A Job at the Bank


The end of my cigarette burned brighter as I inhaled.  Wisps of smoke came from both ends, and then as I exhaled, the smoke came pouring out my mouth.

“It’s too easy.” He declared as he stared out the window.

I nodded in agreement. “You’re right, it really is pretty easy, just a ‘lil risky.” I exclaimed through my cigarette smoke.  “We need it, well mom needs it, but still what if we got shot?  Mother would die if anything happened to us!”

“Yea, she really would, it won’t happen though.  We only need a few minutes, then we’re gone.” Thomas explained.  He reached into the almost empty pack and grabbed a square.  A match was struck, and his cig was lit.

“Why we even doing this. It’s ridiculous.  You’re in college, and I got a quite good job at Andy’s.  I don’t understand why mother didn’t tell us ’bout her health earlier, we could’ve found some good insurance for her.”  I uttered.

Thomas looked at me, “I know it’s been tough on you Al.” He placed his hand on my shoulder, “but we will get through this, all summer I’ve been working hard too, making sure she got her meds, and after college, I’ll be able to get a high end job, then mom won’t have any troubles.  But she has bills now, and we don’t have anything.”

“I know, I know.  It just ain’t fair on her.  She was a hard working lady, until she got sick.  It just ain’t fair.” I retorted. My head hung low for a second in shame.  Then I brought my eyes up to meet my brother’s, “You’re right Thomas, we gotta do this now.”

We sat in the truck a few more minutes.  The silence built up, but comfortably, like the cushions on mom’s couch. Both of our cigarettes were finished, and as we looked across the street at the bank, a false sense of security fell over us.  Maybe it was the nicotine in our systems, or maybe just the fact that we both knew we had a job to do.  Whatever it was, we knew that robbing the bank was the only thing left to do.  Mother was sick, and even though she could still move around and go down to the general store when needed, she was in pain.

We had all the supplies ready, and it was now or never. We decided it was best if we left the truck a block or so away, so that no one would see the truck’s plate. Everything was ready.  We had the guns, the masks, the gloves, and even some bags to put the cash in.

“Whatever happens, we’re doing it for mom.” I said as we walked out to the truck. “Only for mom, promise me we won’t use this cash for anything except her medical bills.”

“Of course Al, you know I’m only doing this for mom.  If she wasn’t in the picture I would’ve never even considered this.” Thomas clarified.

I nodded in approval as both of the truck doors screeched open.

“Get on the ground, this is a stick up!” I yelled as I raised my right arm allowing my revolver to be shown.  Men and women scrambled in a sudden jump of panic. I let off a warning shot into the ceiling, and a cry rang out in the crowd.  Then, only silence remained.

Thomas had apprehended the middle aged security guard in the front of the bank, and now held his gun to the man’s head.  “Keep your hands on your head, you do so much as inch a finger towards that gun, I’ll create a red stain-glass exposition on the front window.” Thomas ordered as he reached to the mans hip, and pulled out the gun.  The bank was ours, and all eyes were on us.

“Everyone in back’f the counter keep your hands in the air.  Where’s the manager? I said where’s the manager?” I yelled.

“Here, right here,” came the voice of a slender man behind the counter. He wore dress clothes, minus the suit jacket.  “Please calm down sir.” He nervously commanded.

I marched over to the counter to grab the manager.  All of a sudden, from the bundle of people on the floor, an elderly woman stood up.

“Thomas? Al?” The lady questioned.  “Is that you?”

In surprise and horror, Thomas sprinted over to me leaving the security guard unmanned.

“Al, why is mother here? I thought she was going to get groceries this morning!” He whispered in my ear.

“I don’t know, let’s jus’ act like we don’t know her.”

I turned around, “Lady get back on the floor right now.” I ordered, but she started walking towards us.  Without raising my gun to her, I ordered her to get down again, but she remained.

Out of our view, the security guard had leaned down and grabbed his back up pistol from his ankle holster.  He aimed it towards Thomas, and pulled the trigger.

“No, no, why?” I sobbed, it had only been a few seconds, but tears already came streaming down my face.

Mother lay on the floor, surrounded by a pool of blood.

“Mom, mom, can you hear me?” Thomas asked as he cradled our mother in his arms.

Somehow, mother had seen the security guard pull the gun, and in a split second, stepped in front of Thomas.

As her life dwindled, blood came pouring out of her mouth.  It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. It was supposed to be easy.

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