This is the second part of a story I started last week. You can catch up here.
Sydney’s mom dropped off us at the front of the mall, reminding us not to be late for our pick up time. Free at last!
We started meandering down the walkway with no real destination, looking into windows for the latest fashion and also to see if any other kids were around. At one corner of the mall, Hillary stopped us. “Oooooh, look at those shoes! Those are cuuuuuute!” She was looking at a pair of sneakers that were on display in the window on the back side of a shoe store. She turned and looked at us, “What size do you think those are?” Sydney and I looked at each other, shrugging our shoulders. How should we know? We weren’t shoe salespeople. Of course neither of us said that out loud.
“Mmm…I’m not sure. Maybe you could ask to try them on?” I offered. Sydney nodded in agreement.
“You two watch and make sure no one is coming,” Hillary ordered, as she bent down to remove her shoes. Wait, what?
Before either of us could protest, Hillary had snuck into the store and was placing her own shoes on the pedestal in the window where the new shoes had been. The new shoes were in her hand. I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing. Did she really just put her old, scuffed up shoes into the window?
“Come on, let’s go!” Hillary pulled each of us by an arm and walked quickly away toward Farrell’s. Ohmygodohmygodohmygod. What was going to happen to us?
“Let’s get some ice cream,” Hillary suggested, completely ignoring the fact that she had just stolen a pair of shoes. I was distraught, but I also didn’t know what to do. I had been an accomplice, an aider and abeter. My palms were sweaty, my mind was racing. I looked at my bff since 2nd grade with eyes that said, “What. The. Hell!” Sydney shot back a look that said, “Be cool!”
So into Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor we went. We sat in a booth and were quickly served waters along with our menus. I couldn’t even think of ordering ice cream. How had my life taken such a turn? Is this who I was now? A lookout for a thief? My thoughts were clouded with all the possible things that could happen when someone figured out what we had done. Suddenly, I was snapped back to reality–
“Do you have any money?” Hillary asked us. I shook my head. I had some money, but now that she asked I realized I didn’t have enough for even a soda. Sydney also had no money.
We did the only thing we could, walked out without ordering. I was mortified that we had been served waters and just left them there, but relieved. Because there was something that we could’ve done–dined and ditched. But one crime was all I could take in one day. There would be another day and another crime at the Stonewood Center, but that’s another story.
So, this is how a life of crime begins? 😊 This brought back memories of how a friend of mine walked out of a store with a new pair of shoes that he didn’t pay for. Oh my. I had thought of that in decades.