Picking up from the place I left that day, this is the continuation for the short story. 🙂
“So, just two of you in this?” Nub asked. “There are more, all the Form 1 co-op members, except AZ.” wider grin on Zaki’s face now. “Welcome to the club, Nub”, said the invisible voice behind Zaki’s head, audible only to Zaki. “Tell me more, I want to know the MO and who else in this”, Nub crossed his arms and getting ready to hear the revelations.
Chapter 2: Grab all you can
Nub was contemplating whether to join his new found club or just stick to his lone ranger modus operandi. Nobody knows he was stealing from the co-op all this while, but if he joins the club, he put himself at higher risk. You only need one idiot from the club to make a mistake and spill the beans on the others. Nub kept thinking, weighing the odds. At such a young age, Nub is remarkably smarter than his peers.
“Zaki, I want in”, Nub’s voice barely audible. Greed is a fat demon with a small mouth and whatever you feed it is never enough. Too bad Nub did not understand this. What a poor boy with a smart brain to let greed ruled his mind.
“Okay. You know, we actually wanted to ask you to join earlier. But we were wary of you, well some of the members,” Zaki was smiling now, happy that he recruited another minion for himself. “You are not the co-op member. How come you are in this?” Nub asked.
“Limas came to me with the plan. He told me the other co-op members are doing it. And they need somebody from the outside, those not a co-op member to be part of their plan. Me and Tin are the outsiders,” Zaki explained.
“What? Tin in this as well??” Nub could not help but to feel like an idiot, unaware of all these that were happening in front of his eyes. “Tell me the how you guys do it”, Nub probed further, although he already had a rough idea how they did it.
“It is simple. Like what you saw this morning between Limas and me. One of us will pretend to be a customer and make some orders. Make sure to order more than 1 item or it will look too obvious. Another one will be our co-op member inside, taking the order. The customer will give the co-op member some money as payment for the order.
This is where we get our money. The co-op member will take money from the cash machine and give it to the customer, make it looks like he is returning the balance. Normally he will give extra 10-20 ringgits. The customer can leave with the money and items he bought and come for 2nd time, 3rd time but do not make it so obvious.
We always do this during recess time, when there are many people in the co-op and we make sure more than one of our members are working inside the co-op. We seldom do it at night time because there are not many customers around.” Zaki looking at Nub, hoping his explanations make sense to Nub.
“Yes, more customers mean more money in the cash machine and more transactions on that day. So it is harder to trace whether the money we took actually stolen by people or because of the co-op members’ mistakes when doing the transactions. Great idea! So when should I start?” Nub could not contain his excitements. “Tomorrow. I will let the other members know you are now in our group tonight” said Zaki.
For few weeks after that the meeting at the bathroom, Nub, Limas, Zaki and other friends were living a comfortable life. Nub was becoming an important person in the group. The rest of the members listened to him a lot. The money they stole from the co-op they divided among themselves and everyone was new rich kid on the block. Nobody is aware of what is happening in the co-op, at least to Nub and gang. Living everyday without worrying what to eat for recess, lunch and dinner is definitely every hostel student’s dreams.
The food served to the hostel students is average at best. So, with the new found wealth, Nub and gang now seldom eat at the dining hall with other students but feast themselves at the canteen or went to the Nyonya’s stall outside the school to eat. They would only eat at the dining hall on Tuesday and Friday lunch when fried chicken and ayam masak merah were served to hostel students. Sometime if ayam masak kicap was on the menu on Wednesday dinner, Nub would go and eat for he loves it very much.
After living the life of rich and famous for nearly 2 months, Nub called a meeting with the members of the club. He was having bad dreams about him getting caught by the teachers stealing money from co-op and he was uneasy about the whole thing. Deep in heart, he knew he should stop before it is too late.
“I think we should stop doing what we are doing now. I do not feel good about this. We shall stop before it is too late. I really have bad feeling about continuing this. What do you guys think?” Nub was standing at the staircase, next to his classroom with the rest of the members standing or sitting nearby at the steps. It was lunch time. The rest of the students were not around. Hostel student were having their lunch at the dining hall and day-scholar students went back to their home.
“But we are making a lot of money. Nobody knows what is going on, why we should stop? I am saving some money to buy Maui T-shirts” Kel saying that, sheepishly. Kel had many Maui T-shirts in his wardrobe. No idea why he was so into the brand. Well, students at that time love to have Maui t-shirts, Grassman school pant, Dickies and Steeple Jack jeans. For them those are the ‘branded’ stuffs and if you wear it, you have style and class.
“I think we should stop too. The longer we do this, the bigger chance we get caught one day. We should pull out when we have the best chance to do so. Anyway we made enough for ourselves already, right? “ Zaki offered his opinion.
“Let put it this way. We all agree to stop doing this as a group after this meeting. This group is gone with the wind. If anyone wants to continue, he does it on his own risks. He cannot get the rest of us to help him. If he gets caught one day, he must shoulder it himself and never spill the beans on us. I personally no longer want to do this. I will stop doing this and I hope all of you stop too. So from now on we all on our own, agree?” Nub tried to put a clear message his friends.
“I am okay with that. I don’t feel good about this going on for a long time too. Anyone that wants to continue, do it on your own. Be sure to keep your mouth shut about the rest of us if something not good happened to you. That is all I asked“, said Limas, who was keeping quiet all this while doing his on thinking about what Nub just said.
“Agreed“, echoed the rest of the boys.
To be continued….
Next chapter: “Shocking Revelations and The Bust”