Heist of Love by Dalton Breeden

June 27th, 2029, Day 87

“Alice I’m gonna be busy the entire day honey, I love you so much.” I told her squeezing her hand, tapping three times, and staring into her eyes. We’ve had a thing between us since we started dating where we’d tap each other three times to say I love you. It was my favorite form of affection.

“Baby you seem stressed. What’s wrong?” she asked me with those beautiful piercing eyes, tapping back three times. 

“I’m just hoping this lottery ticket I got from heat street wins.” 

I’ve been living this day over and over for months now. I’ve had no control over it but I’m thankful it happens. It’s the day I save my wife, but it’s also the day she dies. I have to go through with this. Alice is not dead and Alice will not die. The first and easy parts to get ahold of came to me with little to no trouble. I only had to reset once to find an unmarked gun for the robbery. The mask I made myself, out of plaster and paper it covers my face entirely but is ghastly and instills fear. It has a yellow tone that resembles the color of a fire at its hottest.  It is based off of a human skull but it has horns like the devil that come off of it, twisting and turning. The most unsettling part however is the angelic and beautiful face that is surrounded by all of the calluses and bumps. 

Finding duffel bags for the money was also a breeze I would only need two or three realistically. Then came the harder part. Finding a way to properly case, plan out an exit strategy, get away, and do it all in under fifteen minutes before the silent alarm went off. I spent fifteen days just finding a way to get everyone down and make my way into the vault. I won’t lie twice I got angry and frustrated from my failures. 

Having to experience my wife die over and over again. I took two days to have some catharsis. I would never ever do this to people normally but I could reset time, so what did it matter if I hurt someone? If I killed? It wouldn’t be permanent. Seeing the life fade from their eyes, all twelve of them. It wasn’t as terrifying as I thought it would be but when you watch the one you love die so many times, other people’s misery and other people’s problems don’t matter. I mean why should I give a shit about James losing his house huh? I’ve lost it all day after day. James is just a whiny mistake and he’s not worth what the world has given him, but the world oh it took Alice from me when I needed her the most. Well you know what? Fuck the world I’m gonna take her back. I’ve planned everything out in my head. “Tomorrow” is when I rob the First World Bank and save Alice. 

June 27th, 2029, Day 88

“Alice baby I’m going to the bank today okay? I think I’ve won the lottery so if we have…”

“Dalton you can’t stop what’s going to happen to me use the lottery money and make a better….”

“NO! No there isn’t a better life without you Alice okay, I l-love you so much.” Alice only looked me in the eye with tears coming out of hers. She gave me three taps on the hand. I tapped back three times and squeezed her hand. I started to head out, ready to rob the First World Bank. I walked into the grand opening of the bank. It was packed as always but I was prepared for all of this. I’ve lived this day over and over. I put my mask on and fire three rounds into the roof to show that I mean business. I’ve dealt with the same “hero” before but this time I made a different decision. I don’t know what comes over me but I just feel furious. I shot the man that reached for my gun in the head. The civilians were terrified of me now but it kept them down and quiet. I’m being a monster. I am a monster, but I have to. I need to save Alice. “What’s the code Samantha?” I scream at the manager. 

“How do you know my name?” the blonde lady asks me, fear in her eyes.

“I will kill Joseph if you don’t give me the code for the vault.” the only downside of living the same day over and over is that some little things change like the vault code. The code is 2002 and I enter it into the vault pad as fast as I can. I’m shaking and I put 2001 for the first try. That set off the silent alarm but I can work with this. I start bagging the cash into my duffel bags. Three full bags a little over 1.3 millions dollars all in bags on my back right now. I take the fire escape and a police officer stops me. “Hands up son. I don’t want to hurt you.” the man says.

 I know who it is. It’s my best friend from highschool. I take my mask off and look him in the eyes “Asa I have to do this, Alice needs this money man.” I try to plead with him but it always ends the same way.

“Dalton you killed someone. I ca-can’t let you walk away.” 

Asa is never surprised when I take the mask off. Almost like he expected me to do this. Asa never expects the next part though. I put one 9mm through his head. It’s the only way to put him down quickly and painlessly. I’ve done this over and over. At least fifteen times now. It hurts but I have to do it. I have to save Alice. I spend a minute just staring at his body. It hurts to stare at him. I move on as quickly as I can to my car. I change into a different outfit and put the money in my spare tire trunk. 

 I have a meeting with a researcher who’s working on this. We meet at his house and I give him the 1.3 million dollars for the medicine that’s supposed to save my wife. We make it quick with two or three words between us. The dosage is in a small neon purple pill. I have three hours till Alice dies. Plenty of time to get to her and administer it. When I finally get to her hospital room I’m ecstatic. I run into the room with the medicine that’s going to save my wife. “Dalton what’s in your bag?” Alice asks me as I realize the small overlooked mistake that gives me away. I left my mask in the bag and just the horn is peeking out. “Dalton I’ve watched the news. Tell me the truth.” 

“Alice I-I had to do this. I NEEDED to save you!” I’m so taken aback, why wouldn’t she be happy?

“You hurt Asa for me Dalton? Your best friend? He was at our wedding! He helped us through the miscarriage! God what the fuck happened to you? I fell in love with you because you cared so much. You’ve turned into a monster Dalton.” after some silence she looked me in the eyes and tells me “The mask fits. You have the same attractive face but the rest of you has turned into something hideous.”

The beeping of the monitors quickened the pace of her heart and my own. The thump, thump, thump of my pulse, nearly drowned out the piercing tones of the monitor. The sound nearly drove me insane, the repetitiveness of it, the meaning behind it, it’s relation to the life force of the love of my life. 

“I got you this medicine to save you Alice! I did this for you!” I pull out the medicine and hand it to her. Alice tentatively takes it in her hand staring at it. After what felt like an eternity she looked me in the eyes. 

“If you had to kill and hurt other people, to save me? I don’t fucking want it Dalton! I don’t want anything to do with you anymore!” she screamed at me with hatred bleeding in her eyes. Alice threw the medicine out the bedside window with such unbridled malice. I can barely hear myself think, my thoughts being drowned out by the beeping of machines and my own heart pounding. 

“Do you not understand what I’ve done for you Alice? How much I care?” she just stares at me. Not answering my question at all. The beeping is too much. It so goddamn loud! 

“I wish that beeping would stop!” as soon as those words leave my mouth I understand my mistake and almost as the world heard what I said the beeping starts to slow down and stop. 

“Alice?! Alice I’m so sorry im gonna save you I promise okay?” Alice simply grabbed my hand and squeezed three times and with her last breaths said something that sent me over the edge entirely. 

“You need to let go, Dalton.” and with that the beauty in her eyes fade out. I spend some time in the room as everyone says the same things over and over again. “I’m so sorry. You have my condolences. I’m here if you need me.” The only thing I need is Alice, and the world would rather see me suffer.

June 27th, Day 178

I’ve spent the last “months” trying to find an escape. Trying to end it all so I could be with her. That way I wouldn’t have to live without her. I can’t live life without Alice. I’d rather be dead honestly and I’ve tried to make sure that I would die with her.  I’ve been run over, shot, hung, bled to death, ate alive, crashed into, beaten to death, suffocated, and drowned what feels like a million different ways. I still can’t die with her. If my angel Alice can’t live why should I? It’s been impossible for me to save her. I don’t deserve this life. I go to visit her before I try for what feels like the thousandth time to end all this. 

To my surprise for once an anomaly happens. Asa came to visit me. “Hey D?” he says so casually. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

“Asa what are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be at the First World Bank?” I’m so confused nothing like this has ever happened before. 

“Dalton I think it’s time I’ve told you the truth.” he looks guilty but I have no idea what he’s on about. “I’m the reason you’ve been repeating this day. Over and over. At first I wanted to give you extra time with your wife. You clinged onto it and I could see that if she was no longer with you at all, you would have killed yourself or someone else. Then you started to look for a way to save her but you hurt people to do it. You changed so much about yourself to save her. I couldn’t let that happen to you. Now you’re killing yourself over and over. To try and be with her. Dalton I wanted you to heal by yourself but I think I need to intervene. I’m gonna let time go through after today. Please Dalton, take care of yourself. Alice isn’t the only one who needs you.” all of this hits me like a truck. 

I want to be mad, angry, even furious, but I can’t. I finally understand that no matter what I try or even what anyone else tries this is how it has to be. I have to move on. 

“Give me today at least. Let me say goodbye, for real.” I ask him. Asa just nods at me and leaves me to walk into the room. As I walk in Alice smiles at me. 

“Hey baby, how was your day?” she says with the most beautiful smile. Her eyes absolutely stunning and pulling me through all of our memories together. I know I only have an hour left with her. I don’t say anything. Not verbally at least. I kiss her hand, then her forehead, then finally her. After all of this Alice looked me in the eyes and squeezed my hand three times. That was the day I really understood that Love can’t be stolen or manipulated. It just exists and you better enjoy the time you have.

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