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A Name is Just a Name
In walks a young couple, the kind that older people think are cute, you know- with clean smiling faces. The most striking feature about them was that they were dressed all in black. I couldn't understand how the women was wearing classy high heels and not making any noise. I shove the old lady who is standing at my counter her deposit slip as she swivels around to stare at the lady in black with me. Well actually she’s glaring but I’m still staring.
As soon as the couple steps up to my counter the old lady clears out of the bank, leaving the bank nearly deserted.
"Hello, would you like to make a withdrawal or deposit" I asked cheerfully.
An eerie silence crept in to the room, and I began to twiddle my thumbs. The
room seemed to darken, but maybe that was just my imagination, or maybe it was their
dark shirts blocking out the light streaming in through the door and shading me in
Finally, the man said mockingly, "We'd like to make a withdrawal, if you
"No, I don't," I said mimicking his tone, “.... but I need to know your
names." I slid my hands over the cool counter separating me from them.
"Oh, we don't want to make a withdrawal from a bank account, we want
to make a withdrawal from the bank itself,” the women said melodiously.
“Oh ...” I replied shyly. I looked down the barrel of the gun. The gun was
beautiful in a way, but also deadly. Beautifully deadly.
"This couple is playing it rough and tough," I thought. The back of my neck was wet
with sweat, I wiped it away savoring the feeling of that that simple task I'd often taken for
granted, knowing every move could be my last.
As we walked down hallway, I was afraid that my heart would take up strength in itself, and pound against my chest until it broke out. The sunshine was fading behind me and I was rapidly plunging into darkness .I was drifting through all of this action, I needed to do something!
“Almost there” I said slowly while scratching my head.
“We betta’ be” the man growled.
“Calm yourself” the women said.
I made a grunting noise as I covered my mouth with my hand to stop myself from saying anything stupid. For the rest of the journey we were silent, all listening to the clacking down the hall. I yanked the door marked “vault room” open and stepped inside staring back at them. The man let the heavy door cascade into the women’s face. Rubies dripped from her nose, and I was struggling not to laugh at her, so finally my mouth formed a misshapen ‘O’ as she glared at us both. Nothing happened though; she didn’t ask for the gun, she didn’t punish me. I turned on my toes and quickly scurried to the center of the room.
“You okay?” the man asked the women, sounding more gentle.
“Yes,” she said. That one word seemed to set off an explosion as their lips brushed one another and they kissed. It was back to business for them after that single moment. I was thinking it was taking forever to cross the
room when and I heard a sound; the cry of a gun. I checked myself to see if I had been shot and didn’t feel pain because I was in shock.
“Now we both have boo-boo’s.” said the women babying the man. The air stung my face as I whipped around to look at her. There she was leaning over him as if she had just picked a rose. A blood red rose. A pool of blood was leaking from the man like a broken faucet.
“W-why did you to that to him?” I asked worried.
“I dunno, he was slowing us down anyway” she said carelessly. With that we left him there on the cold checkered floor. Finally, we came to another door where all the keys were stored.
“Hey before you kill me, what’s your name” I asked her buying time.
“Emma.” she yawned. Like this wasn’t enough action for her. Really. I took a key for one of the vaults knowing as soon as I opened a vault the alarm would start screaming. I didn’t tell her this, it was my little secret. I pushed the key into the vault marked M16 and turned.
There was an earthquake of noise. I laughed quietly to myself.
“What’s happening!” she asked and for once she looked worried.
“Well…I would guess that…um…the alarm went off? I said dragging my words out.
“Wow. You think.” she said.
“Yes I do think so.” I said.
“Whatever,” Emma blandly said.
She muttered to herself, “so that A didn’t even get that part of his job right....”
“Oh, I forgot here’s the money that was in the vault” I said while handing her a hundred and one dollar, as papers from the drawer scattered on the floor.
“Gee thanks, now I’m rich.” Emma said sarcastically.
“You want more, isn’t that greedy?” I asked.
“I don’t care if it’s greedy or not, I’m a thief, now open another vault.” She said angrily. I hurried over to get another key.
“Are you sure? You’re running out of time and I’m nearly deaf.” I complained.
“Just put the key in.” Emma said. I put the key in and pulled out several thousand dollars.
“That’s more like it” she said, “now I say goodbye to you.” With that she fired one single bullet at me. I ducked it easily; everything seemed to be in slow motion. I lunged at her and struck her in her gun carrying arm. The weapon crashed to the ground, I reached for it first. I stood up.
“You don’t have the guts to pull the trigger!” she screamed.
“Yes I do.” I calmly said.
“Prove it!” she wailed. The two most challenging words I have ever had to answer. I looked at the gun. I looked at her. I aimed at her finger. She stood still. My breathing stopped for one second. I pulled on the trigger. The air rippled. There was nothing and then everything. She screamed as I stared. Her index finger was dead on the floor.
“Y-you did it.” Emma cried.
“Put the money back!” I demanded. She reluctantly put the bills back as if leaving an old friend behind.
“Keep the dollar.” I said. She took one of the bills back out. I looked around the room, it was a mess; papers and blood covered the floor.
“Why did you do this?” I questioned.
“I needed money, I was broke and felt there was no other way to do it.” she said looking ashamed.
“What about your friend here?” I asked pointing to the body on the floor.
“We met one day, started doing stuff’ together, he was always knocking me around.” she sniffed.
“Your finger - you got any bandages for it?” I asked worried.
“No.” she said looking painfully at her finger.
“Use your jacket to absorb your blood.” Then we left the room, Emma leaving behind little droplets of blood. As we walked down the hallway which seemed very old to me now, I wondered how she had made it through life before this. I didn’t ask her though, I thought it too weird. So I merely said what came out of my mouth.
“Do you hate me?” I asked.
“At first, yes, but now I only respect and envy you.” she whispered.
“You don’t even know my name, how can you respect me?” I asked
“A name is a name, I don’t respect a name, I respect a person.” she said matter of factly. I wondered about that for a moment.
“You know that they are going to arrest you, right?” I said.
“I do.” she said.
“Do you care?” I asked.
“Of course, I do!” Emma yelled.
“Then why aren’t you crying or angry at me.” I yelled back.
“I already told you because I respect you. And I messed up.” she said rolling her eyes.
“How’s your finger?” I questioned.
“The bleedings stopped.” Emma said.
“That’s good.” I replied. Then we were at my station, where this all started. The sirens were screaming outside the bank. A man clad in a full police uniform walked in and talked to me about the incident.
“Any last words?” the police officer said to Emma.
“A name is just a name.” Emma said to me. With that a wink and a smile she was stowed into the police car. The engine was started and the sirens faded into the night.