Authors: Jamie Campbell
Tags: #romance, #relationships, #short stories, #love story, #girlfriend, #boyfriend
Also by the
Ashes to Ashes
Copyright 2013 Jamie
Jamie Campbell asserts the
moral right to be identified as the author of this work.
This novel is entirely a
work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in
it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to
actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely
All rights reserved. No
part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior
permission of the author.
’ve never been a good
judge of character. I always thought I was, but in reality I was
fooling myself. I dated losers, I got terrible jobs, and I brought
way too many things from late night infomercials. Good decisions
were not my forte.
On reflection, I think I knew when it was time
to break up with my latest boyfriend. He definitely wasn’t a good
decision. He cost me a lot more than my dignity…
I need to go to the bank,” Ryan
grumbled as we lay in bed. I watched as he pulled on some clothes
from the floor and zipped his pants.
The last thing I wanted to do was leave the
comfortable bed. Especially when I’d been working half the night.
“I’ll see you when you get back.”
No, you need to come with
Will you just do it? You always
have to argue,” he looked at me with that cute exasperated look he
always managed to pull off. It was difficult to refuse.
Why don’t you just come back to
Because we need to get
Fine,” I sighed. My clothes came
from the closet, at least I still had some pride yet to
We took the drive to the bank and circled the
block until Ryan found the ideal car park. He insisted he didn’t
want to walk far and ended up parking in the disabled spot. I knew
my protests would fall on deaf ears. Perhaps that was his
disability – selective deafness.
Inside the bank, there was a long queue for
the tellers. I waited with Ryan as he completed the slip. He seemed
to be taking a long time, which should have been my first clue that
something wasn’t right.
Here, take this,” Ryan said as he
shoved something into my hands. I didn’t even think as I accepted
the object. It was heavy and cold. I looked down and saw I was
holding a gun.
What the hell, Ryan?” I tried to
hide it underneath my jacket so nobody would see. Instantly, it
felt like every eye in the place was staring directly at
We’re robbing this place,” he
answered, twitching nervously. I didn’t get a chance to respond
before he stomped into the middle of the bank and fired his gun
into the ceiling. “This is a hold up. Everybody on the
I was speechless as everyone around me
instantly dropped to the floor in terror. I was stuck in place, I
couldn’t move. I think my brain was shutting down with the sheer
shock of it all. The only thought running through my head was that
I really should have broken up with Ryan earlier. That was the
moment I knew I had made a vastly incorrect judgment of
He waved his gun at the tellers in turn,
giving them orders to put money into bags and hand them across. He
looked at me. “What are you doing? Don’t just stand there, help
Was he seriously going off at me for not
rob a bank
Seriously? “I’m not doing this. We need to get out of here. This is
We need the money.”
Not this bad. What were you
I’m thinking I need to get back
to robbing this bank.”
We need to go.”
He rolled his eyes and got back to business.
The gun was starting to get heavy in my hands. I let my arms fall
to my side which caused a burst of screams from those around me. I
looked around, they were all staring at the semi-automatic in my
Sorry,” I muttered,
wondering if that was the appropriate apology for terrifying people
half to death. Perhaps I should have said I was
I didn’t have long to think before a
megaphone-enhanced voice filtered through. “Police! Nobody
I turned around to face the entrance, a line
of a dozen cops were standing there. All their guns were pointed
directly at me. I quickly looked around for Ryan. He was nowhere to
be seen. Great.
Put your gun on the floor and get
your hands up,” the cop yelled at me. I don’t know why he was
yelling, I was only standing there – minding my own
I did as I was told, fearing I might have
twelve bullets pumped through my chest unless I hurried. I placed
the gun on the floor, my left hand already in the air. I did the
same with my right hand and waited.
You are under arrest for armed
robbery. You do not have to say anything…” I stopped listening
after he said ‘armed robbery’.
A mere two seconds passed before I was
handcuffed and yelled at to stay still. I don’t know what they
expected, it wasn’t like I was going to run off with my hands
cuffed together. It wasn’t like I could drive that way. If Ryan
didn’t have the car keys, anyway.
I didn’t do anything,” I
protested as they frog marched me to their patrol car.
What was the gun for then?” The
cop scowled. “Fashion accessory?”
If my hands were free, I would have punched
him for the sarcastic comment. Perhaps it was a good idea after all
to have cuffed me.
I looked around for Ryan, wanting to hurt him
even more than the cop. If he got away, I was going to hunt him
down and skin him alive for leaving me there. We’d been together
for almost a year, you would have thought he would have at least
let me in on the plan. A simple ‘hey honey, I’m going to rob a
bank. You want to come?’ would have been nice.
A hundred people with cell phone cameras were
waiting outside. Each one recording footage of me being shoved into
the police car. I was going to make the news, perhaps even be a
breaking news story. I was going to be famous. How wonderfully
More media were waiting at the police station.
My chauffeur made no attempt to shield me from any of it. I think
he took great personal satisfaction in my humiliation. Man of the
year, right there.
Inside, it was quieter. But it wasn’t going to
stay that way for long. “Ryan! You idiot!” I yelled across the
foyer. There was my man, cuffed and being escorted in by another
cop. At least he wasn’t successful in his abandonment of
Tessa, don’t say anything,” Ryan
yelled back. He was angry, poor dear.
How could you be so stupid? You
are such a freakin’ loser.”
And you’re a ray of sunshine? You
got us caught.”
The cop was trying to get me to move with him
through a door. But I wasn’t going until I’d said my piece. “Are
you kidding me? I’m the one to blame here? You better make this
right or I swear I will kill you.”
You’ll have to beat me to it, you
bit-” he didn’t get to finish before his handler pushed him through
I let the cop lead me to my cell. I was placed
into a cage with three other women and told to wait until I was
processed. I had no idea what that meant.
. Were they going to churn me into a
lunch meat like some offal? I had never set foot inside a police
station before, I wasn’t up on the lingo.
I sat on the edge of one of the two benches.
Two of the other women were beside me. The other took up the entire
bench opposite by herself. She was staring at us with a look of
either hunger or hatred. I always got those two looks mixed up.
Either way, she had the rest of us in fear of our lives.
What are you in for?” The woman
next to me asked. I smiled at her, not needing to wonder what she
was in for. Her severe lack of clothing told me her profession. She
wore enough make up to join the circus.
Armed robbery,” I
She didn’t say anything, just shifted herself
down the bench away from me. Apparently I was a bad ass
I didn’t do anything, my
boyfriend kind of surprised me with it,” I tried to defend myself.
For some strange, unknown, reason I needed this woman to like me.
“Instead of a flash mob, he gave me a bank robbery as a token of
It seemed to work a little. “I’ve had
boyfriends like that. What is it with men?”
I seriously don’t know.” And I
didn’t. Thinking back to all my previous relationships – and I
admit, there had been plenty – I realized I still couldn’t
understand what went on in the male brain.
One guy I dated decided to fake his own
kidnapping to get away from me. He got his buddies to dress up like
ninjas and abduct him. I didn’t care so much, I was only a week
away from dumping him anyway. If he expected me to call the police
about his kidnapping, he was sorely mistaken. At least, I
it was his buddies, perhaps I
should have checked.
After that, I decided I was only going to date
sane guys. So my next boyfriend was an architect. You never hear
about architects doing stupid things on the news, right? Apparently
there is a first for everything. Seven weeks into our relationship
and the guy gets done for embezzlement. He had stolen over a
million dollars from his boss. The last I saw of him was on the
news. To really rub it in, the police seized every gift he had
given me because it was paid for with stolen funds. I had nothing
to show for my seven weeks – literally.
I vowed off men for a while then. I thought
perhaps women would be better, that it was the entire male species
that was my downfall. I was wrong about that too. The only woman I
dated thought it would be a good idea to tattoo her sleeping friend
as a prank. It would have been funny if the tattoo wasn’t on their
face while they were passed out drunk. I was afraid to sleep for
weeks after that.
What happened with Ryan shouldn’t really have
surprised me. By now, at twenty-nine years old, I should expect the
hurt that comes with relationships. I guess I just thought Ryan was
different. It had taken him almost a full year to reveal his inner
crazy. That was a record for me.
Cressly. You’re up,” the female
officer barked at me. I stood, not having any idea of what ‘you’re
up’ meant. Were they moving me to a permanent cell? Was I going to
court? They could have been taking me to the guillotine and I would
have gone along.
I was led out of the cell and into a small
interview room. It was just like I’d seen on television. One wall
had a mirror, which I knew was actually a window. They couldn’t
I sat across from the police officers – now
two of them. The woman was middle aged, probably about forty. She
appeared to be the more senior of the two. The other was a guy, I
guess about mid-thirty. He was ruggedly handsome, the kind of guy
that liked mountain climbing and skiing. Definitely not the kind of
guy that robbed banks.
I’m Sergeant Alexia Stone, this
is Constable Lucas Heron. For the record, have you been read your
rights?” The woman cop said, she didn’t appear to be the joking
I think so,” I replied. I
remembered something about rights. “This is really just a mistake.
I didn’t rob that bank.”
Our security cameras and
eyewitnesses say otherwise. You want to tell me what
I nodded. My God did I want to tell them what
happened. I wasn’t going to take the fall for my stupid boyfriend.
“I went to the bank with my boyfriend. I’m waiting there while he
fills in the slip and then suddenly he thrusts a gun in my hands
and tells me we’re robbing the place. I had no idea what was going