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The door felt like a body-builder’s weight on my hand of glass. I retreated my arm and decided to lean on it with my shoulder. It slowly budged and I felt like a Viking; using only my weight to conquer the barrier. I liked that feeling.

Blowing out of the doorway of Davidson Bank & Trust was an uncharacteristic gust of icy wind, some of the only air under 95 degrees in Phoenix. Foreign plants were scattered around the carpet, a carpet with geometric shapes that reminded me of M.C. Escher. Or some type of lizard.

I had visited this building once a month since I was 32. That’s 504 times. Ten-thousand eighty minutes. Six-hundred thousand, eight-hundred seconds. Like every other one of those days, I stepped over the welcome mat with my left foot and took 28 steps to the counter, landing on my right foot. Each year they became slower, and this year they were sluggish and dragging. It messed up my counting slightly.

“Welcome to Davidson! You look like you’ve been here before, but I’ve never seen you. My name’s Heidi. Isn’t it hot today? Every day I keep thinking it’s the hottest one in history, but then tomorrow rolls around and I’m wrong again!”

I didn’t even look up at the young woman sitting behind the counter before this wave of information hit me. I didn’t know what to say; I never do. I tried to smile as I ruffled through my leather wallet.

Heidi had on bright orange reading glasses that took up most of her face and a white button-down that hadn’t been ironed. Her almost black hair was piled on the top of her head.

“Can I make a withdrawal?” I asked.

“Of course! We have this whole pile of withdrawal slips right here but no one ever uses them. They’ve always got their own.” I took one from the pile and she showed all of her teeth.

“How much would you like to withdrawal, mister… my GOSH I didn’t even ask your name!”

“Andrew,” I mumbled, trying to be as friendly as I could, “and 52,113 dollars, please.”

Heidi stayed quiet for a while, like I knew she would. I waited for the judgmental glance and disbelieving eyes, but they never came.

“Well alright, Andrew! Give me one second here… was that thirteen or fourteen?”

I answered thirteen. On any other day, I would have never done anything out of the ordinary, but today was different.

“I love your name,” I managed to squeeze out. My hands sweated and I wrung my fingers. Heidi was my cat’s name in 4th grade.

Her face beamed as she poured out her thank yous. No one had ever given me this much attention before, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it.

Her hand popped out from under the counter with my money. As my right arm came up to receive it, I realized my hospital bracelet was still attached to my wrist. On it read:

“Andrew O’Riley—Male, 74

Diagnosis—Cerebral brain tumor

Condition—Critical”

Heidi saw it, and I knew she did. She touched my trembling hand and said, “Have a wonderful day, Andrew.” Her hand was warm and caressing.

She rose from her tellers’ chair and went to the back. I saw her purse behind the small counter divider. I took the bills, placed them in the back pocket of the bag, and left.



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