Cash Flow: Part 1

In the city of Los Angeles there have been a series of jewelry store robberies, no one knows who is behind it, and it seems that there is a new group of people who rob the stores every time. The police have no leads or any intel on who is behind these robberies.

I walked out of the airport and saw my Aunt Lou standing in front of her 2017 Chevy Tahoe waving like a madwoman with the biggest smile on her face. It had been 3 years since I’ve last seen my aunt, so I wasn’t surprised by how excited she was.

“Morgan, over here!” She shouted through the crowd of people.

“Hey Aunt Lou”, I said covering my face in embarrassment.

“How are you, sweetie? You look taller. Have you been eating right, you look pale. Your hair looks great, have you been using the oils I sent you?” She said while looking at me from head to toe.

“I’m doing good Aunt Lou, I only look pale to you because I live in Wisconsin, yes I’ve been using the oils that you sent me, thank you ” I answer back while looking around at all the people staring at us.

Once Aunt Lou was done examining my body we hopped into her truck and drove to her apartment. I heard about LA traffic online but I didn’t think it was going to be this bad. It only takes 40 minutes to drive from LAX to my aunt’s apartment in downtown LA, instead, it took 2 hours. I didn’t mind it gave us time to catch up. I found out that my aunt got a job being an assistant for the owner of a huge tech company, I told her about everything that happened back home, “So how are you coping with your parent’s accident?”

“Uh, not too well, it’s hard when you witness your parents die from a car crash right in front of you.” I could see the sadness in her eyes.

“I know, but you’re in California now it’s time for a fresh start”, Aunt Lou placed her hand and on my shoulder. We finally arrived at her apartment. We unboxed all the stuff that was sent over last week. It felt like it took forever to unpack the boxes, but after an hour and a half, I finally unpack the last box filled with pictures and nicknacks from back home. I find a picture of my parents and place it next to my nightstand so they are with me every night. I slumped into my bed tired from opening boxes and putting stuff away, I heard the front door open and a deep voice following. I stood in my doorway peeking around the corner to see where the mysterious voice come from.

“Hey come out to the kitchen I got some people I want you to meet,” Aunt Lou is standing next to a tall handsome brunette with green eyes, standing next to him was a smaller boy with brown hair and green eyes, “This is my boss Dylan Green, and his brother Damien Green.”

I was shocked at what she said “Wait, you’re my aunts boss? You don’t even look a day over 25.”

Dylan busted out laughing “It’s because I am 25.”

I stood there in shock I couldn’t really think of a response, so I just nodded and went to go grab a slice of pizza.

I open the box to see a disappointing pizza. I quickly turned to my aunt and said: “Gross, why are there vegetables on my pizza?”

“What?” she said while shrugging her shoulders, “I think the pizza is perfectly fine.”

“No, it’s not fine, how can one eat a pizza without meat, meat is essential for survival in this world,” everyone in the room starts laughing at my panic of no meat, “Hey don’t laugh at me this is a serious topic, damn Aunt Lou California has changed you.”

“Don’t worry I got meat lovers just for you”, Aunt Lou says

“Oh bless your heart and soul my dear Aunt Lou”

I grabbed four slices of pizza and try to make my escape to my room, but Aunt Lou quickly stopped me “Where do you think you’re going?”

“Uh to my room?” I say slowly turning around ready to make my escape.

I felt Aunt Lou’s alpha presence attacking me “No your not, we’re all eating as a group, sit your butt at the table and eat with us.”

I decided to sit down before I got chewed out by my aunt. We all sat and talked for a while, Damien didn’t say a word for the whole night, I thought it was kind of strange but I chose to just let him be. The night ended, Aunt Lou and I cleaned up the dirty dishes, “So what do you think of Dylan and Damien?”

“Dylan is a funny dude, but Damien didn’t say a word the whole night.”

“Yeah he’s a shy boy, but when you get him talking he’s just like his brother.” Aunt Lou said while splashing water on my face.

“Hey what did you do that for?”, I asked while drying the dishes. I saw Aunt Lou turning a spoon my way for her next big splash, “Oh no you don’t” I quickly ran away with a towel covering my face.

“What I’m not doing anything, I’m just washing some dishes.” Aunt Lou quickly replies with a suspicious Cheshire Cat grin on her face.

I decided to keep my distance, “I think I’m going to go to bed.”

“Come on, it’s only 9:30,” Aunt Lou said trying to fool me into helping her, “Help me dry the dishes I swear I won’t do anything.”

“Nope, I’m not falling for it Cheshire Cat”, I reply while speed walking to my room.

My aunt stares at me with a confused look not processing what I just said “Cheshire Cat?”

“Nevermind. Good night”, I slammed the door quickly after that, hoping I have reached safety. I slumped into bed ready to knock out for the night, I reached for the TV remote and turn on My Hero Academia, and quickly fall asleep in my day clothes.

It’s 9 AM!” the next morning, my aunt barged into my room yelling “Get out of bed we’re going shopping!”

“Oh my goodness! Why are you yelling? Do you know what time it is?” I yell back at her in anger.

“Girl, don’t give me attitude, get your ass out of bed, we are going shopping.” She said, “I mean we’re going grocery shopping, but we can go real shopping too.”

I sat in my bed thinking if I actually wanted to go or not “If there’s shopping involved, I guess I’ll join.”

We drive to the store and get our groceries. After we go to a strip mall in downtown, we stopped at a few stores get a couple of pair of shorts, we also stopped at a ski shop to get some stuff for our ski trip in April. Once we finished our shopping, we decide to leave. While we were walking to the car we hear police sirens, at first, we didn’t think anything about it, once the sirens started getting louder we started to get worried. Three police cars pulled up right in front of us, we start hearing screaming and gunshots from the Jewelry store right next to us. A police officer ran past us to try and figure out the situation, another one runs up to us and escorted us to the corner to make sure we’re safe. I saw three people in all black wearing ski masks sprinting past us and running into a car with blacked out windows. At this point, I didn’t fully process what was happening. An officer walked up to Aunt Lou and I and asked us if we’ve seen anything suspicious. We just told him that we were passing by and he sent us on our merry way.

Aunt Lou and I got into her car to drive back home, “Well that’s not how I expected your first day in LA to go.”

“To be honest living in Northside Milwaukee I’m pretty used to situations like these.”

An awkward silence formed in the car, I forgot that Aunt Lou hasn’t had to experience this since she was in high school. To break the silence Lou decided to turn on the radio, “Today at 2:30 PM, there was a robbery at the jewelry store Cartier, there were no casualties, but 1.5 million dollars were stolen.” Lou changed the station, to play Lil Yatchy.

“How about we don’t listen to the news station for now.” For the rest of the car ride home, we blasted Drake, Nirvana, SZA, and all other types of car ride music. When we got home neither of us felt like cooking (even though we just bought groceries) so I walked into the kitchen and reheated some of the leftover pizza for me, and some ramen for Aunt Lou.

“Hey want to watch the Incredibles?”

“Psh, is that a rhetorical question? Of course, I want to watch the Incredibles”, once our food was heated I handed Aunt Lou her ramen and a napkin and we sat and watched movies for the rest of the day.

It had been a month since Aunt Lou and I were witnesses to the robbery. The news finally stopped making it their number one headline, but that is irrelevant. What was more important was that I started school that day. I am the kind of person who loves learning but really hates going to school. Plus I’m a new junior at a new school in a different state, anxiety was at an all-time high that day. Aunt Lou decided to drive me that day, I didn’t mind except when she decided that she needed to honk and tell me how excited she is that it was my first day which is not the kind of attention the new kid wants.

“Hi, are you Morgan?” I heard a female voice from behind me.

I turned around to see who said my name “Yeah, that’s me”

“Hey, I’m Jazmine, I’ll be showing you around the school for your first day”, Jazmine said with her hand out facing the school.

“Oh, okay”, I said following her into the school. Jazmine gave me a tour of the school for the first half of the day. If it wasn’t for her I would have gotten lost in 2 seconds. This school is huge compared to where I went. They even have off-campus lunch, which is awesome.

“Hey since you’re new here want to join my friends and me for lunch?” Jazmine offered.

“Yeah sure”, we walked from our Business class together, we met up with a couple of her friends and we all walked to the lunch room together. When we got to the lunch we met the rest of her friends, and in that group, I saw Damien.

“Morgan these are my friends, Sarah, Shannon, Jacob, Damien, Alex, and Daniel”, Jazmine said.

“Actually we already know each other,” Damien said. It was the first time I heard him speak, his voice was deeper than I thought it would be. “My brother and her aunt work together.”

“Oh really? That’s cool!” Jazmine said sounding really interested in, “You guys ready to get in line?”

It was fun eating with Jazmine’s friends they all are really funny and energetic people. Expect Damien still said very minimal words to anyone. Jazmine, Sarah, Shannon, Jacob, and Daniel said that they had a free period for the 7th period and they were going to leave lunch early to go to the mall, so Damien walked me to class. The walk to class was very weird. I would try to make conversation but he would just give me one-word answers.

When we got outside of my class one of the hallway Tv’s was playing the news, “Today at 1:25 PM, there was another robbery at a jewelry store on Sunset Boulevard, there were three masked assailants, and one getaway driver, there is a suspected two women and one ma-” Damien walked off looking upset. He was walking so fast that I did not get the chance to ask him what’s wrong. Before I walked into my class I remembered that Jazmine and her friend went to the mall, I hoped nothing happened to them.

I somehow survived my first day at a new school, started the day in embarrassment and ended the day awkward. I got a text from Aunt Lou saying that Damien was going to take me home because she has some extra work to do, on her gold rush project.

“You ready” Damien said creeping over my shoulder.

“Ah,” I scream in shock, “Shit Damien are you a ghost I didn’t even see you.”

“Well yeah I’m standing behind you”, Damien said in a blank and unamused voice, while he’s still standing uncomfortably close.

It was even more awkward than before, Damien didn’t say a word the whole drive home, the only time he said something was when I asked for his number in case Aunt Lou tells me that he needs to give me a ride again. I got inside, took off my shoes, plopped onto the couch, and turned on some anime. An hour later, I heard the lock on the front door, and it was Aunt Lou. “Why are you home? I thought you were still at work?”

“Dylan said that he will take care of the rest of work so he sent me home” Aunt Lou took off her heels threw her keys on the counter and face planted onto the couch, “Oh shit I’m still wearing makeup” Aunt Lou thumbs up checks the couch then walks into her bedroom and didn’t come out, she quickly fell asleep until the next morning.

“Dylan said that Damien needs better friends so he’s going to be taking you to and from school for the rest of the year.” Said Aunt Lou.

“Interesting logic but I’ll go with it”, the car rides started off very awkward, but after a month I started to believe that he had emotion. He would smile at my jokes (cause I’m fricken hilarious) he sometimes even cracks sarcastic jokes to counter my jokes. During this time Jasmine and I also started becoming closer friends, soon she became one of my best friends. Until the first day of our senior year, Damien and I were walking into school when we got a text from Jazmine telling us to meet her under the basketball bleachers after 8th period.

“Hey, guys you came! Now I have a question I want to ask you guys”, Jazmine said looking like she was up to no good.

“No,” Damien said with his arms crossed, “Don’t try to bring Morgan into this.”

“Come on Damien,” Jazmine said, “I didn’t even get to ask my question yet.”

“Fine ask your question”, Damien said still standing with his arms crossed.

“Since I was so rudely interrupted, I would like to know if both of you like to make a whole lot of money quickly?” Jazmine was ready to give us her sales pitch, “Now the way we get the money can be questionable, but none of us have gotten caught yet.”

“Well, how do you guys make money, and why is it questionable?” I ask trying to understand what is happening.

“I’m glad that you asked that, what we do is rob jewelry stores”, Jazmine said with a casual tone like it was normal to rob banks.

“What the hell,” I’m shocked at what she said, and that she said it so casually, “you guys just rob jewelry stores, that’s not normal for high school seniors to do.”

“What do you mean? This is completely normal for high school seniors”

“How do you guys even manage to pull this off? Actually, don’t tell me I don’t want to be an accomplice. Come on Damien were going to lunch”, I say whole pulling Damien with me.

“Hold up,” Jazmine ran in front of us to stop us from leaving, “now you can’t tell anyone what I just told you alright? Otherwise, we will have to come after you”

Damien pushed me back to stand in front of me “Leave her alone.”

“Fine I’ll leave her alone, but Morgan my offer still stands”, Jazmine says stepping out of our way.

After Damien and I went to lunch at In and Out. Lunch was quieter than usual. I didn’t know what to say after everything that just happened, Jazmine took both of us by surprise or maybe just me by surprise.

“Damien, did you know that Jazmine and her friends were robbing jewelry stores?

“Yes I did,” Damien said with a somber tone “I probably should have told someone by now but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.”

“Why not?”

“Well we all grew up together, they were the ones that were that kept me sane when my parents died, they still mean a lot to me. When Jazmine told me that a group named Cash Flow contacted her to get a group together to start robbing jewelry stores, I started questioning if these were the friends that I wanted to be around.”

“Wow. How could they even pull it off their just high school students”

“Cash Flow would give them very detailed descriptions on what to do, he even gave them clothes to wear.”

Immediately after Damien explained everything, I heard an alarm from across the street and police sirens to follow, I went outside to see what was happening it was a jewelry store that was being robbed. The police were everywhere I was frazzled on what I should do. I turned to Damien to see if he knew what was happening it looked like he knew exactly what was going on. I could tell he was worried if his friends would make it out this time or not.  After I looked at Damien a police officer walked up to me and told me I need to come in for questioning.

“And that’s how I ended up here”, I ask the police officer, “I’ve told you everything that I know, can I go now?”

“Yes, you can leave now.” says the police officer.

As I walked out of the police station I saw my aunt’s Tahoe in the parking lot, I can see her worried face the windshield. I get into the car and Aunt Lou freaks out, she’s mad that I didn’t call her as soon as I got to the police station…all that parental stuff.  She gives me a hug and starts driving away. Aunt Lou, becomes more serious, “So did it work?”

“Of course, I am a great actress,” I say while laughing.

“Good we don’t need anyone knowing what we really do,” Aunt Lou said with a cunning look on her face, “…did we complete enough jobs?”

“Yep, I would say we completed more than enough” Damien rises from under a blanket holding a computer. “You know your lucky you have the White Knights by your side.”

“Come on Damien don’t be so cocky, you know we wouldn’t have been able to even work this job if Darian and Alex didn’t tell us about it.”

“Okay fine your right, but for real though, we got heavy cash flow”, Damien said with a large smile on his face.

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