"Fuck me." I sighed as I looked at it. It was gross. I made the box in ninth grade woodshop. The lid was on crooked, the pieces were cut uneven and excess glue had seeped down the sides. I know I was thirteen when I made this thing, but God I hated it. The only high point of the box was the lightning bolt that Danica had burnt in the top. She was really good with that burning needle. Unfortunately the bolt was no longer visible as I had set the box on fire when I was sixteen. I hated my dad and everything in this box, but somehow I couldn't get rid of it.. As I lifted open the lid I saw all my old trophies. My first lifted wallet, my first hundred dollar bill, the key to a '70 Sunbird, and lastly, a Swiss army knife.
"Forty four dollars." As I flipped open the wallet I was greeted by a twenty, two seriously crumpled tens and four loonies in the little change flap. As I traded the wallet for the hundo I remembered the guy I stole it from. An older guy, receding hairline and mostly bald. He had just cashed a paycheck and I lifted it before he was ten feet from the bank doors. I picked the key and the knife up together. I laughed a little because this story very accurately described my luck as a thief. For my thirteenth birthday my uncle Raymond gave me the knife and challenged me to bring home the new red car at the end of the block. It took me almost twenty minutes to just open the door and then after I spent about an hour and fucked the steering column to hell. I found a spare key under the seat. I tossed the stuff back in the box, slammed it closed and threw it on the shelf. Sitting on my bed, I sighed hard. I did not want to go back to this life. Just remembering my dad was hard enough, but every time I tied to say no, remembered that heat. I remembered being paralysed, wanting to cry, wanting to die, anything to make it stop. Before I knew it. I was walking up the stairs and out the door.
"Picking it is then. But I'm doing it my way." Getting downtown by foot took me about an hour, that was a good thing though because I needed to clear my head. Music worked this time. According to my phone it was quarter to five as I approached one of the big event centres in the city. Something had just wrapped up inside as a couple hundred people started to flock to the sidewalk. This was a pickpockets dream. A crowded walk and everyone was wearing jackets.
As I started it was like......like I'd been holding my breath for the last five years. I was breathing new air, but I still knew exactly what I was doing. As I deked and sidestepped the widening group of people I made three seamless grabs. Two were as thick as my hand, the third however felt brand new and unused. I broke rule number one when I ducked into the mall and ran to the washroom to check my take. The first of the thick wallets was a jackpot, four hundred dollars and change with nothing bigger than a twenty.
"Beautiful," I heard my uncle Ray's voice. The second was a letdown. Something I didn't even consider, cards. Nothing but cards. Credit cards, membership cards, discount cards, frequent flyer.....this was the worst kind of person. As I opened the thin wallet I had no clue what to expect, but I didn't expect nothing. No cards, no I.D no nothing. Then I saw something small and white tucked into the billfold. It was a cheque. Five thousand two hundred and forty five dollars. My eyes darted to the bottom and my jaw dropped. It was signed. I held the easiest five grand I had ever seen in my hand, I don't know why I looked at the recipient line. Louise Carlyle School.
"Shit." I realized I was stealing from a school. This was probably to pay for...ok I didn't know what a school need a five thousand dollar donation for, but fuck I couldn't use this.
"Even a thief can have morals." It was my uncle's voice again. I pocketed the other two wallets, ditched my hoodie and sprinted hard. I remembered the mark perfectly. Male, grey shirt, navy blazer and matching pants. I saw him a ways out in front of me. I caught up quick and tapped on his shoulder. He whipped around and demanded to know who I was. Out of breath I just handed him the wallet. Realizing what it was he frantically flipped it open and searched the billfold. He sighed with relief when he saw the cheque.
"Some one....tried to....take it." I panted.
"Thank you so much!" There was a tear in his eye as he hugged me.
"You really shouldn't pre-sign cheques dude." I regretted saying it as he gave me and accusing look. "Hey, when you see a pickpocket drop a wallet you get curious.
"I suppose." As he pocketed the wallet in his pants pocket this time, he pulled out a twenty. "Here kid."
"I can't." I'm not sure why I declined. Wasn't taking money why I was out here?
"Please, You just saved a second grade class's field trip.
"Dude, I brought back a pre-signed five thousand dollar cheque, why would I know take your twenty?'
"Because I wont let you say no." And with that he shoved the bill into my pocket.
"Ok, that was weird. Ummm have a good one." I turned around and started to walk away.
"I will now kid! Thanks again!"
About half an hour later afer grabbing my hoodie again, I made another easy lift off of some guy who dropped a couple loonies in a street performer's guitar case. There was a little over ninety bucks in the wallet so went back and dropped the performer a five. He was doing a pretty cool rendition of "Hey There Delilah."
"Looking at my overall take of just over five hundred dollars I wondered in Kevin would be pissed at the all cards wallet. I debated whether or not I should divvy the money up but decided against it. If he asked if these had been salted I didn't want to have to use my dad's lying tricks. Anything to avoid that burning again. "Oh fuck." I realized Kevin would most likely burn anyone who didn't meet their quota, and I'm the only one capable of making it. "Fuck me."