The Robbery

I’m not sorry. That’s what I’ll tell the overworked police officer when he shows me the evidence he has on me after this.

I’m not sorry. That’s what I’ll tell the judge when he tries to lock me away for the crime of wanting what’s rightfully mine.

No, I’m not sorry.

I’d like to say I was anxious for what was to come, but my nerves were steely, my hands stone steady inside my black leather gloves. Given the circumstances, you’d believe I was a hardened criminal without a trace of humanity in my body. Maybe the second part of that impression was accurate but I was not a criminal- unless, of course, you count the social rap sheet I sported. In my life I had the audacity of being born poor and healthily melanated. To add insult to injury, I had an extra X chromosome and a human oven between my legs. All injection worthy offenses.

I wasn’t the only one with a hefty record, though. I was part of a team who’d banded together specifically for this night. If one of us was going to commit the perfect crime, she’d need the perfect accomplices.

Red One, who sat in the passenger’s seat reapplying her foundation, was born with parents who were only visitors here. They nearly gave her the chair for that offense. Red Two, polishing her aluminum bat in the back seat, made friends with the wrong people. Johnny and Jack were always there to show her a good time but weren’t too kind to her when she’d resurfaced from her blackouts and found she’d lost her home. To her left was Rookie who liked to dabble in games where she could play with her own team. She hadn’t been caught yet, but soon enough the closet she lived in would get a little too small. She’d be sentenced to life for that one.

No, none of us was sorry.

Can you blame us for pulling up to the curb at 3am, waiting to act on the small window of opportunity? One that we groomed each other to seize? All that was left now was to play the waiting game.

Wait. Start the car and bring it to a low rumble. Low beams on. Wait. Turn on the radio.

That’s not for you…

Turn the dial

Isn’t that a little ambitious…

Turn the dial.

That’s unrealistic…

Turn the dial yet again

You’re not talented enough for that…

Every station plays the same song.

Cut the music.

We had a few stops to make tonight and this was the very last one. We’d run up on our self-doubt, invaded the home of our fears and dumped them in the trunk of our beat up self-esteem issues. We’d dump the car later. It was only extra baggage.

I heard her short breaths behind my neck. Rookie was nervous. This was her first time and like any first-timer, she brought her self doubt along without taking the slugger to his temple like I’d told her. Said she didn’t have the stomach.

Rookie mistake.

Wait. Spot check exit points. Polish aluminum bat. Reapply foundation. Wait.

See, the rookie’s self-doubt didn’t go quietly. From the trunk, it sent muffled whispers in loving insults disguised as “mother”, “lover”, and “friend”. Poor girl was shaking in the back seat, making a habit of wiping her upper lip and brow every few seconds. But she told me she was ready and I wanted to believe her. She’d have to get herself together soon. It was time.

The plan was simple:

Set timer to two minutes. Cut engine. Mask on.

We sauntered our way to the massive double doors. Bats in hand, we were unbothered by robust chains on the handles. If we wanted opportunity, or any resource for that matter, we’d have to fight for it and keep a slow swagger in our steps as we showed up to claim it. One swing for practice and another to break the windows. We were a force as our army blazed the lobby. The faces of our hostages all looked the same, frozen in an expression of collective disgust and offense. Good. Stay mad.

No security or weapon could take us out as we stormed across the marble floors towards the safe. The funny thing about having such a notorious social rap sheet is that it basically makes you bulletproof. We quickened our pace, sprinting full speed towards the steel safe.

Only 45 seconds left on the timer. No more waiting. Black bag in hand.

We filled up the black bag with all it could carry. Rookie finally found her stride, slinging a black bag over her shoulder. Brute force seemed to be the only option against us, but a bat to the face can slow just about anyone down.

30 seconds left.

Make a quick escape out the back door.

Flip the pages and run my hands along the binding. Freedom in a leather hardback.

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