I’m a thief.
Well . . . a would-be thief. If I’d gotten away with it, who knows where I’d be now.
Maybe I should explain . . .
I was nine.
Mom was chatting in the front room with one of her friends. Their discussion had turned to something that said friend was interested in purchasing from Mom.
Goods were produced and delivered.
Exclamations of surprise and delight. (Okay, I’m assuming here.)
Friend’s handbag appeared.
And a coin purse came into view.
A number of quarters were counted out and cradled in friend’s hand.
To this point, all was above board, friendly and honest.
But this is where bright-eyed, slightly avaricious Diane came into the picture.
Mom turned to me. “Diane, could you please bring me the money?”
I nodded, my eyes already on the gleaming silver in the woman’s hand. I moved closer and held out my hand. She tipped hers and poured the pile of coins into mine.
And that’s when my heinous plan was hatched.
There were a lot of coins. Surely Mom wouldn’t notice if just one went missing?
Deftly (?), I sneaked one quarter into my other pocket as I turned and walked over to Mom - duly delivering the treasure.
Then, task completed, I dashed upstairs with my booty (ie. Ill-gotten gains), already planning how I was going to spend it.
A few minutes later, I vaguely heard the front door close.
And then my Mom was standing in my bedroom doorway.
“Diane, we need to talk.”
She sat on my bed and held out her hand with the quarters in it.
I looked at them. Then at my Mom. “Ummm . . . yeah?”
“Diane, one of the quarters is missing.”
“Really?” My brain started turning frantically. “A quarter?”
“Diane, did you steal a quarter?”
“Umm . . .”
“Maybe it dropped. You know, when I took the change? On the floor? I’ll go look.” And I escaped out of the door and into the front room where I quickly (before my Mom could get there and see what I was doing) flipped the coin under our recent guest’s chair.
Then, dropping to my hands and knees, I miraculously, ‘found’ it moments later. Holding it out proudly in my hand, I presented it to Mom. “It was there! See?”
Mom nodded and took the coin. Then looked at me.
With a ‘Mom’ look.
“Don’t ever take anything that doesn’t belong to you, Diane.”
“But I dropped . . .”
I nodded unhappily. How had she seen through my clever subterfuge?
My career as a thief ended that day.
I obviously didn’t have the ‘knack’.
Mom saw to that.