He looked at the two of them. On the outside, they looked the same. He picked one up and weighed it carefully in his hand. He picked up the other one and closed his eyes, using his body as a balancing scale. They felt equal. He put them down, the black dots on both staring at him like alien eyes against the smooth white surface.
His mother had told him to go to his room and take a chance. Risk a little. He knew that meant go clean his room and be surprised at what treasures could be found in the process, but he wasn’t into chances, which lead him to consider the concept of chances and risk taking, gambling, which led him to the back of the top drawer of his dresser where he stuffed everything and anything that didn’t belong anywhere else from the last time he cleaned his room. And his mother was right. He did find treasures. He found the baseball he and his team mates had signed three years ago and gifted each other for being the worst team in the little league championship. He found the pocket knife his grandfather gave him a few years ago, and another, and another. His grandfather always gave him a small pocket knife of some kind for every holiday, birthday, and just because. Gramps never went anywhere without his, but he’d lost bits of pieces of his memories, so they’d all learned to be surprised at the repeat gift giving of pocketknives, thrilled he could even remember what one was.
He found some old candies, a moldy ham sandwich from a couple months ago when he’d gotten up in the middle of the night when he was hungry. When he bumped his knee on the dresser sneaking back into bed, he’d tossed it in the top dresser drawer and covered himself up and faked sleeping when his dad came in to check. He’d fallen asleep and forgot about the sandwich. Well, that was trash. But it was a treasure, green fuzzy hairs and white spores forming across the meat and into the crust. he gave that a quick look over, recorded the finding for future reference on how not to store food, and tossed it.
At the back, behind shiny silver and white gum wrappers were the two tiny cubes. He brought them out and set them on the top of the dresser like precious cargo, and studied them. These represented chance. Opportunity. Choices. One role, it would be a number that could change a life. Maybe. But they didn’t work alone. You needed them in games to drive the players forward, or back, he realized, depending upon the flip of a wrist and the skitter of the plastic across the cardboard game board. He’d gone with his family to a fundraiser with gambling games. He’d been fascinated with the roulette wheel, a role of the dice combined with chips on a number and a steel ball that bounced across the spinning forces to a matching number, or not, causing more sighs and moans than shouts of success. So they didn’t work alone. He wondered how he should use these to take his own chance.
He picked them up and shook them in his cupped hands and tossed them up into the air, really taking a chance, and a risk. They came down in two places, one turned up 6 on a pair of sweaty sports socks. The other tilted 2 and 4 up on a pile of homework waiting for his attention. Six was higher than 2 and 4, but also a combination of the two numbers, but he decided that a single die over a pair of dice won, and liked those odds better. He picked up the dirty socks and put them in the hamper and ignored the home work.