I didn’t realise that a million in banknotes would be so heavy. You see it in the movies, someone walking around with a little briefcase. They open it up and you think there is a million in it. Walking along the canal last night was when I found it. A big black suitcase. I don’t usually take much notice of suitcases, there’s never really much in them. Just old clothes. I can’t sell them. Sometimes you get the odd bit of something electric that’s not broken but usually it’s just a waste of my time.
I looked in this one because it looked heavy. I know that sounds stupid, but you know when you look at something and you know there’s something big inside? That’s what this suitcase looked like. So I opened it and it was filled with money. I don’t know if there is a million in there. There must be close to a million though surely? It took me an hour to find an old shopping trolley to put it on to take it home it was that heavy.
I say my home, it’s just a few boxes thrown together underneath a bridge on a quiet part of the canal. Been living on the streets for years. I do what I have to do to survive. It’s not easy really but you get used to it. I try to find stuff to sell. People throw all sorts of stuff along the canal. I found a body once. Couldn’t sell that though so it’s no good to me. Didn’t look like he’d been dead that long either.
The other people that live down here beg on the streets but that’s not for me. I don’t like asking people for money. I like to at least give something back to them in exchange. I used to have a job, I was a salesman. It all went wrong twenty years ago. Long story, I don’t really want to go into it to be honest. Let’s just say I didn’t have much back then but at least I had a roof over my head, my daughter and a wife. I always knew I’d find a bit of luck.
I’m not sure what I am going to do with all this money. I’ve never seen so much in all my life. I’ll buy myself a house, not a big one, I just want a small one. I’ll be able to have a bit of warmth, nice kitchen so I could do some cooking. I used to love cooking. I’ve not done any in years. I only eat out of cans or go to the soup kitchen. I’ll get myself another dog as well. My dog died a few weeks back. I miss him. Still, I’ll get another one now. A bit of companionship.
Now that I have a bit of money I can go find my daughter as well. I haven’t seen her for fourteen years. She’ll be all grown up now. She was always a clever girl, she’s probably at university, good job and all that. I miss her. While I am living here though she wouldn’t want anything to do with me. I don’t know how I’d even find her. With a bit of money in my pocket I’ll be able to find a way. Money opens doors doesn’t it? I’d give everything to just see her. Just have ten minutes of her time.
What a strange day it was today. Fridays always seem to bring out the nutters. Why I ever decided to become a policewoman I’ll never know. Mum talked me into it really, I look back and don’t think it was my choice. It’s not that I hate it. Just some days are difficult. It’s the people. Some of them hate you, yet they don’t even know you, you’re just doing your job. A little bit of appreciation wouldn’t go amiss.
I was out on my own today, walking along the canal. They’ve said we need to be more visible along there after that poor man was found down there. Apparently he got drunk, fell asleep on his way home and died of hypothermia. Not sure why he was walking along the canal though, it’s not safe down that way, especially where all them homeless people live. Wouldn’t surprise me if one of them had already found him before that woman walking her dog.
When I see those people living under bridge I often wonder what sort of life it is. It can’t be much fun. Well, that’s an understatement, it must be awful. I often wonder what happened to my father when he walked out all those years ago. I don’t really remember much about him, only little memories. I just can’t see his face. It’s just a body, him taking me to the park. Mum says she doesn’t know what’s happened to him, she doesn’t really talk about it. Twenty years ago he walked out.
Walking along the canal was when there was a call on the radio to go to the bank. There was a homeless man causing a disturbance. You don’t usually get them causing disturbances in a bank. He was standing outside ranting at the manager and another girl that worked there. The bank manager said he’d brought in a big suitcase full of money. Well, what he thought was money. It was all fake. Poor fella thought he’d found a million quid! Now he’s found out it was all fake.
As me, the bank manager and the two girls looked on he was going through all the plans he had for this money. How he was going to buy a house, get himself a new dog. He wanted to find his daughter too. You shouldn’t get emotional in this job but I couldn’t help feeling sorry for him. Poor man. I managed to calm him down and walk him away from the bank.
I shouldn’t really have done it but I bought him a cup of coffee and spent ten minutes talking to him. Funny, he said that he’d lost everything twenty years ago. He’d been living on the streets since, selling stuff he found. The money wasn’t the most important thing for him, he said he just wanted to see his daughter. I watched as he walked away back towards the canal. My dad was a salesman before he left, I wonder if he fared better than this man? I’d love to have just ten minutes with him and see how his life has gone.