Deep Breaths

“Listen here,” Theodore said. “My ancestors came to this great land some hundreds of years ago, and I will not be sidelined by the wants of some piddly little terrorist trying to steal my money!”

“Sir,” Amani said, “I’m not trying to steal your money. I’m just doing my job, and if you want to make a withdrawal from a bank, you need to actually have an account here.”

“An account?!” Theodore threw his hands up. “What are you talking about? I’m here for a loan, not an account. I need a loan to start my business. I pay my taxes, now I’m here to contribute to the economy.”

Amani glanced over to her supervisor, who shrugged. She looked back at the man in front of her, his hair dark brown, his eyebrows pale blond. He was wrinkled; older, at least, but not old enough to be able to determine his age. He could be an older-looking thirty, or a youthful sixty. Either way, he talked like an eighty-year-old.

Amani was about to reply when Theodore interrupted her. “Listen here, miss. I’m here for a loan, so don’t go getting all jihadi on me.”

“Sir, I’m a Canadian, and not even a practicing Muslim.”

“Sure, that’s what all you ISIS people say.”

Amani frowned at him, giving her best “what the hell?” face. He continued.

“I just want my damn loan, right now.”

“Well, sir, I can’t process that for you. I can, however, set up a meeting with a loan officer to discuss your options with him. Would you like that?”

“No. I had one last week, and he said he could only give me two thousand. I need thirty-three! How can I start a business with two thousand dollars?”

“I don’t know sir, but that’s all I can do.”

“Well, you’re a useless oil baron, aren’t you?”

Amani’s manager walked over, having heard more than enough. “Sir, you’ve spent the past five minutes harassing my employee and throwing racial epithets at her. I’ve had enough. Leave now, or we’ll have security escort you out and charge you with hate speech.”

“What? What hate! She’s the bomber here!”

“Out. Now.”

Theodore sputtered, his upper lip puckered in rage. He grabbed his books and stormed out of the bank.

“Thanks Barbara,” Amani said.

“You’re welcome. You should take a ten-minute break. That crap’s enough to get under anyone’s skin. You handled it like a pro, so have a little rest if you’d like.”

Amani sighed and took the break. Damn “jihadist” talk, she thought, going over the conversation in her mind. How about I sue the shit out of you, how’s that for jihadist?

She sat in the break room and tried to shake it off.


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