I left the bookstore a bit dejected because the novel I wanted was more than my used book budget could handle. I soothed my angst with the purchase of three other books for the same price and decided I would get it another time. I drove from the bookstore to the mall for other errands, stopping at the ATM as I entered. I smiled at my wise decision to save myself a trip later. However, my visit to the mall was fruitless in every area but one: the reminder of why I avoid it.
Ready to go home I returned to my car and began the trip. While at a red light a sign for a new thrift shop caught my eye and I decided on a whim to stop. Naturally, I was draw quickly to its used book section and low and behold the book I had wanted was there for a faction of the price. Thrilled at my find I scooped it up. At the register I continued my rejoicing when it was discounted even further. However, as I paid I saw that the place my debit card usually resides was empty. A surge of anxiety quickly replaced my excitement.
Returning to my car I searched for the car in my bag and wallet to no avail. I began to mental retrace my steps of the morning and realized that I had to return to the dreaded mall. The ATM sat adjacent to the actual bank and perhaps they had my card. I hurried back letting my imagination wander to the way someone could be using my card for fancy clothes or vacations. As I arrived at the doors of the bank I was comforted by the fact the funds in my account are minimal. Yet, another surge of anxiety raced through me as I found the branch closed for the day.
Resolving to call or find another bank to help me I march past the blur of teens and couples casually taking in the sights of the crowded center of commerce. I wonder how anyone could be calm at a time like this before I remembered I was alone in my crisis. After walking the distance of the mall and parking lot, I attempted to call the bank but my tiny phone screen lead me to no options for help. So I drove to the next closest branch only to find it closed, as well. Thankfully, the grocer next to it has a small branch of the same back within it.
By this point my face was flushed as I burst past the Girl Scouts in the store lobby to arrive at the bank front within the store walls. All the lights were out yet one loan teller was behind the counter. Timidly approaching I asked, “Are you closed?”
“Yes,” he said kindly.
I ventured, “Can I ask you just one question, is there anyway to tell if the ATM or someone else has my card?”
“No…but I can put your account on hold until you can call the bank tomorrow.”
My sigh of relief nearly blew the man over. “Thank you!”
He took my driver’s licenses and manipulated the computer to do his bidding though the bank was technically closed. My relief grew into exhaustion as my panic subsided. “Thank you,” I said again.
He smiled and asked, “You know we are offering a great rate on our credit cards right now.”
I said no thank you as politely as possible. He humbly took my rejection and confirmed that my funds were temporarily safe. Thanking him again I returned to my car recounting the events which brought me to this place. If I hadn’t stopped at the thrift shop I would not have found the book nor would I have known my card was missing. I could have been days before I discovered its absence. Now all I have to do it wait until tomorrow and see if I must cancel my card or if the bank branch at the mall has it. Either way a serious crisis has been averted. Praise God!