Once David signs the paperwork as if David is signing his life away, you have to wait a few more minutes while Lindsey gets the cash and the card. Come on. Let’s go, you think to yourself. It is like watching the running back shoot down the field in the last few seconds of a tied football game. You try not to claw out of your skin with anticipation. You don’t want to raise anymore red flags than you have to.
Finally, Lindsey comes back, but she is empty handed. “How would you like your cash Mr. Jacob?” Lindsey asks you.
“Large bills,” you tell her. You can always get change later. Now, you just had to get the hell out of here.
“Okay. I will be right back.” She smiles then walks off.
Why did customer service have to take sooo damn long? You just knew whoever the people were who were setting up had their finger resting on the big red button that was going to turn this whole scenario into a scene you were going to have shoot your way out of.
While they are lolly gagging around as if you have all of the time in the world, you cannot help but pace the lobby. You stare out of the large windows, looking for any sign that there is about to be trouble. You watch the passer-by for any suspicious activity. You were not sure that you would know on sight if anyone was working with the police, but what you did know was that if anyone even looked a little bit dodgy, it was over. You were going to take whatever cash the teller already had ready to go and then leave. You would just have to break into the bank later for the rest.
God, what the hell? What type of person were you turning into? Dodgy people, shoot outs, breaking into the banks? Where you losing your mind? But the worst part about it, the weirdest part, was that you knew exactly how you would go about each and every act if you had to. And you knew you would succeed.
You thought back to the letter in your mail box and the last words from your cousin Joseph’s mouth. “You failed.” What had you been doing in your spare time? Who had you been associating with? You didn’t think that you were into anything sceevy. But hell, after all of this, who knows?
“Here you go, Mr. Jacob,” Lindsey says. She hand you an opaque bag with a few envelopes in it.
Your palms are so sweaty that you almost drop the bag. Your stomach loosens a little bit. That is one small victory. “And the card?” you ask.
“Oh, I’m sorry, sir. We are still working on that. Something is going wrong in the system. So, we have a couple of our techs trying to figure it out.
Ah, shit. Damn it. Not a problem. You kind of already saw this coming. “Okay. Well, I have to go. Can I come back later?”
“Oh, yes, sir. Absolutely. We will call you when it is all ready. “ Lindsey shakes your hand as you bid her goodbye.
As your hands meet, instead of feeling your palm touch skin, your palm touches paper. What the hell is this? You look down at your palm. There is a note written on the outside of the folded paper. “Open outside.” You smile at her. She smiles back, but there is a glint in her eyes as if she knows what is going on. Considering, the turns this morning has taken, you decide not only is that highly likely, but damn if it does not make sense.
Holding in a deep breath, you take the money then walk outside, careful to control your pace so that you don’t fly out of the building like Roadrunner on crack. As you walk out you realize that you made a small miscalculation. How in the great space of hell are you going to get anywhere with this very large, very conspicuous bag?
Deciding that hailing a cab will be safer than taking a bus or subway, you walk to the edge of the sidewalk and stick your arm out. Almost immediately, a white Yellow cab pulls up to the curb. You decide that that happened far too quickly. Sure, there are a lot of cabbies around this area, but it usually takes about 2 minutes before one of them will get the good sense to pick up a charge. If this guy tries anything, you may end up having to drive this cab yourself once you are through beating his ass.
You slide into the back seat. “Where to?” the driver asks in a thick that tells you immediately that he is not from around here.
“You from Jersey?” you ask out of no where.
“Born and raised,” he answers.
On the playground is where I spent most of my days, you think before you are able to stop yourself. You couldn’t help it. Fresh Prince was your favorite show. Stopping yourself from thinking about any particular moments from the 90’s comedy, you tell the driver where to go. “The Westin on fifth,” you order.
Saying nothing, the driver reaches out and pushes a red button to turn on the meter. He pulls out into traffic, not even bothering to look behind him to make sure no one was coming, and then he cuts across all lanes of traffic to that he can make a left at the yellow light that is only a few feet ahead. Your heart lurches a bit and amidst the honking of horns and the screeching tires, you wonder if maybe you should have taken the bus after all.
Welcome to Jamrock pours through the speakers. As the driver raps as if he wrote the song, you look around the cab. The cloth seats are burned. Not surprising being that the thing wreaked of cigarette smoke. You looked at the driver’s tag on his dashboard. Calvin Whistler. Commit to memory. You also commit to memory Calvin’s middle initial, address, and cab number. You never know when you are going to need that information.
You hear police sirens and try to act naturally. You do not want Mr. New Jersey driver getting startled. That could just end up bad for…oh, shit, you say to yourself as you notice something New Jersey. His ass is startled by the sirens. You sigh. This cannot be good. Of all of the cabbies in all the city, did you really have to get the one felon? Why, God, why? Why was this eff with Jacob day?
You sit patiently as the sirens get closer and closer. Calvin twitches in his seat then wipes his forehead. More than once. You look around the cab and decide that if shit goes down, you are going to grab the pliers that are underneath your seat and break out the passenger’s side window. Not for any particular reason, that just happens to be the side you are sitting on.
Then you think, eff that. You are getting the hell out of this cab before anything has a chance to go down. You reach inside of the bag and discretely remove one of the hundred dollar bills from one of the envelopes. At the next stop light you are going to make your move. The police are practically on top of you by the time you come to the next light. You can see the flashing blue and red lights up ahead.
You look at Calvin’s face. Oh no. You know that look. You know that look. “Calvin,” you say to him. “You have to stop. If you try anything, they will catch you.”
Calvin looks at you through the rear view mirror, clearly shocked and wondering if you are a cop out to get him. “What? What do you know about it, man? Are you one of them? Are you a pig?”
“No, I am not a cop,” you tell him, but you leave out the part about you being on the run as well. “Just stay calm and you will be fine. You do not know what they are looking for or who? Alright? So, just relax.”
Calvin’s grip on the steering wheel loosens. You look behind you. The police are coming.
“What do we do, man? I can’t go back to jail. I won’t.”
“It’s alright. Just pull over like everyone else is doing. That’s the law, remember? You pull over for cops and emergency personnel when they have their lights on.”
Calvin swallows as if that is going to be the last time he can do so. “Man, if you are wrong about this,” he says as he pulls a gun from underneath his seat. “You are going first.”
You stare at Calvin, but you do not respond. God, please do not let this get any nastier than it already is. Your heart climbing your throat, you start looking for escape routes. Anything, a sewer, anything, anywhere that get you away from the cops without having to risk too much of your life. You did not want to make a scene. You could not afford to. You look up ahead. The Westin was only a couple of blocks away. If you did have to get out in a hurry, you could take a couple of envelopes and leave the rest of the bag somewhere. But, um, where were you going to leave it? It would be really hard to look normal with a big ass bag hanging off of you, so you can’t just carry it around if you did need to leave.