I only took it because he gave me the chance. I don’t rob people. I take what they take their eyes off. And he had taken his eyes off this – if only for a moment. The bag was under the bench. He was on the phone. I knelt and pretended to secure a shoelace, and when I rose again it was with the bag in tow. Heavy. Good. I glanced back at the end of the street and saw him still engrossed in his call; he hadn’t even noticed.
In an alleyway in town I cracked the zip. Bushels of money bulged from the gap. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There must have been ten or twenty thousand in there. And – half-buried in the currency – was the smooth black handgrip of a gun. Further down I found a block of solid white, wrapped in plastic film.
For a moment or two I thought about ditching the bag – sticking it in a bin and going back to life as normal. Pretending this had never happened. The bag was trouble and I knew it. But the bag was opportunity also. I stuffed it inside my coat, and headed home across the city, walking as fast as I could.