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Daniels 27 Jim Daniels Taking Stock I quit my job as stockboy to look for work down South. Back in Detroit a month later, I went to pick up my last check and ask for my old job back. Behind the Wrap Desk, Old Marge flipped through the check box, Maureen next to her. Nothing. She checked with Records— someone had cashed it. Maybe Maureen was talking to me with her pale face and desperate hands. I was broke and staring at that box. Eighteen, first job out of high school, she'd stolen my check, forged my name to have an abortion. I was twenty-four, still getting called boy. She called me that night, crying. / was going to pay you back, really. You weren't around and. And I believe she would've sent the money to the address I'd scrawled in the lunch room my last day—we'd shared enough sandwiches and secrets. They knew someone from work stole it. She confessed and agreed to pay them back and lost her job. I walked out of the store still unemployed, thinking maybe we could've fooled the sober men in suits, a stockboy and a wrap girl putting one over on the big boys. Maybe if we'd done this. Or this, or this. But I was old enough to know, finally that nobody puts anything over on the big boys. Maybe I could have held her quiet against my chest. ...


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