Payne: Abby met him briefly at a frat party in her senior year and was intrigued by him, then she sees him again when he walks up to the snack bar several months later. He is a mechanical engineer and is tall, good looking, and an all-around nice guy. After less than a year of courtship, he marries Abby.
Eddie Phillips: A young member at Brentwood known for his extremely good putting and ability to hustle his opponents. Eddie is friends with Abby and beats Kenny in the club championship with a miracle shot. He and Kenny become best friends after that.
Claire Payne: The 12-year-old daughter of Abby and Kenny. Her inability to improve at golf was the inspiration for the invention of the golf suit.
Greg Payne: The 9-year-old son of Abby and Kenny.
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