“Don’t do it. It’s not worth it Nathan. Think about your daughter,” said Xavier.

                “That’s exactly who I’m thinking about. We need the money. I’m not going another day worrying about how I’m going to feed Melanie. After this I can lay low and spend time with her. I need to see her smile again,” said Nathan.

                Nathan was parked outside of a bank on Riverside Parkway which was located twenty-eight miles from his house in the slums of the lower south side of Ohio. His eyes were fixated on the front doors that led into the lobby as he watched people walk in and leave. He picked this specific branch because there was no security guard on duty. It was a Tuesday morning. Quiet. Less people to worry about.

                “C’mon Xavier, it’s time,” said Nathan.

                Nathan got out of his vehicle with a black ski mask perched atop his head. He walked the span of the parking lot and pulled down the mask just as he got within view of the front security camera. Nathan walked inside of the bank lobby as he pulled a 9mm handgun from inside his canvas jacket.

                “It’s too late now Nathan,” whispered Xavier.

                “Everyone get on the ground now! Slide all cell phones over to this side of the floor and keep your eyes down. We don’t need any heroes today people. The quicker I’m out of here the quicker we can all go on with our lives,” screamed Nathan as he waved his pistol around. He ran over to the bank tellers and threw a small burlap sack at them.

                “Fill it up quickly and no one gets hurt. No funny business and no ink packs,” said Nathan.

                “You better hope you get away with this Nathan. There’s no one else left to take care of Melanie if you get roped,” said Xavier.

                “Shut up X! try to be a little more positive why don’t you,” said Nathan.

The bank tellers finished filling the burlap sack when the head teller was trying to hand the sack back to Nathan, hand shaking violently.

                “Hey it’s going to be alright, no need to worry. Oh one more thing please. All three of you back there throw your driver’s licenses in the bag. Any problem with the money and I’ll need to make a personal visit. You understand?” said Nathan.

                One by one, the tellers threw their driver license into the burlap sack that was filled with money. One of the tellers broke down crying and slid down the wall unto the floor. Nathan felt regret fill his heart as he looked around, all these people cowering in fear at his feet. As quickly as that thought filled his head it was gone. He pictured Melanie’s eyes instead. He heard her in his thoughts. Daddy I’m hungry. Daddy I’m cold. Nathan fought back the tears and turned to leave the bank.

                “Don’t move!” screamed an older man from the back of the bank. He was crouched behind a desk with his revolver aimed at Nathan. Nathan slowly put his hands in the air, still gripping the money filled burlap sack and handgun and turned around.

                “You got me old man, what are you going to do now?” said Nathan.

                “You’re going to lay down on the floor until the cops get here. You’re out of luck pal,” said the old man.

                “I told you Nathan, this was a bad idea. Now you won’t be able to see Melanie again,” said Xavier.

                Nathan winced at the thought. This is not something he wanted to hear right now. His eyes scanned the room and landed back on the old man holding the revolver aimed at him. He noticed how the ceiling lights danced off the polished barrel of the revolver as it shook within his grasp. The old man was nervous, unsure of what to do next thought Nathan.

                “Okay, okay, you got me. Look I’ll put the gun down,” said Nathan as he slowly opened his grasp on the handgun and let the trigger hole slide on to his pinky finger. He threw the burlap sack on the floor in front of him and motioned that he was going to place his weapon on the ground. Xavier realized what he was going to attempt and started to panic.

                “No, Nathan stop!” said Xavier.

                Nathan ignored Xavier’s pleas and smiled as he dropped the gun from his hand and crouched quickly. He grabbed the gun mid-air as it dropped and unloaded the magazine in the old man’s direction. Gun shots filled the bank air over the screams of the people inside. The old man stumbled backwards and fell into a potted plant that was against a column for decoration. Nathan grabbed the burlap sack and made a run for the front doors. He felt out of breath as he opened the front door and stopped in his tracks. He felt light headed, the world was spinning before him. He took one step forward and collapsed on to the ground. Blood trickled from a single bullet wound in his chest. As he lay there on the cold tile floor right inside the bank lobby he caught his reflection in the glass pane before him.

                “I’m sorry Xavier. I just wanted us to be happy, even if it was for a little while,” said Nathan.

                “It’s okay Nathan, I forgive you,” replied Xavier.


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