A Day at The Bank

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Pak Qasim really didn't feel like going out today. It was Friday you see, and although the old man is no longer employed, he still feels like he's entitled to some rest today. He can't though. He promised his daughter he would help out in paying the road tax this month. Which is only fair, since he help get rid of the old road tax sticker. Granted, he also got rid of the old windshield too. But it was already cracked and needed repair anyway, he's just helping things along.

"You're reflexes are getting slow, she says", mutters Pak Qasim to himself, as he is wont to do in the mornings.
"You're eyesight is going, too. Why don't you just take a rest and watch television while I take care of everything, she says", his pitch increasingly becoming higher. "Kids. I guess it's cute that she thinks she needs to take care of me." he continues, followed by a small cough. He reached for the car keys and headed for the door.

"Dad?" came a voice from the kitchen.

"I'm going out now, dear", Pak Qasim replied.

"Are you sure you'll be fine?" his daughter asks as she exits the kitchen to make sure her father has got his pants on.

"I'll be alright, honey. I told you, last time wasn't my fault. You met the other driver, you know how he was," came the reply, slightly agitated.

"Okay, dad. Just be careful, you're not--"

"--in my forties anymore, I know, I know," he answered with a smile.

With that, parent and child shared a handshake and a kiss, and the father drove off, slowly and deliberately, while the daughter waved at him and returned to the house to call up the insurance company.

* * *

The trip to the bank was uneventful enough. Old though Pak Qasim is, he knows when to be careful on the road. He enters the bank, takes a number and sits down patiently awaiting for the machine to call out his turn.

He looks a bit out of place here in the bank, he admits to himself. Not just because of his old-timey fashion sense. Everybody he sees there had some sort of electronic device attached to them. He is no exception of course, with his hearing aid and his cellphone, which he keeps in his pocket, turned off. These people however, were tethered to their devices. On his left is a woman who seems to be talking to herself, until Pak Qasim noticed her handsfree device ridiculously snapped onto her ear. She looked rather like an air traffic controller, he thought to himself. If traffic controllers are busy exchanging gulai recipes. On his right is a child playing with a small thing that looked like it came from straight out of a science fiction novel. He could have sworn the child was talking to it at some point. Although whether the child was simply expressing his joy, or actually legitimately communicating with the thing is a question Pak Qasim knows isn't worth pursuing. Three other people are typing on their cellphones, five others were listening to something they kept in their pockets, and two others were on their laptops.

Pak Qasim had to stop himself from counting people when he heard the ceiling call out his number. Finally, he thought to himself. He slowly got up out of his seat and made his way to the counter when he heard a loud bang.

"Alright everybody this is a ROBBERY!" one more bang echoed through the lobby.
The tellers backed off from their counters.
"Everybody DOWN!" another crack busted open the ceiling.
Screams were heard as people started to realize what was happening.
"I said EVERYBODY down! NOW!"

Pak Qasim turned around to give the bank a quick glance and several things ran through his mind.
He noticed that the security guards were tied up. All three of them.
Only one of the robbers had a weapon, and it was a shotgun.
Three warning shots were already fired.
Two were used to distract the guards, as he can see from the marks on the outside wall and floor.
One more left in the barrel, he thought. And the tallest robber, the one with the gun, was about the same height as himself. He turned back to the counter, being careful not to breath hard.

"Move, old man!" the robber with the shotgun yelled in Pak Qasim's direction. Perhaps he was a little perplexed that this old man was the only one still standing.

Pak Qasim drew a long sigh. All this on a Friday too, he thought to himself.

"I said MOVE, you deaf?" he shouted again, as two of his buddies who were hurriedly packing all the witnesses' electronics and jewelry into a sports bag, started to slow down.

The old man turned as slowly as he could, keeping his calm. He replied sweetly,
"Can I help you, young man?" He heard one of the robbers giggle.

"I said MOVE DAMMIT!" his arms are shaking now, the end of his gun pointing wildly.

"Watch your language junior, if you want to make a deposit why don't you take a number!" Pak Qasim shouted back, his face inches away from the gunman's.

The gunman pointed his gun at the old man's forehead. "I'll..I'll kill you, man! I mean it!" his voice crackled just a bit.

Pak Qasim squinted a little. Strange, that voice is starting to sound familiar.
"Say that again?" he asked.

"I'll k..I'll kill you!" he answered, much softer, his arm trembling, and his voice broken completely. The other two robbers stood silently still. As was everyone.

The wizened old man's eyes darted open as his mind begin to make connections it hasn't made in years.

"Ismail, is that you?" he asked, mouth agape.

The two other robbers looked at each other with wide open eyes. One of them dropped his bag.

Ismail quickly turned around and whispered sharply to his cronies, "Why didn't you TELL me Pak Qasim lives here?"
The robbers hastily picked up their things and clumsily made their way out.

"You know him?" a teller asked Pak Qasim.

"I taught him fardhu 'ain," came the reply. "He was always a little naughty as a kid," he continued, walking towards the masked men.
"Are you leaving, just like that?"

Ismail looked back at his teacher. "I'm busted you old geezer. Might as well leave," he turned around and opened the bank door, his gang already waiting outside.

"I'm telling your father."

Ismail stopped in his tracks. He turned around with his head down, his eyes meeting with his teacher's.

"You're better than this, Mail. We can still fix this."

The young man removed his mask and went to hug his beloved teacher.

* * *

After a short trip to the police station, a farewell chat with an old student and a few interviews with some local journalists, Pak Qasim left for home, feeling quite proud of himself. He entered the house and was greeted by his daughter.

"My workmate was there when it happened. He told me everything," she blurted out.
"Are you okay? Are you hurt anywhere?" she continued, worriedly.

"I'm fine, I told you, you don't need to worry about me. The car is fine, I got back here safe and sound and I even nabbed that robber," came the reply. "I might be old, child.. but you give your father less credit than he deserves," he added with a grin.

"Okay, okay. I'm sorry," she said, starting to smile. "I'm just too much of a worrier,"

Pak Qasim made his way to his favorite chair and sat down to read the newspaper.

His daughter handed him a mug of coffee and after a moment's hesitation, asked
"By the way, did you pay the road tax?"

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