Chapter Twenty-three

Early that morning, Travis surprised Jackie and Ronnie with the announcement that he had another job planned. This was just what they both wanted to hear. Ronnie had made some bad investments and had to dip deep into his reserve to cover his loses. Jackie was deep into her reserves as well, as her gambling losses began to pile up.

Travis had decided to tell them that this would be his last job. Since the first day he began thinking seriously about it, he knew that his decision to get out would have a profound effect on his relationship with Jackie and Ronnie. They knew something was going on with him, but up until this point, he was able to convince them his recent changes in behavior were all about him working again and nothing more.

And for a while that was fine. Jackie had gotten wrapped up in doing a little modeling and Ronnie seemed happy and content to be trading stocks again. But now, with their recent financial misfortunes, Travis felt responsible somehow and obligated to do this last job.

When Jackie and Ronnie arrived Travis laid out his plan to take the bank he had been surveying. “Alright, listen up. Our next job is going to be the taking of the First American Bank,” Travis said. He laid a diagram of the bank on the table.

The house phone rang, but Travis ignored it and handed Jackie a map of the area around the bank. “On Friday, this branch has a larger than usual amount of cash on hand to process payroll checks from the offices in the area. When the bank opens on Friday morning, there’s a small rush, which ends at approximately 10:15 a.m. Then there’s a lull that lasts until approximately 11:30, when the lunch rush begins. That’s our window. Our target time is 10:30. We will observe standard operating procedures as well as wearing standard operating gear, with business attire under our jumpsuits.”

Travis turned his attention to the diagram of the bank. “The security is stationed outside of the bank, supposedly as a deterrent to robbery. His standard patrol pattern is simple; he walks circles on the sidewalk around the outside of the bank. He goes into the bank every fifteen minutes for a period of time that never exceeds ten minutes. He will enter the bank here at the north door, and will exit here at the south door,” Travis said, pointing to the diagram.

The phone rang again, and once again Travis ignored it.

“Jackie will be positioned there and will advise on his entrance. Once he is in the bank, Jackie will move into position at the north door and stand by for the word ‘go.’ Ronnie, you and I will assume an ambush posture at the south door. When the guard exits the building, Ronnie will disarm and secure him while I cover. Once he’s secure, the word is ‘go.’

“Inside the bank there will be six people: five females and one male. There are four teller positions and three offices directly adjacent to them. During our target window, at least two of those positions will be manned, but all positions will be stocked.

“Once inside, I will cover the room, and, if it’s all right with you two, control the operation. Agreed?”

“Agreed,” Jackie said.


“You da man,” Ronnie said.

“All right. The timeline is two minutes. Once we’re inside, your first objective is to move everybody to the center of the room. Ronnie, you clear these offices while Jackie moves everybody out from behind the counter, but you’ll maintain your position behind the counter and prepare to go for the money in the teller positions only.

“Ronnie, in the first office you’ll find the bank manager. She will have a key on her waist; secure it. Once we have accounted for and have secured the guard, all six employees and however many customers are there, Ronnie will join Jackie behind the counter.

“You should have approximately one minute to get the money in the drawers and from the rolling cart, which will be behind the counter. Ronnie, that key will open the cart and any of the cash drawers that are locked. Take the cart first, Ronnie, while Jackie clears the teller positions.

“Jackie, once Ronnie has the cash from the cart, you will give him your bag, and you will exit the building though the south entrance and prepare for our escape. Ronnie, you proceed to take any of the drawers that were locked.”

This time his cell phone rang and Travis answered it. “Hello.”

By the time she got Travis on the phone, Me’shelle was crying again, and it was very hard for Travis to understand what she was saying. “Slow down, Me’shelle. Are you all right?” Travis asked as he walked away from the table.

Jackie looked at Ronnie. “Who the fuck is Me’shelle?” she said softly and with a bit of attitude.

“How the fuck should I know?” Ronnie answered.

Travis was only able to make out the words ‘rape’, ‘Jacobi Hospital’ and ‘please come.’

“All right, Me’shelle, just calm down. I’m on my way,” he said and hung up.

Travis turned to Jackie and Ronnie, who both stood before him with questioning eyes. “What’s up, Tee?” Ronnie asked.

“Who the fuck is Me’shelle?” Jackie asked.

“I gotta go, y’all.”

“You leaving? In the middle of plannin’ a job?” Ronnie asked in disbelief. “I don’t fuckin’ believe this shit. What’s so fuckin’ important that you got to drop everything and run out?”

“Who the fuck is Me’shelle?” Jackie asked again.

“I’ll answer all your questions when I get back, but I gotta go. Y’all can stay here if you want to or bounce. I’ll get with y’all later,” Travis said and left the house.

“Ain’t that a bitch,” Ronnie said.

“It damn sure is. And who the fuck is Me’shelle?” Jackie asked.


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