No. 593

Jessica Williams saw Travis Sanders sitting at the corner table that he’d specified for the meeting. She approached and sat down.

Sanders was excited to see her. “I’m glad you could make it,” he said, perhaps overly enthusiastically.

Jessica considered leaving, but she’d known Travis for too long to walk out immediately.

“It’s been, what? Ten years?” Sanders continued, oblivious to Jessica’s discomfort.

“Something like that, sure,” said Jessica.

“Time flies,” said Sanders. “I’m so glad you could make it,” he repeated, adding “so” for emphasis. “I bet you’re wondering why I tracked you down.”

“That’s true.”

Travis was nervous, too. He almost spilled his coffee as he reached down for his laptop bag. “Look at this,” he said, turning the laptop toward Jessica. “Do you remember him?”

“Jeremy Hoskins,” said Jessica, reading the screen.

“He went to our high school,” said Sanders.

“I know.”

“You were friends with him, right?” Sanders pressed.

Jessica shifted in her seat. “I’ve mostly tried to forget.”

“No, you were. You spent lunchtimes with him in the English room. I remember.”

“I’ve mostly tried to forget.”

“Oh, hey,” interrupted Sanders. “I forgot to buy you a drink? What do you want?”

Jessica looked toward the counter. There was a line. “I’m fine. I can wait. What is it you want?”

“Right. Oh. Right. Yes,” Sanders stammered. “I just started following Hoskins on Twitter.”

“Twitter? Really?” said Jessica. She checked her phone, now wishing she hadn’t agreed to meet her former classmate. It had been a terrible idea, she decided.

“Turns out, he’s super rich, now,” Sanders whispered.

“I know. And?”

“You were friends. He’s rich. Maybe you can re-connect.”

“What do you mean re-connect?” Jessica said with revulsion.

“It could be like Ocean’s 11, but with two.”

Jessica leaned back in her seat. “You want to rob him?” she said, louder than she’d expected.

“Shh! Quiet!” said Sanders. “You’ll blow the plan.”

“Rob him. With you?” said Jessica.

“I’ve got it all worked out,” said Sanders. “Much classier than a smash-grab job.”

“I’m not sure I can do that,” Jessica said.

Travis leaned forward. He looked Jessica in the eyes. “Remember science class?” he said quietly. “Please help me.”

Jessica swallowed. She’d tried especially hard to forget science class.

“You were there. Third row,” said Travis. “You know what happened.”

“I know.”

So, will you help me?” Travis asked.

Jessica thought back to the day, many years ago, when she’d done nothing. “Classier than a smash-grab job, you say?” she asked.

“I do.”

“Alright, then,” Jessica decided. “I’m in.”