BY NANCY BOYCE
Copyright is held by the author.
BANG, BANG, bang.
It took a while for Kaylyn to wake.
“Honey, did you hear something?” Kaylyn said.
She turned to nudge her husband, but he wasn’t there. She realized the television was on and assumed it was responsible for the noise. She thought her husband must have fallen asleep watching TV. She rolled over and tried to go back to sleep.
Kaylyn loved Friday nights. Taylor would make Ovaltine for her and hot cocoa for himself. They’d sit at the kitchen table and sip and chat. Then she’d go to bed with one of her favourite crime novels while Taylor watched television. It was her way to regenerate after a busy week at work. She always slept like a log on Friday nights.
The banging continued; someone was knocking at the door. Kaylyn threw on her housecoat and slippers and passed through the living room. Her husband wasn’t there either.
He must have gone on one of his Friday night ice cream runs and locked himself out, she thought.
“Is that you honey? Did you forget…?”
Kaylyn opened the apartment door and stared at the two police officers.
“Mrs. Green?” the older officer asked.
“Your husband is at County Hospital. He was shot about an hour ago while using an ATM.”
It had been a roller coaster week. First the news that Taylor had been shot, then the news that he was coming home. Today’s news had been the most shocking of all. Taylor had been arrested for armed robbery. The bank surveillance video showed that Taylor had pulled a gun on a man at the ATM. The man’s quick reflexes soon had the gun in his hand. A struggle ensued and Taylor had been shot. The man ran off and left the gun behind. To make matters worse, the police were linking Taylor to a rash of Friday night ATM robberies. Taylor was the much sought after Friday Night Bandit.
Kaylyn made herself a mug of Ovaltine. It was Friday night and she was more exhausted than normal. As she sipped her Ovaltine, she thought about how much she missed Taylor, but how angry she was with him. How had things come to this? They were managing. Why did he have to steal? She went to bed and tried to lose herself in her latest crime novel. By midnight she was still reading. Why hadn’t she fallen asleep? She never lasted past 10 p.m. on a Friday night.
Kaylyn was not her usual refreshed self that Saturday morning. As she lay in bed, she reviewed everything in her head. She got up and searched his side of the medicine cabinet, but found nothing out of the ordinary. She looked through his night table and then his side of the dresser. She found a bottle of sleeping pills at the back of his sock drawer. Taylor had been adding a little something extra to her Ovaltine. No wonder she slept so soundly on Friday nights.
Taylor sat down across from her and picked up the phone so that they could speak through the glass. He had to hold the phone away from his ear.
“You sonofabitch, you put sleeping pills in my Ovaltine. Why would you do that to me?” Kaylyn didn’t wait for a reply. “I’ll tell you why you did it. You did it so that you could steal and I wouldn’t know. Well, I know now.”
“I did it for us honey,” Taylor said.
“Don’t give me that crap. We’re not rich, but we managed,” she said. “Why did you have to steal?”
“I lost my job,” Taylor said.
“Five months ago.”
“You should have told me,” Kaylyn said. “You shouldn’t keep things from me.”
“I’m sorry,” Taylor said.
“Too little, too late,” Kaylyn said. “You’re such a loser.”
“I’m not a loser,” Taylor said. “I have a plan.”
“Look at you Taylor, how can you say you’re not a loser?” Kaylyn made a big L on her forehead with her hand. She knew it was childish, but it got a smile from the guard standing behind Taylor.
“You have to get me out of here,” Taylor said.
“What do you want me to do, Taylor, break you out of jail?”
“I want you to post my bail,” he said.
“We have,” Kaylyn pulled a receipt out of her pocket, “exactly $324.60 in our bank account. How I am supposed to post bail?”
“I have some money put away for a rainy day,” Taylor said.
“Why didn’t you use it instead of robbing people?”
“I haven’t quite got everything worked out yet. I was afraid to draw attention to myself,” Taylor said. “I’ll transfer money into our joint account if I can get onto the internet here.”
“What’s the point? They have video of you robbing people at those ATMs. You’re going to go to jail anyway,” Kaylyn said.
“I know that, that’s why I need to get out. I thought we could go to Mexico,” Taylor said.
“Mexico? Are you crazy? What makes you think I want to go to Mexico? Isn’t it bad enough that you brought me to Toronto where I don’t know anyone? There’s no way I’m going to Mexico,” Kaylyn said.
“Check the account in a week and post my bail when the money arrives,” Taylor said.
Kaylyn picked up the mail on her way up to the apartment. She sat at the kitchen table and read the mail; final notice, second notice, overdue. Hadn’t Taylor been paying any of their bills?
She heard something at the door. When she opened the door, she saw the superintendent walking away. An eviction notice was posted on her door for everyone to see.
“Wait,” she said. She ran after the super. “How many months are we behind?”
“Three months,” he said without even turning around.
Kaylyn checked the balance of their account at an ATM on the way to work the next morning.
“Holy shit, $30,000,” she said.
When Kaylyn returned home that night, she wrote a cheque for four month’s rent and brought it to the superintendent. Then she wrote cheques for all the other overdue bills.
Kaylyn wasn’t the emailing type, so never bothered with computers outside of work. Taylor, on the other hand, was always working away on his computer. Kaylyn turned on the computer and waited for it to boot up. What have you been up to, Taylor?
Kaylyn spent most of the night looking through Taylor’s files and observing what he had been up to on-line. She downloaded everything she could find onto a memory stick and hid it in her purse.
You are a loser, Taylor, she thought. If you read crime novels like I do, you’d know better than to leave such an obvious trail.
Kaylyn returned from work the next day to find the Superintendent standing in the hall outside of her apartment. The door was open and she could hear men’s voices inside.
“Your cheque’s no good. Get your stuff out tomorrow.” The superintendent handed her a new eviction notice and walked away.
A detective approached her. “We have a search warrant. We have reason to believe that Taylor Green has been hacking on-line accounts and stealing money,” he said. “Taylor tipped the evidence in his direction when he transferred $30,000 into your joint account, which, by the way, is now frozen.”
“Sam, I need your help,” Kaylyn said.
“You sure do, your hair’s a disaster,” her hairdresser said. “Look at those dark roots.”
“Oh Sam, my hair is the least of my worries. I’ve been sleeping at a shelter for the past two weeks,” Kaylyn said. “I was evicted and had nowhere to go.”
“I’ll make some coffee and we can talk,” Sam said.
Kaylyn followed him to the back of his shop. “Sam, do you think I could sleep on the bed back here that your wife uses for esthetic services?”
“Sure Kaylyn,” Sam said. “Is there anything else I can do for you?”
“Taylor has been threatening me. I’m afraid of what he’ll do if he gets out. I want to go somewhere where he can’t find me,” Kaylyn said.
“Do you need money?”
“No, but thanks, Sam. I still have my job, so, I’ll be okay,” Kaylyn said. “I’m not going to leave until I can get a few things organized.”
“Then what do you need from me?”
“Could I borrow a couple of wigs?”
“Sure,” Sam said, “but can we dye those roots first?”
“Maybe later, Sam. There’s one more thing I need to ask you and this one’s a biggy,” Kaylyn said. “Do you know anyone that makes fake passports?”
“I might know someone who knows someone,” Sam said.
Kaylyn, now known as Christine Bellows, loved her new home in Tonga in the South Pacific. She had considered Bermuda, but her money went further here.
It had taken over two months to open all those new accounts as Anna Thompson and then have bank drafts made out to Christine. She used a different library location to transfer money each day from the various on-line accounts that she had hacked. Kaylyn had kept the amounts small, hoping the missing money wouldn’t be noticed or it would take a while to follow her trail. Maybe she’d reinvent herself again and find another South Pacific gem.
She took a sip of her cool drink and settled into a new crime novel.