“Darnell!” Thomas yells. “What man?! Why you always calling me like it’s an emergency or somethin’? Darnell asks rhetorically. “Look what I got!” Thomas is removing a DVD with the name of the movie man written on it in blue permanent marker from its clear case. The rainbow reflection bounces the sun’s light on the ceiling.
“What’s that?” asks Darnell. “That movie that came out yesterday we wanted to see.” Darnell perks up. They didn’t have a girl to take to the movies, and they definitely weren’t gonna be seen going to the movies together; they weren’t with that gay shit.
Thomas always had a way of hustling things out of people and Darnell bests he hustled the bootleg man for this movie, cause he sure didn’t have the money to buy it. “Pop it in wigga what you waitin’ for?” Thomas puts the movie into the DVD player set atop the TV. Nothing else to do two weeks since graduation, the boys chill on the couch as the movie starts. Thomas pulls plastic sandwich bag from his shorts along with a pack of Garcia cigars.
“Roll up my nig.” He motions to Darnell and passes him the stuff. “How’d you buy weed with no money?” he asks Thomas. “And some loud at that!” Thomas lets out a chuckle, “What are you, my momma? the police? Don’t worry ’bout all dat. Is you smoking or not?” For a white boy, Thomas had more ‘black’ in him than Darnell. Thomas’ family moved into the mobile home community during their sophomore year. They are pretty cool for white folks. The whole neighborhood knew him and called him ‘white boy’. They found out they had a few things in common. They both loved Biggie, and knew all the lyrics to every song. Both aspired to be rappers, Thomas the next Eminem and Dee the next 50 or Diddy. Dee wanted to be a mogul, run all kinds of businesses and rap too. He wanted to take care of his mom, it was his motivation. He was willing to work hard to do what it took to get where he wanted to go. Thomas on the other hand, was used to things being given to him. Being akin to white privilege everywhere except the hood, Thomas somehow figured his whiteness would get him a deal over his ability to rap. He was aight for a one hit wonder, but Darnell really had skill and talent.
“Ooh shit! Did you see that?! He shot that nig brains out!” an excited Thomas exclaims. “I know this gon’ be good. Just came on and folks already getting dome called.” Darnell finishes rolling the blunt and searches for a lighter. “Here you go man.” Thomas says, tossing the blue BIC in his lap. Movie playing, lungs filling with smoke, Darnell inhales and begins to cough. Thomas laughs, “Good shit huh?” Their minds float as they watch the movie in silence, only getting up to get something to drink and pee. Half way into the movie, Darnell succumbs to his high and drifts off into a nap.
“EVERYTHING IN THE BAG RIGHT NOW!” Thomas demands the small frail old-white-lady behind the counter, through his mask. Gun pointed in her face the woman does what he asks. “If you move I will shoot you.” Darnell tries to sound threatening, gun pointing in the back of the security office; but this isn’t his character.
Thomas had cased the bank for weeks, he knew the schedule for everything and everyone. He figured out the perfect time to hit. And now everything was going smoothly.
“You come with me.” Thomas motions the bank manager to come with him. Darnell can hear him demand her to open the safe and her denial of a safe’s existence; but Thomas knows there is a safe. “I know you’re lying. Now you can either open the safe or watch your employee get killed.” that was enough to scare her into leading him to the safe. Unbeknown to the robbery duo, the police are en route, the older teller who Thomas threatened had pushed the silent alarm the instant Thomas and Dee walked in.
“LET’S GO MAN!” Darnell urges Thomas. He doubts Thomas hears him, but he can hear the faint sound of sirens approaching. Thomas comes running from the back of the bank, “We have been here too long.” Darnell exclaims. Thomas slides the mishaped, black duffle bag to Darnell and keeps moving. “Let’s go.Meet you at the spot.” Scooping up the bag, the sirens are about a block away, the feeling of getting caught was enough to make them move at lightening speed. Darnell wasn’t thinking, he was simply doing. Doing what they planned. They split up and ran different directions, it was easier to find them together, and they agreed to meet at their rendevous point. Once back outside, they pull off their masks.
After a few turns through alleys and short cuts, he feels he’s gotten far enough to stop and change. Darnell dumps his mask, hoodie, and gloves in a sewage opening. He takes this time to switch the money into a bookbag. They decided to put the backpacks inside the duffles because it would be easier to just put the money in bookbags than carry around the duffle. Breathing heavy, Darnell puts his Atlanta fitted on his head, pops his headphones in and tries to calmly walk out of the alley looking like the typical college student. He doesn’t have on any music, the only thing he’s listening for is the police. As long as he doesn’t bring attention to himself he’s be fine. Bopping his head to the invisible music, Darnell takes his time heading for his and Thomas’ meeting place; hoping Thomas will be there when he gets there.
Darnell waited and waited to hear word of his best friend’s capture. Nothing yet. Only the news saying there was a bank robbed. With night fall approaching, Darnell finally heads to the spot, under the protection of the night sky. Walking around back, he enters through the broken downstairs door. Here they will count and split the money evenly. Thomas is already here; a relief for Dee. His portion of the money spread out in 3 stacks of $10000 on the floor, his cell phone flashlight providing the their only source of light.
Thomas’ pistol is drawn on Darnell once he sees his figure. “Hold up man, its just me.” Thomas chuckles and lowers the gun. “Boy I was about to split your wig, you better say somethin when you walking up on me, I thought you were someone else.” Thomas used a real gun during the heist, but Darnell didn’t want any accidents to happen and chickened out; decided to go with a BB gun. “How much so far?” Darnell asks. “30 stacks.” A smile spread across his face “Thirty thousand dollars!” Darnell couldnt wait to count what he had. “Hell yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. They slap hands and bump fists and return to counting.
Once finished, $108,050 was their grand total. Enough for them to live off of for months. “What I tell you boy!?!” Thomas says, I told you we would get straight from this.” Darnell can’t believe it. He can’t wait to surprise his mother with some money. Maybe he’d pay for her a vacation too, she definitely deserves it. Thomas however could only think of buying weed and flipping his cut. It was almost dawn, they re-packed their backpacks and left. “Aight tomorrow man.” Thomas salutes Darnell and hops on his bike. Darnell scurries home, back through alley ways and cut throughs to stay off the main street this time of night. No point in getting robbed after all he had gone through to get the money.
Once safely home, he calls Thomas to make sure he made it home safely as well. His mom isnt home, she’s still on her shift at the hospital. He puts the bookbag on his closet shelf and lies down. In the words of Ice Cube, today was a good day. He drifts off to sleep.
“Wake up!!” someone is saying. Must be his mom. “Darnell, wake up.” He’d been dreaming. It’s Thomas. “You didnt even finish the movie fool. That shit knocked you out.” Still coming to, Darnell sits up. “I’m bout to go to the store you want something?” Thomas asks.
“Yeah, bring me back some chips and candy.” Darnell gets up and goes to his room, looks in his closet and sees the backpack sitting in the exact spot he left it in his dream. He grabs the bag and opens it. It was all there.