Sweating profusely, Sammie handed the bank teller the note.
The note read.
Keep quiet. I don't want to hurt anybody. Put the money in the bag. You don't have to put all of it. Just some. Enough to get me out of here. Will explain later. Thank you.
He watched the teller on far right counting a wad of bills. The smell of money in the air.
This was a small bank. Simple town. Nothing ever happens here. In fact, he'd never known this bank to have ever been robbed. This was going to be the first time. For him and the bank.
The teller was very pretty. Long blond hair. Wearing a light blue dress. Her skin was beach tanned. The perfume she wore was subtle. Some women its so overpowering it like they took a bath in it.
Sammie had on large sunglasses, nit cap and long winter coat. Everybody knows everybody around here so he had to look as inconspicuous as possible.
His plan was to rob the bank and take off. Forever. After being married for forty years he couldn't take her anymore.
She got on his nerves with her constant nagging.
Screamed at him for leaving a sock on the floor. A dirty dish in the dish drain that wasn't cleaned to her liking. She did this little huffing thing and rolled her eyes when she was upset. Screamed at him for staying out too late. And she always needed help. Couldn't seem to do anything for herself.
He didn't want a lot of money. Just enough to get him out of this small town. He wanted to go to the beach. He always wanted to go to the beach. The mid-west was drab.
He wanted to sip margaritas even though he never tasted one. At seventy-two he thought he deserved to sit on the beach and have a margarita if wanted.
He didn't want to be married to her anymore. Didn't want to say her name. Referring to her as, her, was just fine.
Once upon a time she looked sexy good. That was then.
Now, she was a fat blob with varicose vein legs and pot holes in her thighs.
Yeah. Running away was a great idea.
The teller looked up from the note and smiled. “Sir, I don't think this is a good idea.”
“You have no choice.”
“There's always a choice. Always a better way. I don't think you really want to do this.”
He appreciated that she kept her voice to a whisper so as not to draw attention.
He leaned in closer. Elbows on the counter. “I don't need a lot. Just enough to get me on the plane. Simple as that.”
“I can't just hand the money over to you like that. Why don't you try the convenience store across the street.”
“They don't stock as much in their register as they used to. Besides, somebody got shot there last week. Banks are safer.”
A line of people formed behind him.
“Why do you need this money so bad?”
“You're too young to understand. Are you going to give me some money or what?”
This wasn't going the way he'd expected. Not going well at all. Supposed to be very simple. Hand over a note. They put the money in the bag. He walks out. Simple.
“Why are you giving me a hard time?”
She leans in closer to him. “Sir, you are robbing a bank.”
“I'm not really robbing all of it. I'm not greedy. Just a little. I don't know what the problem is. It's not even you're money. It's the government's. And everybody here is going to get their money back. It's insured.”
“You need to walk away before you get yourself in trouble.”
“I'm not leaving unless you give me some money.”
The manager walks over. He's dressed in a suit. Hair neatly combed and wearing thick glasses. “Is there a problem?”
She shows him the note.
He reads it. “I see.” He smiles at Sammie. “Just wait here, Sir. I'll get you what you need.”
“Please come this way.”
He could see himself now. On a plane out of here. His bags are already packed and in the car. Next stop is the airport.
An officer steps out of the back and approaches Sammie. Of course by then Sammie knew he'd been had.
He takes off running. Because he had bad knees and arthritis in his back he he fell to the floor. The officer cuffed him and escorted him out to the car.
He was put in the holding cell with four other criminals. One was drunk. Another had tattoos of spiders all over his neck and face. One had a twitchy eye. The other looked like he was some sort of mad scientist.
The cell smelled of urine. It made his nose burn.
The floor was wet and sticky.
Four hours later his name was called. He was escorted into the courtroom and stood in front of the judge,
The judge peers at him over his glasses. “Sammie Kupowski. Did I pronounce the correct?”
“Yes your honor.”
“I understand you attempted to rob the Bank of Trust on fifth Ave. Is that correct?”
“May I why somebody your age would attempt to rob a bank?”
“To get away from my wife.”
“I wasn't going to take a lot. I just wanted a little. I would've paid it back. I swear I would. The first chance I got.”
“I believe you.”
“Absolutley. Something tells me, your the type that would actually do that.”
“Oh, I definitely would. Absolutely.”
“But what you did is against the law.”
“I know that, sir.”
The judge takes a deep breath and exhales. “I see you have no prior convictions.”
“No sir. First time.”
“I see that. Honesty, I can't say that I want to send you to prison. I really don't think you wanted to rob this bank at all.”
“Not really, Sir. I didn't have much of a choice though.”
“If your marriage is that bad why didn't you just file for a divorce?”
“Cause she'd take me to the cleaners, Sir. Make things very difficult for me.”
“I figured it would be cheaper if I left.”
The judge leaves to his chambers and returns ten minutes later. “Sammie Kupowski. I'm not going to send you to prison. I could fine you but given your current financial situation that wouldn't work either. So, I'm going to order you and your wife to see marriage counseling and you are hereby place on home detention for five years. Your probation officer will be in contact with you. Case dismissed.”
Now, Sammie thought he'd be better off dead. Killing himself. By way of the Hemingway method. He just had to figure out how to get a gun.