There’s no such thing as easy in her business, not really, but this job isn’t at all hard. Everything is standard. The locks, the sensors, even the guard patterns. (Though, really, there’s only one. How hard is it?) Akemi’s whole purpose was to get around standard. She could’ve done this when she was a kid.

She doesn’t know who lives there (Woods something?), just what they’re like. The typical rich person she deals with all the time, especially when they’re out on business.  It’s easy. Too easy, perhaps, but she’s never been one to question her little strokes of luck.

The safe is in the bedroom. Another standard, but she can see why. It works, and that’s the most important part.

Akemi places her hand on her bag, ready to remove her tools when a sound reaches her ears. Footsteps. Socked feet. Someone comfortable here.

She shoves her bag under the bed and dives inside the laundry hamper, trying to cover herself with the clothes. Don’t, don’t, do not lose it, there aren’t enough hiding places here.

A girl walks in, her eyes nowhere at all, and her hair in soft, blonde waves done with too much conditioner, probably the scented kind. She’s got mascara and lipstick and blush and who knows what else on, and she’s pretty, pretty, pretty.

She looks around the room, pauses at the bed, and then, with a curious tilt of her head at the basket, walks out of the room, her eyes nowhere again.

Akemi’s heartbeat becomes too loud, and she waits for the beats to quiet before she slips back out. The girl didn’t see her. Then again, she wasn’t looking.

The safe is standard, too, and Akemi doesn’t think too much about opening it. She slips the jewelry into her bag and opens the window, stepping onto the ledge with a small glance backwards. Standard escape route. Standard.

It’s not until she’s five blocks away and inside a cafe that she truly opens up her bag. Pins, jewelry, her tools… and a note folded into the size of her pinky finger.

That was new.

Hey~!

Most closets are really big, not like the laundry hampers, so it should be really easy for you to fit inside, or hide other stuff. And I’ll cover for you, promise~. See you next time!

Mia

It’s signed with a little heart drawn in lipstick, the same red she wore, and it smells like conditioner and fake roses. Mia. Her name is Mia.

She should throw the note away, destroy it, anything to prove that this never existed, that neither of them ever existed. She just can’t. At the very least, she needs to assess Mia, and if Mia failed…

She would deal with that when the time came.

Akemi may be breaking her routine, but this is as good a reason as she’s ever had.


Photo: Moja Msanii on Unsplash.com