The Iowa Review

Everything but Thomas


I walked out of the bank just as I realized it was being held up.

I didn’t know what to do, run or hide in the bushes. So, without thinking,

I turned around and walked back in the bank. The thief saw me and said,

“Get down on the ground!” I followed his instructio­ns and got down on the floor. Then he pointed to me and said, “You, get up. You’re going with me.” I got up and followed him. We got in his car and sped away.

We sped past other cars at first, through stop lights, until we finally came to a parking lot. We got out of the car and quickly got into another, it was a black Chevy. Then we took off at a normal speed and drove that way from then on, stopping at stoplights and obeying all the rules. We drove out past the city limits and into the countrysid­e. If I didn’t know any better I’d say it was a pretty ride, beautiful trees and quaint little cottages. We drove for about an hour, then pulled off on a little lane and followed that for another twenty minutes. Then we stopped by a small cottage and got out. We walked in and turned on the lights. He said, “Sit down.” I did and he got out a rope and tied me up. Then I watched him go about his business. He took his gun out of his shoulder holster. He made some coffee, he lowered the blinds. He was nervous, but he also felt good about how things went. I also felt strangely secure, though I was a captive and tied up.

He looked at me and said, “What are you thinking?” I said, “I feel pretty good, considerin­g.” “You should. Everything’s gone as planned so far,” he said. “They don’t know who I am, and we got away pretty neatly as far as I can tell.” “Good. We’ll just hunker down here, and no one will find us,” I said. He went to the stove and started cooking up some hotdogs.

He loosened my ropes so I could eat with him. “This is a nice place,”

I said. “Yeah, it was my grandfathe­r’s,” he said. After lunch he tied me back up. Then he said, “I’m going to take a nap, alright?” I said, “Sure.” And he slept for a couple of hours. After several weeks together he decided to untie me. I helped around the house, chopping wood, sweeping the floors, occasional­ly cooking something. We were a good couple together. I grew very fond of him. And I know he liked me. This was our home, and neither one of us ever wanted to go back. There was a little grocery store about five miles away, and that was all we needed. We hunted deer, and one was all we needed to make it through the winter. Then one day Thomas got sick. He wouldn’t let me call a doctor, and a week later he died. To my surprise he left me everything, the money from the bank robbery and the cabin. I stayed on there for the rest of my life, never marrying, never having children. I had everything I wanted, everything I needed, everything but Thomas.

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