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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1729539-The-PIN
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #1729539
Cramp Winner: Steven gets money from the ATM when his friend Dale corrects his grammar.
Steven pulled his car up to the ATM as Dale played with the radio. He wanted to withdraw some money and also check his balance. He was sure his girlfriend was spending a little more than he thought was appropriate.

After inserting his card, he hesitated before punching in his code. Dale was his best friend, but he’d learned long ago that not everyone was trustworthy. A moment later, he punched it in and, after a beep, the machine whirred.

Dale chuckled and said “Nineteen-seventy-seven? How lame!”

“What’re you doing? You just looked at my PIN number?”

Dale’s smile waned. “Uh, no, goofus. I looked at your PIN.”

Steven glanced at the pen he kept in his car. “What about it?”

“You chose it, didn’t you? You’re friggin’ nerdy, Star Wars-position or something, I guess.”

Confused, Steven said, “What’re you talking about? It’s just a pen?” He picked it up. “How is a pen related to Star Wars?”

Dale sighed. “Because that’s the year it came out. I know you know that, dude.”

Steven was more perplexed. He put the pen down, grabbed the money from the machine, and waited for the receipt whose balance would dictate whether or not Sarah had bought those expensive shoes for herself. Or, rather, if he had bought them for her.

“I mean, it’s okay to like the movies and all, but you go overboard with the books and comics and video games. And now I find out your number is the same year that the first movie came out. It’s just… It’s just a lot, man.”

Steven’s eyes bulged. “You did look at my PIN number! You said you looked at my pen!”

“Dude, it’s not ‘PIN number’. It’s just ‘PIN’. Or ‘PI Number’. What you’re saying is ‘Personal Identification Number number’.”

“Oh.” The receipt popped out and he grabbed it without looking at it. Then Steven started driving. After a moment of radio-noise, he said, “Who gives a crap if it’s ‘PIN’ or ‘PIN number’? Only someone like you, I guess.”

“You mean someone who thinks that grammar is important? Is that what you mean?”

“Don’t you mean ‘whom’?”

“What the crap?”

“You said ‘You mean someone who thinks that grammar is important?’ Didn’t you mean to say ‘Someone whom thinks that grammar is important?’”

“No, dude. I meant what I said. ‘Who’.”

“Whatever. I’m pretty sure it’s ‘whom’.”

It’s also ‘PIN’!

“So what? I only said ‘whom’ because you made fun of me saying ‘PIN number’!”

“’Cause it’s not right!”

“So what? Why can’t I say it anyway?”

“’Cause then I’m friends with the guy who says ‘PIN number’ and sounds like a friggin’ douche bag. And I already put up with your stupid text messages that say the letter U and the letter R, rather than ‘you’re’.” Dale sighed. “I guess it’s better than seeing you use ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’ though. That’s friggin’ depressing, man.”

Steven looked at his friend. “What the hell are you talking about? You’re saying the same thing, over and over and over. Why’d you look at my PIN num… my PIN?”

“I was just curious, dude. I know that’s something the bank lets you pick and you picked that number.”

“Yeah? So?”

“So nothing. Here, mine is one, one, two, three.”

Steven paused. “The beginning of the Fibonacci sequence?”

Dale nodded, grinning.

“Dude, that is freakin’ nerdy as hell.”

“And I would’ve kept going if my PIN could be longer.” They both laughed and Dale picked up the pen. “It is a nice pen.”

“Yeah, I love writin’ with it.”

“So did Sarah buy those shoes?”

“Don’t know. Didn’t look at the receipt yet. I was too busy wondering that the hell you were talking about a minute ago.”

“Look now.”

“I’m driving. I’ll check at the red light.”

Dale switched the radio station again as they came to a red light. Steven looked at the receipt. “Nope, she didn’t buy those shoes. The balance is what it should be.”

“Can’t you check that stuff on your phone?”

“Yeah, but I like to have a hard copy too. That’s why I like using ATM machines.” He saw Dale roll his eyes, but his friend didn’t say anything.

Word Count: 703
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