Melvin and the Wallet #2

postcard-toronto-sunnyside-beach-note-sign-cars-entrance-to-the-boulevard-late-1940s

Seven hundred and eighty dollars. All new bills.

Seven hundred and eighty dollars. All new bills.

Seven hundred and eighty dollars. All new bills.

Melvin stuffed the crisp money back in the wallet and rolled a cigarette. He struck a wooden match on the table leg and lit the hand made cigarette.  He blew thick smoke that filled the little kitchen. Nothing else was in there. No license, no business cards, no pictures, no receipts, no nothing. He stared at the full wallet and let his brain get juiced. More than two months pay, at full pay. He shook his head in pain at the thought he knew he couldn’t keep it. Fate was playing another cruel trick on him. He would get in trouble. But more than anything, Joanne would never allow him to have it. Not under these circumstances.

Melvin limped up the stairs to their small bedroom and hid the wallet in his side of the dresser. He wasn’t ready to give up. Not just yet. He went back down stairs and took out his Barlow knife and found a piece of wood. He sat on the porch and whittled. This help calm him down to think of a plan. He knew the odds. Melvin was still sitting on the porch when Joanne and their two kids came home.

Dinner consisted of bologna sandwiches with a little mayonnaise, sliced tomatoes the neighbor gave them, and lettuce from Freeze’s Grocery. Melvin was quiet during the meal and slipped up stairs as Joanne washed the dishes. She was drying the last plate when Melvin reappeared and took a seat at the table.

“Can I talk to you for a minute?”

“What is it? Joanne asked.

“Have a seat?” Joanne took her time folding the dish towel and pulled out a chair. She frowned as she gazed at her husband.

“Is it bad news Melvin?”

“Now why would you think that’s all that happens around here?”

“Because you are acting strange. Wouldn’t say a word during dinner and now I feel like an axe is over your head.”

Melvin took the wallet from his pocket and scooted it across the table until it was right in front of Joanne. Joanne frowned deeper at the wallet like it was a snake.

“What is it?” She inquired. Melvin refused to answer and finally she gingerly picked it up and pulled out the cash. She dropped it on the table like it was a turd.

“Oh my God. Dear Lord Melvin, what did you do?”

“I found it in the middle on Elm Street. Seven hundred and eighty dollars.”

“Well…whose is it?” She demanded.

“I don’t know. There’s no identification in it anywhere. ” Melvin had begun to sweat at this point.

“So, why are you showing it to me? We can’t keep it.”

“I knew you would say that. Why not Joanne?”

“Because it’s not ours. It belongs to somebody, stupid. You want more trouble?”

“No, but think about this. You pray for God to help us, right?”

“Yes, every day, and you better too, Mister.” Joanne got angry.

“Then, maybe he gave us this money. Maybe it’s ours to keep and pay our bills for a while.” As soon as the words left his mouth he knew he was out voted. His heart sank.

Joanne stood up and shook her finger at him. “You go right down to the police station and turn it in. NOW!”

Melvin shook his head and scooped up the money along with its leather home. He left the front door without saying a word.

Part 3 on Monday, August 6

 

 

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