Tanya Jamerson stepped out of the subway station at One Hundred and Twenty-fifth street and looked around. She was supposed to meet Stacey and Jannifer McHill, but the early morning crowd--on the most famous street in America--made it nearly impossible to spot the girls. Tanya, who was the mother of four, worked at the DMV. And with four mouths to feed, she did whatever she had to do to keep food on the table.
“Tanya! Hey, Mommy, over here!” a voice called out to her. Tanya whipped her head left, then right. She spotted the girls standing in front of Payless Shoes, which stood a few feet from the DMV building.
“Hi, Mamí,” Jannifer said in a perfect Latino accent. “I’m glad you could make it.”
Tanya looked at Stacey, but the twin remained quiet. Tanya had seen the girls around the neighborhood but they’d never spoken to one another. The young mother was curious to know what the girls wanted with her.
The morning sun was unusually hot for early May. Tanya wiped the sweat from her forehead. “So, what can I do for you two?”
Jannifer went straight to the point. “We need you to get two nondriver’s licenses for us.” Stacey removed two wallet size photos--one of Stacey and one of Jannifer--and held it out towards Tanya.
Tanya stared at it. She was approximately twenty feet from her job, and this was making her nervous.
“What’re you talking about? I don’t know what people have told you, but…”
Stacey still held out the pictures.
“Will you please put those away?” Tanya snapped at Stacey.
“Watch your tone, Mamí,” Jannifer said to the young woman, her brow slightly knitted. Jannifer held out an envelope. It was full of cash.
“What’s this for?”
“It’s for you, Mamí.”
“How much is in there?” Usually, Tanya got three hundred dollars for forging documents and creating fake licenses.
“A what?” Tanya felt sweat sliding down from her armpits. She snatched the envelope out of Jannifer’s hand and stuffed it into her purse. Tanya knew that she was being watched at her job, but greed had consumed her. “Y’all need two, right?”
Stacey, again, held out the photos. “Here, you’re going to need these.” This time, Tanya took them. “There’s another thou in it for you when you deliver the ID’s.” Tanya’s heart skipped a beat, and she began to fan her blouse against her chest.
“Okay,” she said. “When do you need them?”
“We need them as soon as you can make them. I tell you what, Mamí, meet us at Wagner project.” Jannifer gave her a smile. “We’ll be there at one.” She gave Tanya the address. “Don’t be late.”
Stacey and Jannifer spent the next three and a half hours walking around Harlem, shopping. At 12:55 pm, a cab pulled up in front of 94 Paladino Ave. Tanya stepped out, smiling. There seemed to be a massive police presence a block away. Three minutes later, another cab stopped in front the same building. Jannifer and Stacey stepped out.
“By the look on your face, everything went okay,” Jannifer said.
“Everything is everything,” Tanya responded. The twins lead the unfortunate young woman towards building ninety-four. Two and a half minutes later, Stacey and Jannifer left the housing complex, alone.