I left the jail and took an uber to Walmart. The detectives gave me an excellent idea to rob a few places and gain Dr. Jane’s respect. Well, I shouldn’t say the detectives told me to do this, but their reasoning for why I would rob a bank was flawless. I’d grown up wanting to be a businessman. I’d wanted to come home to a beautiful wife, who did whatever the hell she wanted—if she wanted to stay home, cool. Suppose she wanted a career, even better. I didn’t want to carry all the weight in the relationship. And with Jenna, I knew I wouldn’t have to. I’d wanted to please her father almost more than I’d wanted to please her. It didn’t matter that she loved me for me. The truth is, I knew she’d leave me if I didn’t make something of myself. This coronavirus has destroyed businesses, and I can’t find a job. I have to get some money and fast. I bought a black mask and a pair of black gloves. What, don’t look at me like that. I don’t have a choice. Besides, what do they say desperate times call for desperate measures? Well, that’s my situation, desperate.
A light snowfall had begun to descend as I passed stoplights and street signs. On the five-minute walk, I thought I’d burst with nerves, but I was unusually calm for what I was about to do. It wasn’t like I’d robbed a bank before. There it is. The bank is within reach. And did I have a getaway car? I’m glad you asked. No! I didn’t think that far ahead. I want to think of myself as a career criminal in training. I sucked in a deep breath and blew out a sharp sigh. I can just slip out in a taxi. Look as normal as possible, right? I batted the idea around for a few minutes until I realized how stupid of an idea that was, so I came up with Plan B. What the fuck was Plan B? I’m still working on it. There’s the answer to all of my problems. Jenna taking me seriously & her father respecting me. In my head, I saw neverending money, flashing one bill after the last. I could buy a home—a home her father couldn’t take credit for financing. I glanced at the clock on my phone. The bank closes in fifteen minutes, so it’s now or never.
So, I left out something rather important. I only needed you to know before I entered the bank, I kind of took a gun a police officer left on the counter. He was taking a piss or porking the secretary in another office. Yes, it was that easy. As a good liberal, I was against the whole gun thing. Ban them! I’d shout at a Second Amendment rally in college. But now, I’m using one to rob a fucking bank. Mom would be so proud. I decided against using the mask. I thought hiding in plain sight was a better idea. I entered the bank with the gun in the small of my back. My heart pounded my chest, and my hands shook. I pretended to write one of those deposit sheets, but instead of writing how much I was to deposit, I wrote for the teller to please hand over as much money as would fit in a small shoulder bag I’d brought. It was one of those bags that hold a laptop and legal papers, but it could be used for a teacher or an office profession. I made my way to the counter and handed the note to the clerk.
“How’s your day going?” I asked. What? Just because I’m robbing the place doesn’t mean I’d lost my manners. I just rearranged my priorities. I’d always gotten the short end of the stick, so why not take the long end and shove it back up fate’s ass? I wasn’t this cruel, and I didn’t usually cuss; well, okay, so I was working on the cussing thing. But I’ve never stolen anything before; it just wasn’t me.
“As fine as could be expected,” the clerk said in a tone that told me she’d been asked the same question one thousand times today. The clerk dropped her gaze to the note. “This isn’t a joke, is it?” She didn’t know whether to smile or yell. “Well then, I’d better get you some money.” The clerk swooped to pull cash from a safe beneath the counter.
My chest tightened, and my shaky fingers turned cold to the touch. I glanced at the loan officer in the corner, who smiled at me, and I returned one. No one seemed to have a clue that this was a robbery.
“I’m afraid not, Ma’am. Now, let’s hurry this along, dear.” According to her nametag, she’s Cindy. For the situation, Cindy was calm — almost too calm — so calm that I got nervous. “Hurry.”
“Do you want me to draw attention, you idiot?” Cindy whispered. She made a good point. The less hurried or panic Cindy acted, the better chance I had to pull this off.
Cindy handed me the back, which I placed back over my shoulder. “Thanks, dear.”
“Between you and me, I think someone should have robbed this place a long time ago. I mean, all this money sitting here and people with no jobs — getting evicted, I almost applaud you. Now, get out of here.”
I was taken aback. I just robbed this fucking place, and this woman understood? Talk about a good day to rob a bank. “Between you am me, I wasn’t going to hurt anyone.”
“Go!” she whispered in a loud motherly tone. I left calmer than I’d arrived. After I rounded the corner, I started jogging until I waved down a taxi. I made it home and dumped the cash on the bed. Fifty thousand dollars, just like that. Wait, if it’s this easy, maybe I’ll rob one or three more banks. I have to make sure I don’t get too greedy, though. I’ll show Jenna and her father that I can make money. Yes, it will require me to stretch the truth, but it’s not like Mr. Jane is exactly who he says he is, either.
Read the full novella.