I realized it’s time to get this off my chest, because every time I remember it, it just absolutely ruins my week. Prepare to feel incredibly sorry for my dumb ass.

I used to work as a babysitter. I always got along well with kids, because I have a very specific way of treating them, which relies on “their words aren’t less valid just because they’re 7”. So they like that about me, the fact that I listen and answer and don’t just “pretend” I’m listening to then just say “uh huh thats nice dear”. Anyways. I decided it was time to broaden my horizons, and considering this natural talent with kids and that I was broke as hell, I decided to be a full time nanny (no living with the family though cause god no), and I got hired by a pretty well off family of 2 kids, one that was around 6 and the other was a teenage girl. The mother had an office job and was petty, overprotective, cleaning freak and obsessive as fuck, and the husband was some kind of manager at some company that just made me uncomfortable. But it was a nice job nonetheless, even when it was kinda tiring to be cleaning their mess from 8 AM until the kid got back from school around 2 PM, cook and wash clothes while I was at it.

So, having said that, this story takes place on a random day of the week, and begins at around 9 AM, when I was completely alone. I should also mention that the mother, being obsessive, used to call me at the house just at the exact time I was supposed to arrive and also when her son arrived from school, and sometimes even at my own cellphone. Which is why it didn’t surprise me when the phone rang early in the morning right when I was about to clean upstairs.

I pick up the phone and I get chills down my spine. It was a police officer, as he said, who asked me my name and told me Mr. Dad had been in a car crash, and his car was wrecked, the other dude’s car was wrecked, but while the other guy was pretty much okay, his pregnant wife was in the ER, and my boss had his jaw broken. I could hear him in the background, moaning instead of speaking, and I just got very freaked out. No one told me what to do in that sort of situation, no one did. I was scared and got ready to call Ms. Mom, but the officer stops me on the other end of the line, says I need to speak to Mr. Dad, and he hands him the phone. He tries to speak, barely manages it, and calls me by my name, telling me that I should under no circumstances call Ms. Mom, because he didn’t want her to worry. He forbid it, begged me to not call her, and I, scared, told him I wouldn’t. Then he told me to speak to the officer because he couldn’t speak anymore, and once the phone was in the officer’s hands, he told me the situation. The other guy wanted to sue, since his unborn child was probably going to die. He wanted to wreck my boss, and it would all lead to a very complicated ordeal, so this officer told me, almost whispering, that they could get to an agreement where everyone was happy and no one would have to go to court. The guy wanted cash from my boss, money to pay for the medical bills and as compensation, and he would be satisfied. I was just quiet the entire time, just listening. I wasn’t sure why they were telling me, the nanny, someone that had nothing to do with them, but he answered my question by mentioning that since he didn’t want the wife to know, I was the only one he could turn to, considering my boss had cash right there in the house.

I said “okay”, and the officer gave me instructions to find that money, go to the nearest bank, and deposit the money to the account he was going to give me. He then gave the phone to my boss, and he started to give me direction to where I would find the money. He told me, “it’s in my study, in one of the drawers”. I was quiet, since he didn’t have a study (he was pretty much never home), so I figured he meant the small room where the girl did her homework and where all the books were stored in shelves. I said “alright, I’ll se if I can find it”, and he told me to NOT hang up the phone.

I went to search, but found absolutely nothing. I went back to the phone.

“My mind is hazy, I’m sorry, I’m under heavy medication for the pain. Look in the closet, up there,” he told me, and I went to the closet, searched through the clothes, searched “up there” where they stored useless boxes, and just stood there like ??? Why up here? there’s nothing here? I went back to the phone.

“There’s nothing there, could you tell me exactly where it is?” I asked him, and he began to moan, and the officer snatched the phone from him. He sounded pissed off when he told me.

“Miss, this is a very serious situation, I’m gona need you to take this seriously, can’t you see he’s injured and in shock? Of course he doesn’t remember, you’re gonna have to look for it!” I felt embarrassed and ashamed for asking so much from him, and I just nodded and felt stupid. I really was stupid, how didn’t I consider that. I went off and searched, turned the entire upper floor upside down, until I found an evelope with 200 dollars hidden in a cabinet in what he had called the “study”. I felt relieved and rushed back to the phone, pretty fucking happy for myself and told them the good news, wrote down the account number, and the officer told me where the nearest bank was based on my exact location. I went there as fast as I could, deposited the money and went back to my boss’ house, mission accomplished (note that they told me not to hang up the phone while I was away).

He congratulated me and my boss sounded happy, until they received news that the child had died. And the other dude was pissed, sad, and needed more money. “200 won’t cut it” is what he had said, I believe. I just shrugged, I mean, what was I gonna do? The officer let me know, again in a whisper, that sometimes when they encountered these sort of situations, they did something that the bureau shouldn’t know about: Obtain the person’s valued belongings and treat them as cash, to make sure the other person got the money necessary to prevent sueing. My next job was to tell them what I could see that was of value, and they would estimate the price. My boss would say “just get the jewelry from my wife’s nightstand” but when I went there and searched, they weren’t there. “They have to be in the bathroom then”. They weren’t there. “Are you sure you’re taking this seriously? check in the closet!”. Nothing. But I did tell the officer about the plasma TV’s and computer, which were honestly the only thing of value I could see.

I’m pretty sure you all know where this is going, and got the hint a loooon time ago already.

The officer’s friends, dressed as civilians, would go to the house to collect the items. I was to open the door to them, and let them in, or just hand them to them (I would have had to rip the plasmas off the wall lmao). I waited. A dude came to the fence, which was high and locked, and stood there with a phone that he handed me. I didn’t open the gate but answered this phone, and it was the officer, telling me this was the man. The guy looked nervous as fuck. A rookie. And I guess it was the fear in his eyes when he saw me hesitate what set him off and snatch the phone from me to say into the speaker “she’s catching up to it, she knows” and casually walking away, pretty quickly.

I felt my heart sink to my knees, screw that, all my fucking internal organs dropped to my feet. I felt a very hollow pain in my chest and stomach, like the wind had been blown out of me, and I gripped my face to avoid crying when I rushed back to the phone. I demanded answers, but not directly. “I want to talk to my boss” I said. The officer scolded me for not going along with the plan. I asked again, and my boss answered. I asked him, trying to remain calm “What is the name of your dog that got ran over two days ago?” he started talking, begging me to help him “please, I’m tuning out of time, just give the officers the stuff!”

“What is the name of your dog that got ran over two days ago?”

“Please I’m not playing around, stop acting like a child, this is serious-”

“what’s the name of the mother fucking dog?!” I had lost it, and they realized I knew, and hung up the phone. I dropped to my knees and began sobbing, I couldn’t stop outright fucking screaming, because I felt so used, and above it all stupid and naïve as all fucking hell. As soon as that phone hit the receiver, I got another call. It was my boss’ wife, asking where I was, what was going on, and heard me crying. She asked.

“Did someone call you saying that my husband was injured? Because it’s not true! It’s a scam!” I was crying, so that was her answer. “Oh God, what did you do?”

And THAT FOLKS is the story about how I got scamed, almost killed, searched an entire house and left it looking like a tornado went past it, and pretty much robbed 200 dollars from this family and ALMOST gave away a whole. Fucking. Lot. more. money. Because I was stupid, gullible, was too blind to see the warning signs. They suspected me and my family for a while, but when I tried to give them back the money I had given the scammers, they decided to just fire me and not hear from me again, and I kinda thank that I never saw them again.

Moral of the story is: whenever you get a call like this, or from someone that claims to be a distant relative, stop and try to call the supposed injured person. Stop to ask for help. Never trust someone on the phone telling you they will help you or your loved ones, if it ends up coming to money, valuables, or even letting them inside your house. Because these people knew my boss’ names, the children’s names, and where they lived.

Monday 8:27am
I woke up with you on my mind.
You called me babe last night —
my heart is still pounding.

Tuesday 10:53pm
Today I realized we won’t work.
What we are is hurting her.
And I think she matters more to me than you do.

Wednesday 11:52pm
I broke things off with you today.
She barely said a word.
I’ve never regretted anything more than this.

Thursday 4:03pm
I shouldn’t have sent that message.
You shouldn’t have been so okay with receiving it.

Friday 9:57pm
I almost messaged you today.
I didn’t.

Saturday 8:49pm
I’m walking around town in search of alcohol.
They say that liquor numbs the pain of having a broken heart.
I want to put that to the test.

Sunday 2:32am
I heard you texted a girl you’ve never spoken to before.
I wonder if it’s because you’re trying to replace me.
I can’t help but wish you weren’t.
I thought I was irreplaceable.

—  a week with you on my mind, c.j.n.