You think you know someone and then suddenly you realise you never did.

Dana rang me one afternoon to say there was no money in the account.

‘That can’t be right,’ I said. ‘I’ll call the bank.’

After mindless minutes of mechanical voices ‘Robin,’ came on the line. She was, ‘happy to help.’ ‘It’s odd,’ she said. ‘There are multiple withdrawals from the same ATM on numerous days. Three hundred on the fifth. Nearly two thousand on the eighteenth.’

‘Two thousand!’

‘Eleven fifty just last Monday.’

Dana’s admissions that night came gradually. Yes, she’d taken money out at the Burton St Mall for shopping. ‘Once.’ ‘Maybe more than once.’ ‘A treat or two—never that much.’ ‘God, Lester what are you suggesting?’

Until finally she told me about a habit she’d been hiding so long lying was now part of what kept us together.

I was fearful for her and for us. I was confused and angry. But more than that. She’d put our mortgage payment into those machines, coin by coin. When the bank threatened foreclosure I wondered how on earth we could extract ourselves.

Then Ned, at work, told me about a sure thing that would be running in a maiden at long odds.

2011-Richard Holt / small stories about love (smallstoriesaboutlove.wordpress.com)

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