"I should have brought my camera." I stared down at the check on the counter in front of me, the largest check I had ever seen in my life.
"I have to use all of the spaces," my husband chuckled as he filled out the amount on the deposit slip.
Our last check from Nevada State College. Our severance pay. They had been generous, but would this last us until we found another job?
We had stopped by the human resources office to pick up the check on our way to the bank. I almost felt like crying when the HR consultant called up Russel's supervisor at the college and said, "We're finalizing Russel Carlson's separation from the school right now and..." Finalizing... separation... the threat of tears passed before materializing, like an early monsoon thunderstorm that never drops any rain. After that, I felt nothing. I'm through being sad about this. I did all that months ago.
"I have a large check to deposit," Russel told the teller at the window. "It's my severance pay."
"Yeah, everyone is going through that right now. It's nice that they gave you some money, rather than, here's your last paycheck, goodbye."
"Yes," I said, "We're really grateful. This gives us some time."
"There you go," the teller handed me the receipt. She smiled big, and said as if making an inside joke, "Enjoy your summer vacation!"
"Yes," I said, with sudden exuberance. I threw a hand in the air. "We're free!"