Book 1: One
OK, I knew I had to go to the bank - it was wet and cold and miserable but I
needed money, it was that simple. so, I put on my best coat, the cashmere on
from before when I was famous, kicked over the umbrella and left the building.
Despite the rain I took the long way to the bank, through the park. The leaves
were falling and it was mushy underfoot, like you could think that if you just
stood still in one spot you could sink into the grass and disappear. But, I did
not stop, and did not disappear. I exited the park by the small hole in the
hedge that people used to walk and pee their dogs. Then I turned right and
continued to the bank. Just before I got there I felt someone walking behind me.
I stopped, and the guy (I am pretty sure it was a guy, the way he walked,
build etc.) walked right past me, didn’t even look. I was, at this point, about
2 minutes from the bank. When I went in everything looked normal. The
cleaners had been in the night before and the floors were looking so clean you
could slip on them. Perhaps even skate. Polished stone smiled back at me, for I
was smiling at the stone! There were people sitting down on sofa’s,sofa’s red
and yellow, a few orange ones to match the green of the wall. Horrible. There
were people filling out forms with tiny pens attached to the walls with small
chains. As if people would ever steal such rubbish! Well, maybe they did? There
were also, people standing at tellers getting money. This is why I was here.
I walked up to to a table and started to fill out a withdrawal form. (Money from
the bank, not pills from the doctor, twat!!!) It was then that the first shot
went off. I say first shot because in the next minute he fired three times, and
each time, after the shot, he shouted something. I guess I was startled because
my head came up and looked at the guy. Yes, this time I was sure it was a guy,
unless the girl was very tall and had really wide shoulders and the face of a
guy! He looked terrified, himself. But he was the one holding the gun. I cannot
even begin to imagine what I must have looked like.
He walked over to the tellers ,(was he limping slightly to the right?) threw a
bag over the counter and shouted at a girl to fill it up with cash. The girl did
as she was told. No dying for the rich and famous here ,then. Soon after that
the guy started to walk around the bank customers, telling each one to remove
all jewellery and put it in the bag. When he got to me I just told him
straight. I have nothing. He looked at me and told me to give him my watch. I
said I have no watch. He grabbed my arm and rolled up my sleeve. Not even a
tan-line. No watch. Fuck, he said. Ha! said I!
I looked at him, half-smiled, and said ja, I have no watch, I have no money, and
here you are, going to take what I don’t have for yourself. I laughed,
actually. Actually laughed! Loudly! I said, look buddy, search me if you wish, I
have nothing. Everything I have, well, now, everything I HAD was in that bank,
I came here for money, and you have just taken it!
He looked at me and then something strange happened. He stuck a hand in his bag,
took out a bunch of money and handed it to me. I just looked First at the
money, then at him. After a pause I cocked my head to one side while still
looking up at him. Then I looked down at the money, then back up and him, and
told him, I can’t take that. I shook my head. He asked me why? And stuck the
money in my left pocket. I told him, it is not my money. My hands were going
everywhere. I am, now that I come to think of it, rather surprised that he made
no attempt to stop me! It doesn’t matter, mate, take it! He told me!!
Na, sorry, I cannot, I said. I am sorry. Then, without warning, I grabbed the
bag from him and ran. I just ran and ran. I didn’t think he would shoot me, and
he didn’t. He ran out of the bank with his gun in his hand. His pals, a girl
and another guy from what I could tell, followed him immediately. As for him?
Well, I could see him go in the reflection of the door I was running to. I
stopped, turned, and emptied the bag onto the floor. A calmness came over me, a
stillness , if you will. Come and take your things, but, take no money unless
you know how much you gave him. the rest is going back to the teller, I said. .
Be honest now, we have just been held up once, not again, please, think of the
guy next to you. Fucking hell, I was so calm!
Fuck waiting for the police I thought as I walked out of the bank, with my
withdrawal and an extra £3000 in my pocket and a smile on my face.
The sun was shining as I walked back through the park.