When I was a kid, I used to play robbers and cops with my friends. It was really fun pretending to be an officer and chasing after the robbers and capturing then. It was, even more, fun to play a robber where I would steal things and try getting away with them. Challenging the cops, my friends, to try and apprehend me. Sometimes we would even play the worst of the crimes like murder. I enjoyed it most when the “cop” would apprehend the criminal and say “You have a right to remain silent. Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law”. Of course, it was only a game and I never thought this would ever happen to me in real life. I ever imaged prison was meant for those hard criminals like murderers, burglars, and rapists. I was I nice innocent kid and that would never happen to me.
During the summer of 2014, I went to spend some time with one of my childhood friends. We had been close in the past. We had done a lot of things together. We had been the best of friends. Since high school, we had not met much and when we had this great opportunity for us to be together, I was so excited. I went to my friend’s house. It was still early in the morning and we still had the whole day ahead of us. We had a lot of catching up to do. We had so much to talk about. We talked about how each of us had been...
since we had last met. Every moment was great.
Later that evening we decided to go out and do some shopping at Target then, later on, go to the movies. My friend was driving. We hadn’t gone far when we were pulled over by the police. The officer claimed that we were over speeding. The officer wanted to give us a ticket. But then, my friend being that convincing managed to talk us out of the ticket. We only got out with a warning. That was impressive. I had never managed to talk myself out of a speeding ticket before. Of course, I had tried twice but it hadn’t worked in either of the two speeding situations. My friend started boasting to me how he could talk out of anything. We laughed about it and even dared my friend to violate another law and talk us out of it. Little did I know how this was a bad idea.
So we arrived at Target. After picking up some food product we went to the clothes section. I hadn’t carried any jacket to my friend’s place and I wanted to buy one. There was this leather jacket I loved so much. The problem was that the jacket was so expensive. Its price tag read, “$499.99”. I did not have such kind of money, at least not to spend that much on a single jacket. So I decided to go for a much cheaper option. But then, my friend said, “You don’t have to pay for it, you ca
have it for free”. At first, I thought that my friend wanted to pay it for me. Then it hit me, I was to steal it. “What!” I exclaimed. There was no way I could do that. I wasn’t a thief. This was no game. We were not playing robbers and cops anymore. It was a real situation. If caught, I would be arrested by real cops and taken to jail.
I wasn’t ready to go to jail, not for a jacket at least. However, the more I looked at the jacket, the more I realized that I wanted it so bad. My friend told me that it was simple, “Just remove the tag and wear it and walk out with it. No one will know that you didn’t come in with it”. But then I was concerned. What if someone sees me? Or the security cameras capture me? Or worse still the alarm goes off on my way out? No, I wasn’t prepared to find out. I was able to overcome my desires; at least I thought so at the moment. Not until my friend offered to do it for me. I didn’t want my friend to do it. The risk was still there no matter the person doing it. However, my desire for the jacket was so much that in the end I agreed to it reluctantly after “assuring” me that we wouldn’t get caught and if caught, he could talk us out of it. We would pretend that he forgot to remove it after trying it out.
We went to the counter and paid for the other staffs and just as we walked out of the door, my worst fears were confirmed. The alarm went off. We were immediately stopped and searched by the security guards. I tried to look as confident as I can but then I couldn’t. I was trembling. The guards did not know at first what had exactly made the alarm to go off. So they had to run all the staffs we had bought throw a computer. Everything looked fine. We had paid for “everything”. One of the guards said, “This is funny. Maybe the system has a problem and issued a false alarm”. They looked apologetic. They even apologized to us. We were just about to be allowed to leave when one of the guards looked at my friend and bluntly asked, “Is that your jacket”.
I started to tremble. One word came to my mind; “prison”. I didn’t want to go to prison. What would my parents say? And how would my friends react to the news? Should I deny that I had nothing to do with it and leave my friend in trouble? I had no answer to all of these questions. But then, my friend played it cool. He looked surprised, he claimed that he had no idea that he still had the jacket on. He said that he had only tried it on and that he had forgotten to take it off. He even claimed that he had a memory disorder; which was not true. But that did not explain
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