Name Of Love

Entry by: Olivia

12th February 2016
Name of Love

It had been planned meticulously. Every detail poured over, considered, plotted and checked.

The irony, I suppose, was that I didn’t really want to do it at all. I wasn’t, by nature, dishonest or, for that matter a criminal. I wasn’t really even sure how I had got into this awful mess. It seemed to me that one moment I was coping and the next I wasn’t at all.

Yes, I’d been a bit of a lad, never one to hold back on Saturday nights, but I’d started to reign that in. Amanda had seen to that really, and the kid coming along had rather forced my hand. Money’d always been tight. We’d have managed OK if it hadn’t been for that stupid nag on the 2.15.

This plan was my attempt to put things right, to make amends. I was a grafter and brought in a fair whack from working on the site but it seemed to just disappear. We’d been OK when she worked, did well in fact, but the babe had put paid to that and she showed no signs of getting up off her arse and doing anything. I know she liked nice things and I didn’t really want to say no, but we seemed to bleed money. I tried to keep a check on what was happening, but it wasn’t my thing. I’d never had to bother, me Dad had brought in enough and Mum had done a few cleaning jobs to pay for the extras. I’d never lived on my own, Mandy had got a little flat and I’d sort of drifted into it with her. She sorted out the bills and I chipped in. But she got an idea into her head that I ought to be ‘more of a man’, bloody cheek I thought, but I shut up and ‘got a grip’. I did try, I really did, but it was so complicated and it made my head ache. A couple of beers went a long way to sorting that but I often felt uptight. That’s when I was really tempted. Not every day, mind you. I wasn’t one of those greasy geezers who all but lived at the bookies. I’d wander in from time to time and put a few quid down. I liked the tension and then the release. To be honest, it was nearly as good as sex for me, but don’t tell Amanda that; she’s a bit touchy about her body since the little one got born. True, she’s a bit floppy in places (if you know what I mean) but she’s not got a lot to worry about.

I suppose if it had stayed like that we would have scraped through. Those bloody fruit machines, they’ll be the death of me. Anyway, one way and another, we owed a mountain of cash and I hadn’t got a bloody clue how I was going to pay it back. Every card we had was maxed out and it would only be another day or two before one got declined and she’d came down on me like a ton of bricks. But I reckoned a few thou would see us sweet. John had always been on at me to join in with what he called his ‘adventures’, I’d always said ‘no’ but I needed to do something so joined in (for the ride you understand).

That’s how we came to be planning a bank raid. We were going for full masks and pseudo weapons. John ‘knew people’ who could get us close to the vaults. John was a master with locks and shady behaviour. And, as it turned out, with planning. Mandy knew nothing and we kept it that way. She didn’t know that we were totally on our uppers and that we had just planned the robbery of the century. First day of March, dead early, we were going in. We weren’t stupid, we knew that they got lots of deposits at the end of the month and their cash boxes would be full.

I tried to keep the bets down, but the stress was making it worse. It was that last race that made me so jumpy. But I got a bit of shut eye at John’s. Mandy knew nought, she thought I was out for a night on the tiles. We got up dead quiet and walked to the bank. It was all real casual. They were just opening up, I suppose I felt sorry for them. I was shaking still, I hadn’t real come down from that race, but John was as cool as a cucumber, he pulled on his mask, pulled out the gun and started to speak. That was my signal to get my mask on too and cover him. (I wasn’t entirely sure what that meant, but I thought I’d seen it on the telly) . He told them to empty the cash boxes onto the counter or he would shoot them one by one. Sounded fairly scary to me, but the bank people looked a bit surprised, not scared, just surprised. ‘Come on’ said John, ‘we know you get stacks of readys at the end of the month, hand it over’. I wanted to leave, this wasn’t me, but I kept think of our Amanda and her cute face, I couldn’t let her down again.

The bloke spoke first, ‘we’ve got nothing in our tills, sorry’. ‘Nothing? Don’t talk rot’ said John, sharpish. ‘Really lads, not a penny. We cleared it all yesterday, that extra day in February comes in handy every so often.’

I could hear the sirens, we had thought we would have time. How did they know? The older woman spoke this time, ‘we’ve activated the alarm, that will be the police responding, if you shoot us you’ll be going down for a very long time. I felt in my pocket, not for the gun, but for the note I’d picked up off the table. Bloody leap year, I knew what she’d written, she’d hinted enough that she wanted to get married and make it all ‘proper like’ . If we’d pulled this off we could have done it in style. I bet she won’t want to marry me after I’d done time.

‘The guns are fake’ I had to say it, I couldn’t cope any more. ‘Look folks, I’m sorry, just got myself in a bit of a mess.’ The police burst in just as I said to anyone who would listen, ‘just got a bit carried away trying to please my missus, did it in the name of love you might say’. 2 to 1 I’ll get off with a warning.