I wasn’t born a bad person. Never did anything against the law. Not even a parking ticket stood against me. But now, somehow, I was a wanted woman.
Yesterday started off as a half-average day: I pressed ‘snooze’ on my alarm three times and burnt my toast. To hide the burnt taste I put peanut butter on it. The peanut butter was sticking to my mouth while I dressed and rushed out to the bank. I was nearly late for work. All day I kept twiddling my thumbs, putting on my fake smile that I have worked hours to perfect for the few customers that braved the windy weather. Slowly, dirt and grime collected on my hands with the constant exchange of money. I knew there would be a race to the sink once the shift was over.
My shift ended earlier than expected when two men came to my till. I was looking at the computer screen so I didn’t realize them until my eyes stung from the rich cologne. My head tilted up to the counter where he slid a rough piece of paper underneath the glass towards me. The scribbling was messy and hard to read, but I could get out of it that they were robbing the bank. My chest suddenly became tight and airways thin. My eyes wandered up to the faces of the men. I slightly recognized one. He was clean-shaved with high cheekbones just like me, yet covered in dirt. His hair was sticking up sideways from the wind outside. The other man was wearing sunglasses. I had never set eyes on him before.
“Please, Amelia.” The first voice begged. I recognized the voice. It was from a distant past. Five years ago. The last time we had spoken we had fought. “I’m sorry to do this to you.” He opened his jacket enough to reveal the handle of a pistol.
“Blake,” my voice quivered; I continued looking at him. “I can’t.”
“For me, Amy.” There it was. The nickname that he used. The tone. For some reason I had to listen to it every time. Slowly I opened the drawers of the till. My fingers trembled as I fingered the hundred-dollar bills in the drawer. “Hand them over.” His voice was became impatient. “And count them.”
I nodded. My mouth dry, I took out the stack of bills. “One… two…” I carefully placed them in my brother’s hand as I counted. When I got to ten his dirty, calloused hand pulled away.
“Enough.” He pocketed the money. I saw something else in his pocket, but I wasn’t sure what. “Tell your boss you need a break.”
“My break is in ten.”
“Tell him, Amy.” There it was. That sweet, loving tone of his again. It was sickly.
I nodded, got up from my seat and stretched my legs. It felt good. My supervisor was on the other side of the bank. I had two options: either tell her about my brother or leave without a word. My heart pounding against my chest, I walked up to her.
“Can I take a bathroom break?”
“Two minutes.” She didn’t look up from her desk.
Relieved, I nodded and went towards the washroom. Blake met me there. His eyes were deadly as he handed me a gun. “Shoot her.”
“What?!” I tried not to take it, but the harsh metal somehow slipped into my grip. I panicked. Never had I held a gun. Guns weren’t my area: they were Blake’s’. The feeling was foreign against my small hands.
“Shoot her,” Blake sneered. “Shoot everyone here. Then come with us.”
“Blake, no.” I looked him in the eye and shoved the gun into his large chest.
“Your funeral,” Blake sneered. “ROBBER! SOMEONE IS STEALING FROM THE BANK!!!” He yelled, shoved the gun back in my hands, and ran for cover under a nearby counter as if I was about to shoot him. Everyone in the bank screamed. I followed my first instinct and ran.