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It’s not too often that Conway finds himself in situations like these. Normally he can differentiate which person is going to blow up at him and which ones are going to ignore him. This guy was on the phone when he bumped into him and that’s normally a fail-safe. If they’re already busy they have no reason to do anything but ignore you. 

Apparently, this guy was looking for an opportunity to fight. Carson had hardly gotten an apology out before the red-faced guy had two fistfuls of his shirt and has him buried in the wall. Spittle is hanging off the ends of the guy’s weirdly red lips. 

“Watch where you’re going.” Some of that spittle winds up in Conway’s face. 

“Sorry about that, man.” Conway tries to sound apologetic instead of amused. 

He doesn’t even notice as Conway puts the black, leather wallet in his back pocket. Then he holds up both his hands in surrender that all guys like this want. 

“Little coward.” The guy shoves him one last time and heads down the street still chuckling at Conway’s cowardice. 

He runs a hand across the back of his head checking for blood. There might be a bump, but there’s nothing too horrific. 

Once the guy is far enough away he pulls out the wallet and flips through it. There’s enough cash that it could do him some good. A subway card that could have a decent amount of money on it. The credit cards aren’t even worth it anymore. In this age of technology pick pocketer’s are becoming easily traceable. What’s next? Are they going to start tracing the cash’s serial numbers again? 

After the pockets the cash he drops the wallet back onto the street. Somebody might pick it up and be a Good Samaritan. It’ll be a great moment when the guys realize someone found his wallet on the ground amongst all the litter. Conway hopes that they tell him what street it was on. If he’s lucky the guy will even remember the interaction he had on this street. 

Shaking his head trying to get it to stop ringing he heads down to the subway to see how many swipes are left. He gets in with three swipes left. Sometimes swipes don’t always pay off, but this time it worked out. Plus, the moral value of swiping a smile from a jerk’s face is as good as any. 

He gets on the busiest route to sit down. Once a college student sits next to him he tries to maneuver his arm around to rifle through her backpack. She notices the attempt and takes it as a flirty maneuver. Her nose scrunches up and she hauls herself up to find another seat on a crowded bus. A little insulting, but he doesn’t blame her. 

Plus the next two people who sit next to him are an obviously well-dressed businesswoman and an older man speaking German angrily on his cell phone. He always finds it hard to grab college student’s things. These two are much easier targets. No moral dilemma for these two. 

The businesswoman has a side purse on. It’s better than getting your purse snatched, but when it’s hanging right next to him it’s a much easier target. He pulls out his cellphone and pretends to be enthralled by it. She looks away from him and he quickly dives into the purse to pop the snatch off the wallet. She has her cash on display. You can’t blame him for tucking it into his hoodie sleeve. The wallet he leaves since it’s too big to sneak anywhere. 

The German is a little bit harder of a target. His wallet is in the breast pocket of his shirt. Conway can only see it when the man leans forward to say something he’s sure is angry. As if whoever is on the opposite line of the phone can see the angry gesticulations to go along with the voice. 

He waits until the voice announces the next stop on the subway before standing up. As soon as the lurch happens he falls backward into the old guy. Before he even gets up he’s stuttering out apologies and hurrying to right himself. 

Surprisingly he’s nice enough. He stutters out consolations in broken English and aids Conway back to his feet. If he were a better, and definitely richer person, he would feel a lot worse about the whole thing. To make himself feel better he slides his way into the next subway car where he doesn’t have to feel so bad. 

Once the door shuts behind him he shuts that last moment of regret out of his life as well. 

He moves his way to the middle of the subway car where he makes a big production of patting down his pockets and looking around frantically. People in New York pretend to be uninterested, but they are always up for a good show. When he starts making enough distressed noises he gets all the attention he wants. 

“Someone stole my wallet! There’s a thief!” He makes his voice as panicked as possible. 

He looks around hoping that no one takes it upon themselves to be a hero. Sure enough, there are plenty of responses. No one is asking him if everything’s okay, but plenty of people are frantically digging through their own pockets. The guy who checks his back pockets is going to be his next best friend. 

In this day and ago who in the world would put their wallet in their back pocket? A tourist from Idaho most likely. 

Still desperate he climbs through the subway muttering to himself about the corruption of the rich and the greediness of the poor. It’s enough to deter people from talking to him again. But it also makes it easier to grab the wallet from the Idahoan tourist. He’s smart enough to put it in his front pocket. Those are a lot harder. 

When the subway opens he takes his winnings and hops off. He had to have made somewhere around three hundred dollars today. More if he decides to do something with all the driver’s licenses and identities he could mess with. Those are the last resorts. 

First, he pulls at the cash that was supposed to be up to his sleeve. It’s not right by his wrist and when he tries to shake it out nothing comes out. He tries to grab the wallet from his front pocket, but that’s not there either. Panic starts to set in. His cash from the morally virtuous theft was supposed to be in his breast pocket. That along with the subway card are all gone. 

He curses thoroughly and extravagantly to himself. 

“Hey!” A girl no more than twelve years old appears in front of him holding out a handful of wallets and cash. “Amateur.”

His mouth drops open and he tries to call out, but what’s he going to say? That girl stole all that I stole just a couple minutes ago? No, he knows when he’s been bested. He gives her a salute off the forehead and with a childish giggle she melts into the crowd and disappears.

November 29, 2019 23:47

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1 comment

Rima ElBoustani
21:20 Dec 11, 2019

I loved this! A nice sense of humor and I liked that you set the story in the present. Good job!


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