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by Frank Shortt
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I am a reformed bank robber. For the last five years I have walked within the law, working a
tekkie job in Silicon Valley. My furthest thought would be to ever rob another bank.
was a friend of my wife, Shannon. She was introduced to me the day I was released from prison and began hounding me to help her with
one last bank job. I am not the brightest light-bulb on the block, so as she hounded me day after day, I began entertaining thoughts
of instant wealth.
Behind Shannon’s back, Juanita flirted with me unmercifully. She had
all the makings of a femme fatale, straight black hair that fell gracefully over her shoulders. Her lips had been enhanced with silicon,
making her seem very desirable. She was of medium build, slender, with curves in the right places. A man would have had to be made
of iron in order to resist her.
“We can go for a weekend to Monterey, she would suggest,
or, maybe we could fly to Las Vegas!”
“Sorry, Juanita, I do not cheat on my wife. After
all, she is your friend.”
This never let up!
On the other hand, my wife was also a beauty. She was five feet, three inches tall, weighing in at about one-hundred twenty. She had
wavy hair, brown eyes, almost almond shaped, and was a whiz at everything she attempted. Shannon was all that a man would ever need
in the way of a woman.
My last bank job was in Gilroy. As I left the bank, a little girl
was shot accidently by the police. If I had not waited around, out of mercy, I would have gotten completely away. The rap of killing
the little girl was placed squarely on my shoulders. The cops were not about to lay claim to killing a child.
I pulled ten hard years for that job. The court system had to agree that the killing was accidental, and I became a model prisoner.
All the while, during my incarceration, I dwelled on the mistake I made on the last robbery. I believed then, and still do, that I
could pull off the perfect heist. Fortunately, for me, I also studied computer networking in the prison library, a friendly guard
helping me with all the difficulties.
Finally, after my release from San Quentin, my whole
plans changed when I met Shannon, my future wife. She knew all the ways to please a man and, thereby, reformed me. We always went
to the best places to eat. Thankfully, she did not indulge in alcohol or any kind of dope. She even got me interested in religion,
something I would have never thought of doing left to my own devices, and vices.
relentless affections, grew stronger and stronger each day, as well as her begging me to help her with the bank job, finally caused
me to relent. We planned how we would do the job, what day we would do it, and how we would escape. We worked according to the plans
I had made while incarcerated.
We were to pull the job on a Tuesday in June. This would
allow all the merchants, flea marketeers, and garage sellers, to bring in all their cash from the weekend. Our plan was faultless
as Juanita had a confederate working in the bank who knew all the operations of the bank.
On Saturday, prior to our agreed upon date of the robbery, I had planned a walk in a gravel pit area of the foothills of San Jose.
I told Shannon, “I need to have a little time to myself, do you mind if I go for a hike?”
“Of course not, she replied, I have several errands to run, and besides, I have been invited by the girls I work with to see an A’s
game this afternoon! Go, and enjoy your time alone.”
I had told Juanita, that if I could
get away, I would take her along with me on the hike.
“Hello, she purred, as she answered
the phone. So you finally got away from Shannon for a while?”
“Uh, yes,” I stammered.
I still could not get used to the idea of being alone with another woman.
“Could we go
to the gravel pit area in Alum Rock Park and hike the perimeter?”
“That would be just ducky,
she replied. Shall I bring along some water and snacks?”
“Sure, I replied without enthusiasm.
We arrived at the gravel pits about ten o’clock and began our climb to the top of the pits.
As we climbed, I began to remember the events of the robbery in Gilroy. There had been a young Hispanic woman leading the little girl
by the hand. A voice deep inside me told me that this woman was that person. I did not know how to approach this.
The voice also told
me that she was setting me up for killing as we robbed the bank. What a sap I was to even entertain the thought of leaving my beautiful
wife for another woman, and worse, agreeing to rob a bank with her.
As we reached the top,
I broached the subject.
“Juanita, are you the mother of the little girl who was killed
in the bank robbery in Gilroy fifteen years ago?”
The paleness of her face told me that
I had hit the nail on the head!
“And also, Juanita, are you not setting me up to be shot
as we rob the bank on Alum Rock Avenue?”
She was totally blown away.
“How did you know this? She asked in her exasperation! Are you psychic?”
“I have never
thought I was, I replied, but things just seem to have a way of coming to me.”
of all of this, she made a full confession.
“Yes, I befriended your wife when I found out
that you were the bank robber in Gilroy! I planned each phase of this relationship very carefully! I truly intended to have you killed
by hook or by crook, and I believed that getting you to agree to help me rob the bank on Alum Rock would be the best way to have you
killed without me having to do it personally. There is only one small hang-up to my plans! I have fallen deeply in love with you and
I cannot live without you.”
“How long have you known that you were in love with me?” I
“It was at the time that you agreed to help me with the bank job!” She confessed.
I had stolen her heart !
Suddenly, I awoke in
a terrible sweat! I was overjoyed that this was all a bad dream. But, somehow, I wish I could dream the dream over and be able to
help Juanita find the happiness she craved, but with someone besides me. I was never a bank robber!