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The Day You Cannot Win
by Hiromi; April 14, 2007

One out of two bank machines was out of order. And a lady in front of the working machine wouldn’t budge. Her card wasn’t even in the machine; her hand was frantically searching its whereabouts inside her black leather purse. For the last five minutes! Why the option—stepping aside while searching for the card—didn’t occur to her was a wonder.

Um, Ma’am, would you mind if I use the machine first? I wanted to say. But I couldn’t. I’m a wimp. I can’t handle confrontations. All I could do was sigh extra-heavily, hoping it would reach her earshot. A couple behind me was whispering and I wished they would say it aloud to her. I hoped someone in the line would yell, Hey lady! People’s niceness was killing me.

But she’d found the card! She punched in the numbers and got a wad of bills. She put them in the purse and—no, this could not be happening—started searching for another card! I closed my eyes. My heart was palpitating, and my hand was sweating, squeezing my bank card. My foot started to tap.

Then she was gone, giving us innocent look—oh my, what a long line up. Thank God! I rushed to the machine and slipped in my card. I wanted to show that I was super-efficient, not like her, so I punched the numbers super-quick and left the machine in a flash. Boy, I was driven. So driven that I sped away (by bike) and passed London Drugs, completely forgetting my errand. Damn, I can’t win, can I?