It called out to me. I could not resist it. I grew so tense that I could not
think. The wallet... the leather wallet... the beautiful brown leather wallet. I
had to get it.
I picked it up. I was strangely calm. The wallet was in my
hands. It would have cost me two hundred dollars. I had that amount in my old
wallet. I could buy it easily. I also had with me my five credit cards
which I could have used to pay for it.
However, it would not be the same. There would not simply be any thrill to
it. I had to have it for free! Only then would I feel invincible! Coolly, I
fingered the wallet, happy that it was in my hand. I knew it
was perfect for me. I liked the size, the color, the make. I paused at the
display glass, pretending to be interested in the pens that lay in a neat row. I
have no liking for pens although it brought me to the time when it all started.
I was seven when it started. I saw that Netty, my best friend then, had this
lovely pen that could light up and play music whenever she wrote with it. I had
asked to borrow it. What I did next, I knew, was wrong, but how could something
that was wrong feel so right? I slipped the pen into my bag and pretended that I
had returned it to her when she asked me some time later. She insisted that I
had not and that promptly made me bawl. No one could resist a cute girl with
bouncy curls crying her heart out. That was just what had happened. Netty was
reprimanded for being careless and I accused her for not being a good friend.
For years, she had been puzzled over the whole incident.
I blinked and was transported back to the present. The wallet was quickly
placed into my bag and I walked out of the store, triumphant. I was no
shoplifter. I was in no hurry to disappear from the scene of the crime. I hung
around the mall to see if there were other things that I fancied.
At last, my shopping days were over. I felt a gentle but firm tap on my
shoulder and as I whirled around, I saw a man in uniform. Still, I was
unrepentant. I insisted my innocence but a good shake of my bag revealed two
wallets. Though identical, one was somewhat worn out.
The guard picked up the wallets. They were of the exact make, color and size.
I was caught red-handed. He notified the police who soon came to take me away.
My parents were informed and were asked to come down to the police station. I
waited in trepidation, wondering what was going to happen to me.