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This entry is part 3 of 17 in the series Doing Laundry
Photo: Kim MyoungSung – (CC BY 2.0)

       Eli hung up the phone.
       I’m losing her.
       His world of black, white, and Sadie threatened to collapse into a monochromatic doldrum. It was late. The toner drum made a thrumming noise as it rolled designer brand imprints on fake tags. He had until tomorrow afternoon to use his credit card before the FBI had it flagged on every network in the state. 
       The next morning he put on his best pair of brown slacks, a pinstripe button down, and his favorite navy blue sportcoat. He spiked his hair, made a silly face in the mirror to loosen up, and hit the elevator. He hid his brown eyes behind a pair of aviators as he stepped into the morning.
       Show time.
       Eli drove his 2009 Toyota Camry into the mall parking garage and killed the engine. He placed his head on the steering wheel recounting the stores, the names of the people working them, and the order in which he should hit them. Overwhelming human intuition required counter-evidence that was believable and delivered quick.
       He made his way to the mall’s customer service desk, and slipped on a fake wedding ring.
       “Yeah…so last night I was here with my family. We love that Chinese restaurant in the food court. Well…my wife loves it. Too many calories for me. Still, I have a fourteen and a sixteen year old. Boy and a girl. Love ‘em to death. I’m gonna kill ‘em. But I love ’em to death. Anyways, you wouldn’t happen to have two iPhones, turned in last night?”
       The attendant smiled, pulled a white iPhone 7 with a bubblegum pink case, and three black iPhone 6’s from behind the counter.
       “Was it any of these?”
       Eli feigned relief, exhaled deeply, and grabbed two of the phones.
       “Thank you so much. I’m going to ground them forever, but thank you. Really.”
       He took the escalator up to the food court, removed a lightning charger from his pocket and scrounged up a discarded copy of The Wall Street Journal. Every now and then, he’d pull out his earpiece and fake a business conversation. He was invisible.
       Once both phones showed a full charge he made his way to the women’s clothing section of the Bergdorf Goodman on the fifth floor. He waited until both clerks were occupied, took out one of the phones, called himself, and walked behind the counter. Without being seen, he slid the iPhone into one of the cubby holes and left. In twenty minutes,  he knew all about Stephanie’s favorite show, loser boyfriend, and dog to sell the idea they met last week when he made a $1500 return. He walked back in, convinced her the transaction didn’t go through, and watched her re-run the card. He headed to the Dillard’s on the other side of the mall.
       One down, one to go.

Series Navigation<< Doing Laundry – Part IIDoing Laundry – Part IV >>

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