(A Story Cube Short Story)

As Kayla sat at her desk trying to figure out how her bank account got overdrawn, she began to feel overwhelmed.  Christmas is in a month.  How was she going to pay for her ticket home?  It had to be an oversight on her part somewhere, but where?  She scoured her account again looking for a charge she didn’t recognize or didn’t remember.  How could she have done this to herself?  What is she going to tell her parents when she tells them what happened?  It wasn’t her fault though.  At least she didn’t think so.  She’d been busy for weeks working on her paper for her Emerging Global Culture Class.  Sure she had spent a lot of time at the Coffee Genie working on her notes, brainstorming, and writing, but she hadn’t spent $400 on coffee and snacks had she?  No, she had to figure this out.  She was going to have to learn how to download her transactions from her bank.  She hadn’t signed up for it yet because she was afraid that someone would be able to steal her information from her computer, but maybe someone had already gotten ahold of her banking info.  Ugh!  She dreaded finding out.  She still had finals to get through.  The last thing she needed right now was to deal with money issues.

“Hey Kayla!”

Kayla jumped.

“Oh, sorry…your door was open.  I just wanted to drop off your speech for your Psych class.  I went over it.  It looks good though I did make a few corrections here and there.  I think you should…hey, are you okay?”  Liam asked as he got a good look at Kayla.

“Thanks Liam.  Sorry, I just found out that I overdrew my account and I don’t know how.  I thought I’d been doing a good job balancing my account, but somehow I spent $400 that I don’t remember spending.” Kayla stopped because she felt the tears coming and she tried to hold them back.  She didn’t want to cry in front of Liam.

“Wow, are you sure you spent the money?  Did you go through your transactions?” Liam inquired.

Kayla nodded still trying to fight the tears.

Liam crossed the room and sat next to Kayla on her bed.  “How about your wallet?  Do you have all your cards?  My Mom dropped her card once on her way out of the grocery store and didn’t notice for days till she tried to use it when she went to the gas station.  When she reported it lost, she found out someone had been using it and the charges were reversed.”

Kayla grabbed her purse and took out her wallet.  Her fingers fumbled trying to unzip it as she hoped that maybe her problems would be solved if she didn’t find her debit card in there.  Liam saw her struggling and took the wallet from her and opened it up.  Kayla saw the empty slot immediately.  Her card was missing.  When had she used it last?

Liam told her to call the bank and report it lost and they would go through her transactions with her to see which charges were hers and which were someone else.  Kayla was anxious about calling the bank to admit that she had lost her card despite all of her parents warnings before she left for college to always keep track of it.  She had promised that she would and now she was going to have to tell them that she’d lost it and not only that, but that someone had used it.  She started crying this time.  She couldn’t hold back the tears.  She felt like she had let her parents down.  She had wanted to show them how much of a grown up she was and yet here only a few months into her first semester she felt like she was barely making it.  Liam put his arm around her and told her not to worry.  The problem was fixable as long as she dealt with it as soon as possible.  Kayla took some deep breaths and got herself under control.  She thanked Liam for his help and support, but asked if she could be alone to make the phone calls.  Liam said he understood and wished her luck before leaving her dorm room closing the door after him.

Kayla got out her cell phone, took a deep breath, and called the bank.  The phone call seemed to take forever, but she felt better once it was over.  The person who had helped Kayla had been really nice and like Liam had said, they went through each of the transactions on her account until she got to ones she didn’t recognize.  Whoever had taken her card had gone to Barnes & Noble and bought almost $75 in books, $40 in yarn from an organic sheep farmer, and had signed up for a sky diving class.  Not what Kayla would’ve done if she’d had free access to someone’s card for sure especially not the sky diving class.  She was terrified of heights and hated to fly let alone jump out of a plane.  The bank told her to file a police report and let them know about the skydiving class since it hadn’t happened yet.  Maybe the person would show up and the police could catch them.  Kayla wasn’t sure what would happen, but she was glad that the problem on her end was solved.  Well, at least most of it.  She still had to tell her parents.  Maybe she would go tell Liam what happened and get dinner at the commons before she called her them.  Talking to the bank had taken a lot out of her.  Talking to her parents was going to be even more taxing.  She needed a break.  Kayla found her hoodie and put it on, grabbed her school ID and her keys, and walked down to Liam’s room.  It felt good to move.  She’d been so anxious all afternoon.  Maybe she needed to go for a run before she talked to her parents.  She wondered if Liam liked to run.   She hoped he did.