A few months ago I obtained a great deal of money from items sold that I found in a locker I bought from an auction and it was the biggest single return investment anyone involved has ever seen. Today the travelling costs and a newly obtained lavish lifestyle helped me spend most of it, it takes buying more to make money and I'm just as loud as the rest of the crowd but it seems I get outbid by at least one dollar on every unit I want. The worst was Gerry he had to make sure I didn’t get it, he was my nemesis since the very first auction I came too and even though I loved this place I hated him and it made me almost hate these events. He didn't care if he spent his life’s fortune on outbidding me so sometimes I would use that to my advantage and bid on less profitable units so he ended up getting worthless junk. He just didn’t want me to score a locker like the one I stole from him my first auction and made that money. Back then I was just another face in the crowd so it was easy to get a unit and stay below the radar but not anymore everyone knows me. Gerry has spent thousands trying to outsmart me and make the same kind of profit as my first score so in a way haven't I won? I think so. I woke up in a mood today that I was going to not only upset Gerry but score another valuable unit that would change my life forever. Either I was going to score big or bid the last of my money in hopes to give Gerry one last upset before I was too broke to bid on a single unit. Today was going to be the day in which I played my final hand but it seemed Gerry laid the last cards down on me and things did not go as planned, in fact they went the opposite. When I showed up to the yard I saw the familiar crowd of people and even though I was saying hello, inside I had a bad feeling it would be my last time saying it. When the auctioneer started yelling the rules and declaring the units up for grabs, I didn't see Gerry anywhere and wondered if he was going to show which would have made my last day great but then I heard the rambling of the man himself talking about traffic. The first thing he said to me was that I was going down today because of his secret weapon and patted his pocket, he had that grinchiest grin on his face when he said this and I have had enough experience with him to know that was his money pocket even before he pulled out the half folded stack of cash. It was at least triple what I had so I got a little worried that he really was just going to squash me and my stack into the ground then my legacy in this storage warriors competition will be nothing. All I have to show for it was one really good score from the very beginning and the stories Gerry will tell of not letting me score huge again. I couldn't let him show me up like that so I was going to bet smart today and only bid on profitable units and less on ones he just showed interest in. When we got to the first unit the auctioneer said it had belonged to a school teacher and I saw it had some old desks and chalkboards so I didn't bid on it but neither did Gerry, The second was a coach or football fan because it had a lot of gym equipment and football gear and I tried to bid on it but Gerry was right there and bid a thousand over what I did. The third locker of the day I did want, It had a whole bunch of boxes and bags and in this industry bags and boxes are always good because of the mysteriousness of their contents. I tried to bid but it seemed that again Gerry just wanted to make sure I didn't get it, he was so busy looking at me and gloating he didn't notice a woman behind him bid and when the auctioneer yelled sold he thought it was to him but quickly realized what happened. When we got to the second last unit of the day and I went to look in Gerry had told me he would spend the whole stack just to make sure I didn't get this unit. I knew that bidding on this one was useless thinking I was going to win but I figured he was going to outbid me anyways so I might as well make him a lot for this victory. This unit might not be profitable so I didn't want it but I could see that Gerry did by his huge opening bid so I matched it, we went into a little bidding war back and forth and every time I said a number he went just higher. When almost all of my money was invested he stopped bidding and started laughing, now all of a sudden I am six thousand dollars deep into a unit that looks like it was full of old blankets and sheets. I got a little ticked off but I didn't let it show I just made him think that I wanted it badly but his little Grinch smile drove me insane and I hoped to never see it again. Then he got right in my face and started yelling, the screaming alone made me mad but now I had spit all over my face because this guy drools and spits like a waterfall. He pushed me so I jumped forward and half tackled him backwards. We fought for a bit before the large crowd could pull us off each other and we would have been kicked out right then if it wasn't the last locker of the day, If we agreed to stay separated we could bid on the last unit. He opened the door to the unit and I could see a lot of things that I really wanted like collectables and some gadgets that looked to be worth a fortune and I almost wished I had not bid on the last unit but went fully in on this one. Gerry could see how much I wanted it and kept outbidding me, I went all in and just as the auctioneer said last call Gerry bet one dollar more than I had so I knew I was done for. I hated Gerry and everything he said or did and when I turned around and seen his victory dance I vowed once I cleaned my unit out I would never see his face again. When I opened the door a lot of things happened all at once, I heard a really loud bang from behind me combined with the sound of screaming and when I looked back all I seen was smoke and chaos. I didn't look in my unit I started staggering through the smoke towards what just happened and I could see people rushing around, I was so confused. I recollect that the first thing I saw was someone lying on the ground holding their leg so I knew something serious had just happened, when I saw Jack who was the auctioneer that day he said there must have been some kind of security system on the unit because as soon as he saw Gerry move the first tarp it was just blinding light and a loud bang. Then I saw Gerry and I don't know what happened to me but I rushed over to him and saw him lying there but I couldn't tell whether he was alive or dead but I tried to help. When all the chaos started to subside and the injured were being taken to the hospital that's when I looked in the unit and there was nothing left but a big pile of rubble and I wondered what would have happened if I had won that unit? It was an unsettling thought but one I couldn’t stop thinking about so I really wanted to make sure Gerry was alright because when something like this happens to anyone enemy or friend it may change how you feel about things. When I got to the hospital I found out that Gerry had passed away at the storage building almost after the explosion and my heart sunk because I hated the guy but I didn't ever want something like this to happen to him and I thought in some way he had saved my life that day just by being a jerk, It hadn't been until the next storage auction when I was bidding on a unit that I fully felt like Gerry was gone and it hit me. I didn't even feel like bidding half the time because every time I would no one would be there telling me that I was going down and I had no real competition so it was too boring to me. I had never understood what Gerry meant to me bidding out here and it was never the same again, I thought I hated Gerry and even thought I loved auctioning on units but I think I loved coming to compete against Gerry more than obtain units. I didn't bid on a single unit after I won the first and it wasn't because of the quality but I think I wanted to argue with Gerry. I didn’t even stay half way through the auction and when I was about to leave I said I’d never come again and Jack reminded me of the unit I bought the other day and usually I'd have to empty it by the end of the day but because of the other days seriousness he locked it back up for me. I didn't want to even check the unit but because I was actually responsible to clean it out and the fact that I spent thousands on it I thought I might as well have checked it out. The unit was full of junk and with every piece I threw out Gerry was laughing at me and usually that would annoy me but today it actually kind of made me feel better because if it wasn't for this unit I probably wouldn't be alive today. There ended up being a couple pairs of shoes and an old book I could sell but I didn't make even five percent of my investment but it didn't matter because I was alive today and in a way it was because of Gerry so I said thanks to him as I continued to empty the last part of the unit into the bin, I thought I was done but there was a last little blanket in the corner and it had something inside. Today that object is the most important thing in my life and it sits on the wall of my house next to my lucky hat and a picture of Gerry, I look at it every day as a reminder, it was a painting or a picture and it showed four squares side by side with two figures standing in all of them, you couldn't tell whether they were male or female they were more like shadows. They were standing side by side looking up at a wall above them as if standing in a hole. The picture in the second square showed one of the shadows holding the others foot and helping him climb the wall, then the third picture shows the same shadow reaching down and grabbing the hand of the other and lifting him up. The last picture showed the same two figures standing on top of the wall and it had the caption "When a mutual hardship is presented it can force friends emerge from enemies" this sentence hit me hard because a few days ago I was more than happy to get rid of my enemy but now that it has happened I feel as if I lost a friend and I never went to another auction and when I first purchased that junk locker I paid thousands and only kept a painting that you can find sold at second hand store for a couple dollars and to me it is worth every penny because it reminds me how lucky I am and I thank Gerry every day for the sacrifice he made whether he wanted to or not I am alive today because of his actions and he lived as my enemy but died my best friend.
© Copyright 2016 Andrew Aitken. All rights reserved.
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