HDW had this story posted on her Facebook page and it reminded me of what happened when I was 16. What happened, you ask? Well, I'll tell you...
Once upon a time, I was 16 years of age, working the 5pm-11pm shift, on a school night, at Dunkin Donuts. Because that shift was so slow, I was the only person working. The night before, a man had come in and robbed the other 16 y/o boy who worked there with me. That caused me to be a little worried, but I had convinced myself that no one would rob the same place 2 nights in a row....
It was 30 minutes before closing when a couple came in. They were regulars there and knew me by name. I had told them about the robbery and they offered to stay until closing. I insisted that that wasn't necessary because I'd be closing in 30 minutes and that no one would rob us 2 nights in a row. They got their coffee and said goodbye.
About 5 minutes later, this short, skinny guy walked in. He was wearing baggy, khaki shorts and a white shirt that had "Life's a Beach" written on it. His clothes were dirty and filled with holes. His hair was dark brown and cut like Paul McCartney's when he was with The Beatles (circa 1964). He walked up to the counter and smiled at me. His teeth were rotten and just nasty.
"You're going to hate this. You're really going to hate this" he said as he smiled really big. Because his tone wasn't threatening, I thought he was going to ask for 5 dozen doughnuts or something like that. I replied, "Oh yeah? What's that?" He said, as he pointed something in his pocket at me, "I'm going to ask you to open up that register and give me all of your money." All the while smiling and completely calm. The robbery from the night before was on our local news, so I thought that this was just some douche trying to be funny. I laughed.
That's when he stopped smiling and pulled a gun out of his pocket, "I'm NOT joking. Open up your register and give me all of your money. NOW!" I instantly went into this mode. I can't describe it, but I just wanted to be able to remember everything about him. And I wanted to be able to make sure they could catch him. I scanned his entire body, desperately trying to burn an accurate, descriptive image of him in my brain. I did this while pulling the drawer out of the register.
Then I thought to myself, "If I don't hand him the register, he'll have to touch it, leaving fingerprints behind." With that thought, I set the drawer down on the counter very close to me. He did exactly what I'd hoped, he grabbed the drawer and slid it close to him. As he took out all of the money, which wasn't a lot at all, I just stood there, calm, scanning him over and over. He put the money and rolls of coins in his pockets, while keeping the gun pointed at me. I looked at the gun and noticed that it was a revolver. It was rusty and old looking, but I wasn't willing to find out if it could still shoot bullets or not.
When he was done, he started walking backwards toward the front door. As he walked out of the door he yelled, "Call them! Call them all!" I immediately ran to the phone and called 911. While I was on the phone with them, I realized that I hadn't locked the front door. What if he had friends outside, just waiting to come in and rape me? What if he realized he hadn't gotten much money and came back? I told the 911 operator to hold on and I ran to lock the front door. That's when I started crying. I guess the flood of emotions hit me all at once. I gave the 911 operator a perfect description of him. She was really impressed with how much I remembered.
A few minutes later, the police showed up. They did all of the normal police stuff, which kept me there until 2 in the morning on a school night. As it turned out, he was the same guy who robbed us the night before. Fortunately, they quickly found him at the 7-11 right around the corner, trying to get cash for the rolls of coins he stole from us. They said that he was a meth addict, who was in jail but released early due to his AIDS status. The officer said that they early-released a lot of people with high maintenance medical issues who weren't felons. I don't know if that's still a common practice in Florida, but according to the officer, it was at the time.
I never found out if the gun was real, loaded, or functional. But like I said before, I wasn't willing to take the chance over $80 that wasn't even mine.