“I’m sorry, sir. That account appears to be empty.”

“How can it be empty? I just deposited money in there two days ago.” He tried to keep from yelling, but this was unacceptable.

The teller looked bored, as though she’d heard this before. Someone trying to take out money they didn’t have. “I’m sorry, again, sir.”

He couldn’t understand how this could have happened. “Is it completely empty? No balance whatsoever?”

The woman looked back at her screen with a sigh. A look of confusion briefly crossed her face, and then she turned back to him. “Actually, the account must have been closed. I show no record of that account in our system.”


A security guard looked over at him and took a step.

“Sir, please keep your tone civil.”

“But how can my account be closed? Let me speak to your manager.”

By this time, one of the bankers had come out of her office and walked over. “Is there a problem?”

“Yes there’s a problem. Apparently you guys lost my money.”

The banker looked to the teller who merely shrugged. “Okay, sir. Why don’t we go into my office and try to sort this out.”

“Fine.” He followed her back to the office and sat down.

“Now tell me what happened.”

“I tried to withdraw money from my account. The teller took my account number off of my checkbook and looked it up. First she said the account was empty, but then said the account was closed. But I didn’t close it, and I’m the only person on the account.”

“That is odd. Let’s see if I can find out more. What’s your account number?”

He rattled the number off from memory and watched her type it in. The look on her face was reminiscent of the look on the teller. It did not inspire confidence. She stared at the screen and hit the Enter key a few times.

“I think I must have entered it wrong. Let me take it off your checkbook.”

Remembering the security guard, he kept his irritation under control and handed it to her.

She opened it, and then shot him a look full of suspicion as her hand darted under the desk. “I don’t know who you are or what you’re doing, but this isn’t funny.” Gone was the genial tone in her voice.

“Sam, hold this man until the police arrive. We’ll let them sort it out.” The security guard had appeared in her doorway and forcibly led him away.

The teller came over to her office. “What happened, Amy?”

Amy looked at her and opened the checkbook. “Why didn’t you tell me? Or better, tell Sam? Nuts like that could be dangerous, Jill.”

“Nuts?” Jill looked at the checkbook. It was just a stack of blank paper. But hadn’t there been checks? Hadn’t she gotten the number of off them? Maybe she had just been humoring the guy. That must be it. “I’m sorry, Amy. You’re right. I should have said something. He just seemed harmless.”

Amy nodded. She, too, had thought he seemed harmless. It had looked like her screen had displayed account information before going blank. But it must have been a glitch.

Jill was in her doorway. “Can I help you with something, Jill?”

The confusion on Jill’s face reflected Amy’s. “Uh… No. It’s nothing. Sorry to bother you.” Jill looked down at her hands. “Oh. Here’s your notepad back. Why do you keep it in a checkbook case?”

Amy took the pad from her. “Uh… It’s just convenient, I guess.”

Jill smiled. “Gotcha. Well, back to work.”

Amy nodded absently, still staring at the notepad. “Yeah. Back to work.”

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