“There’s blood everywhere,” I say, doubling over as Pepsi and warm stomach fluid hit the ground like a blanket slapping the floor. Margo and I had been on a weeklong robbing spree. We started robbing banks to pay off college loans. We’d stayed clear of Mom & Pop shops. We didn’t want to rob from the poor; we wanted to take from the rich. But this so wasn’t like me, and it wasn’t like Margo either. It’s not like we didn’t try it the good honest Christian girl way because we did. It just didn’t work, not for us. We needed cash and fast. I wasn’t going to wait twenty years to pay off my student loans.
“Wait, slow down,” Margo says, gesturing. “What are you talking about? Where’s the blood?”
“There… there’s blood…in the gas station…everywhere—”
“You went to pay?” Margo says.
“—and the clerk is fuckin’ dead as fuck!” I’d never seen a dead body, and this sure wasn’t the way I wanted to see one, not like this, not now. Margo and I were close to paying off our debt, and now this happened. Part of me wanted to get in the car and drive away as if we’d hadn’t seen what we saw, as if we hadn’t been here at all. But it’s not the way I was raised. I was raised to look out for the less fortunate and help those in need of help. I guess that’s why I felt comfortable robbing from the rich. No, of course, Mom wouldn’t be happy to find out her Christian girl turned into a full-blown Marxist, at least that’s what she’d call me. I’d consider myself more of a Robin Hood.
“Have you taken your meds…?” Sure, I took Prozac and other shit, but this had nothing to do with my medication, not this time. And even though Margo blows off my social-emotional issues, they’re real. But they’re not so real that I’d make up a dead fucking body covered in blood. I’d lied about sleeping with men I had no chance with or going out with girls that were too cool for me.
“Just go look for yourself!” I pointed (but didn’t look) in the general direction of the door.
“Better not be a joke. We don’t have time for this shit,” Margo says, sliding her hand down the small of her back for her pistol. No, I wasn’t okay with the Margo carrying a gun, but how else were we supposed to rob a bank? I support gun control. I think criminals like us shouldn’t have access to guns. Yet here I was, using a gun to rob banks.
“See it?” I shout, crotched behind the car. I was a jumpy person by nature and a follower by design. I was the girl in class who would follow the cool girls anywhere, but I was a late bloomer and didn’t grow a pair of tits until my junior year in high school. Guys threw their blue balls at me, but I kept them blue. Here I was, a virgin, a 4.0 student, and a bank robber. I thought everything would be over in a few hours, and now this happened.
“Kinda hard to miss the blood and dead body.” Margo slammed her fists on her hips. “Fucking bitch!”
“Don’t touch anything,” I said. “No fingerprints.”
Margo’s narrow eyes turned to crinkled slits. “How stupid do you think I am?”
“What should we do?” I shout. I knew we couldn’t leave but forcing myself to stay came with the possibility we’d get caught. And girls like me don’t do well in jail. I’m a cute skirt and heels kind of girl. I’d watched plenty of that MSNBC prison show where women prey on cute girls like me. I didn’t know whether that was simply TV or reality. Either way, I didn’t want to find out.
“Um…call the cops,” Margo says as if it were the best idea. Margo had planned on being a nun after college. She went from a callgirl to Catholic. A minister visited our dorm one day, and whatever he said changed her life. She stopped smoking weed and even promised to stay celibate until she married, but even I didn’t believe Margo could make it that long.
“Look, I know that’s the right thing to do, but we haven’t been doing what’s right for a long time,” I say. “Besides, they’ll blame us for this shit. We’ll have to prove we didn’t do this.”
“Relax,” Margo says, scratching the back of her neck. “We’ll just…”
“Leave like we saw nothin’, and we know nothin’!” I couldn’t believe what was coming out of my mouth. This wasn’t like me, or worse yet, maybe it was like me to be callous. The part of me my pastor warned us to stay clear of that sinful man in the mirror. If Mom knew I’d even contemplated leaving, she’d disown me. But I didn’t have time for a class on morality. I just wanted to get the fuck out of here, but I might regret leaving for the rest of my life. I mean, robbing banks was one thing, but leaving the scene of a murder was a little much even for me.
“Do you ever think of anyone other than yourself?” Margo says. For a long time, I had thought about everyone other than myself; that’s why I needed the money, that’s why we were doing this. My stomach knotted up, and my knees weakened.
“Fine,” I say, handing Margo the phone. “Call the cops.” I folded my arms across my chest.
“Damn it.” Margo blew out her lips. “Get in the fuckin’ car.”
“Help!” someone inside the store says.
“He’s not dead,” Margo says as movement from the mutilated body sparks interest.
“Or it’s a fucking ghost.” I held my hands close to my heart, thumping in my chest. Part of me wanted to finish the job and put the poor guy out of his misery. But I didn’t have it in me to kill a man, at least not yet.
“Not funny,” Margo says.
“It’s none of our business.”
“Get in here,” Margo says, waving me inside.
I swooped to kneel. “Sir,” I say, shaking his body, “what happened?”
“Thieves,” he said in a low tone for his baritone tenor.
“It’s too much blood for one person; who else is here?” I ask.
“My wife,” the man says, raising his hand to its full shaky range.
“Take the gun,” she told me.
I held it to my face. “What am I supposed to do with this?”
Margo rolled her eyes. “See someone….pull the fucking trigger.”
I crept the distance to the garage and back. “There’s no one here,” I say, releasing the tension in my stomach.
The man crawled to a sitting position, writhing. “This must have been her idea. I should have known better than to marry a woman half my age.”
“Look, dude. I’m not a counselor. We want to get the fuck out of here.”
“You can’t,” the man said.
“Excuse me? You’re not sayin’ your wife set you up?” I ask, folding my arms across my chest.
“That’s exactly what I’m sayin’. And they’re out there. I know they are. If you leave now, you’re as good as dead.”