I’m rich. Rich, you see. It’s quite funny, really.
That’s the card. The magic card. I was just leaving my flat. It was about ten in the morning and I was going to pick up the medication for Patti. And there it was lying just outside my door at the edge of the pavement. Someone could easily not have seen it and just kicked it into the gutter. It could have wound up going down the nearest drain. Been lost.
It’s been a hard year, you see. I was unemployed for quite a long time. That sort of thing of thing can really bring you down when you’re applying for jobs - going to those long stressful interviews when they’re all quizzing you about how you respond in various situations. And you think you’ve done really well and then you never even get the job. A nightmare.
There was the holiday I was wanting to go on. Was going to take Patti if she was well enough. Haven’t had a break in ages. Then of course there was Jared’s wedding I was supposed to be paying for. That was all arranged.
So I picked it up. Just out of concern you know. Mainly because I assumed someone had dropped it and lost it. And it was my name written on the card.
But it wasn’t any card I had lost. Not my bank. It looked like a proper bank card. My friend Janet’s with that bank, I’ve seen her card, I mean, it looks identical - with the little hologram and everything.
So I thought I’d just test it. Make sure I wasn’t forgetting. So I took it to the cash point in the high street, the one I usually go to. Put in my usual four-digit PIN code.
It’s quite simple really. You go to any cash point or into any bank. Insert your card into the machine. Most of them have a 200 pound limit. Some are 300, though. Nice little windfall, I found myself saying to Patti. We’ll certainly be able to afford the break now.
So really I’ve been able to live quite comfortably for the last few months. There was no limit on it. No limit at all. It always just said ten grand.
It was that just that one time I went to a clothes shop. Cos I’ve really been meaning to get some new gear for a while now. For the trip. And the wedding, of course. And the medicine isn’t cheap.
So I was at the checkout and the girl was adding everything up. As I recall it about 180 quid. Not that much really. So I hand the cash over - cos I only pay in cash.
Then she said… this isn’t real money.
I looked at the notes. Dated, stamped… dirty and crumpled - some torn, taped back up in the middle. Official signatures. Proper money! This country! Legal tender!
I didn’t know it wasn’t real money all along.