The first letter was a phone bill, a reminder. He binned it. The second was a final reminder from the electric company, he put that on the mantelpiece. He opened the third to find a bank card, he hadn’t ordered one. A quick glance at the front of it told him it was for a Mark Costello, which certainly wasn’t him.. He checked the envelope, the address was not even close to where he lived. He put it on the mantelpiece too, figuring to hand it in next time he went to the post office to collect his Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Until the next day’s post arrived. Another letter for Mary. His hand shook a little. He knew how these things work, first they send you the card, then they send the P.I.N. a day or two later. It was indeed the P.I.N.
He sat down to think for a moment. No one would ever know they had been delivered to him.
It was chilly out, so he wrapped up warm, hat and coat, and then, with a final glance at the P.I.N., he pocketed the card and left.
He took a bus to the north of the city, as far away from his home as he could get. It was a long journey, he had plenty of time to think about what he was about to do.
‘I’ll just check the balance,’ he reasoned. ‘That’s not a crime.’ Though he suspected it was. ‘Maybe Mary has lots of money and wouldn’t miss a couple of hundred.
‘And,’ he went on as the bus reached its terminus, ‘the number might not even work.’
He pulled his hat low and his scarf high in case of C.C.T.V.
The number worked.
The account was empty.
He sighed with relief and went home.