He was, Sara said, dying of TB.

Tuberculosis? Lydia said. I didn’t know people died of that anymore.

He got it in South Africa.

That’s terrible.

I know.

How old is he?

Nineteen, I think.

Can’t the doctors do anything?

They’re trying. They didn't discover it until too late. He’s in the hospital now.

How did you get a key?

My roommate is taking care of his apartment.

So what do we take?

There’s money somewhere. A big bag of money. The family doesn’t believe in banks.

This is the last one?

Yeah, I'm quitting after this.

Okay, I'm quitting too.


Two days later, they entered the apartment.

They looked in the cabinets, in the large wardrobe against the wall.

They opened the bedroom door. Tim was under the covers.

Surprise, they said, after a few seconds.

What? he said, confused. He had been sleeping.

We’re Macy’s friends, she asked us to look in and water the plants.

I don't have any plants, he said.

They walked over to his bedside.

Macy said you had some plants, Sara said. Right?

Yeah, Lydia said. She was certain there were plants.

No, he said.

Oh okay, we just wanted to check. Macy asked us to check.

He began coughing.

Sorry, he gasped.

He put a pillow over his mouth.


Sara motioned to Lydia. Under the bed they saw the corner of a duffel bag.

As he continued to cough, Sara quickly bent down and pulled the bag out. Inside were stacks of hundred dollar bills.

Are you okay? Sara said.

I'm dying, he said. You shouldn't be here. 

The pillow was still over his face. 

They both walked up to the bedside near him and and pressed down on the pillow.

This is the last time we do this, they said. Definitely, they said, as he clawed at them. The last time.