Breaking the law broke my spirit

Oh, I’m not gonna claim I’ve only done one thing to break the law in my young 46 years but my first break is the one that stands out the most in my mind.  I was 7 years old.  Yes, my run ins with the law started early.

My mom, brother and I were at the grocery store (I won’t name it, lest they press charges – what’s the statute on stealing?) and we never had much money (my bio-father made good money but was selfish) so we never had many sweets.  I had experienced the most delightful flavor of my life (up till that point) maybe a year before when I won a large square of Bazooka bubblegum while playing Fish at a local fair.  So when I spied the packs of Bubble Yum at the check out, it was all I could do to contain myself.

I’d never stolen anything before and believe me when I say I have not stolen a thing since, just from the sheer guilt I’ve held in my heart over the years.  Yes, over a five piece pack of gum.

Mama is piling groceries on the conveyor belt.  I don’t know what my brother is doing.  I try not to pay too much attention to him.  Brothers…  Ya know?  I casually and nonchalantly look around to see if there are any eyes on me.  I walk around a bit to see if there are bystanders to see what I am contemplating.  Then, I walk slowly past the gum, glance to make sure I am about to pick up the correct pack while also looking around with as much sly as a 7 year old burglar can qualify, pluck the pack with my thin little fingers, stick it in my britches and make sure my shirt is hanging out long enough to cover the bulge, no matter how minuscule and unnoticeable it is.  It looks to me to stick out as large as two heads popping out of the clerk’s neck.

We get home and I make sure to walk behind Mama as we go in to the trailer.  I cannot take a chance of her spotting the large wad bulging from my jeans.

I walk into my bedroom, pull the pack out, quietly hide it beneath a folded stack of shirts in my dresser drawer, and go help Mama with the groceries as the sweet little girl I am.  NOT.  I do usually help with groceries, though.

After that, I walk into my room, shut the door, pull out that pack of gum and proceed to chew every piece of gum as quickly and utterly ridiculously as my little teeth could grind.  Do you think I truly enjoyed that gum?!  Then, when I was sure everyone was asleep with their door shut, I got up in the middle of the night, dug a hole deep into the kitchen garbage and buried it there (along with my dignity), ensuring no one would ever find it, nor sense the sweet intoxicating fragrance from that juicy lusciousness.

I never got found out but that early lesson in stealing was enough punishment to keep me from ever stealing again.  In my teen years, I had a couple of friends who shoplifted but when I knew what they were up to (and I always did), I stayed my butt in the car when they went into the store.  Thankfully, those friendships were ended by me while still a teen.  At least I had some sense as a teenager.  Not much, but some.

So, today’s challenge with The Daily Post is Breaking the Law.  What’s your take on it?

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Author: Carol B Sessums

Writer, Editor, Coffee Addict, Lover of Mountains. Lives to shrink the planet, one story and connection at a time.

5 thoughts on “Breaking the law broke my spirit”

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