I glance over my shoulder. The man in front of me approaches a teller.
“I can help who’s next,” says the bank teller at the end of the counter. Our eyes meet. I noticed with relief that her station is located closest to the exit.
“Hi, how are you?” My voice trembles. Act normal, I remind myself.
“I’m good, thanks. How can I help you?”
“If I pay another party with just their account number and branch number, can I still get a receipt for the transaction?”
“Mhm,” she says, nodding.
“I’d like to pay $110 to this account.” I stretch out a sticky note with numbers.
She takes it. Her fingers fly over the keyboard. She stares at the screen.
“What’s the name of the party you want to pay to?”
Oh, no. I hadn’t expected this.
“Do you need the name?”
“Well, I have to make sure the deposit’s going to the right account.”
“Right, uh, I don’t really remember…”
I flash her a sheepish smile. I glance down at the counter and stare at the pen chained to the counter. What should I say?
“ I think it was something like… e-homework?”
Her eyebrows lift a fraction and the corners of her lips twitch up. “Oh, okay,” she says. “I see from what you’ve told me it’s the right account.”
It was? “If I may ask, what name do they go by?”
“The name has tutoring in it,” she says.
Tutoring? So that’s how essay-writing services get around the legal stuff.
“How much did you want to deposit?”
“$110 cash.” I stick out the crisp bills.
Shadows crept on the sidewalk when I stepped out of the bank.
I pulled out the business card. It was the kind found sprinkled on desks in the library, tables in the cafeteria, perched on windshields in the parking lot. “We can write your essays—and you won’t get in trouble for it!”
I’d email them back to let them know that the transaction had gone through. If I sent them the instructions that night, would they deliver the assignment by the deadline?
Read Andreea Mihai’s full investigation into essay-writing services and plagiarism at university in The Medium’s upcoming magazine.