The gummy burglar

Alexis Daniels, Online Reporter

My hair whisked in the warm wind flowing from the open windows of the car. The sun was shining in all directions and no clouds were in sight of the prettiest blue sky I’ve ever seen. In that moment, I believed the sun had never shone so bright.

Yeah so that all went downhill after I had smuggled a giant gummy bear out of a mall. The story is kind-of wild, but… here’s what happened.

It started as just an average day, like any other that week. I took the bus to school, went to my class, and talked to my friends at recess. Soon after lunch, I became the coolest kid of the day, because I did the best thing any student can do; I got on purple.

So of course, the school day came to a close, my mom picked me up from the back parking lot, and I could barely stay composed and hold in my excitement. I sat in the car, buckled up, and blurted out exactly what was on my mind, “I GOT ON PURPLE TODAY MOM!”

She smiled and gave me a high-five, “I’m proud of you girl! Let’s go to the mall and get you something hmm?”

So, there we were, driving with the car windows down and the music loud, on our way to Coquina Plaza (Southwest Ranches, FL) without a care in the world.
As we pulled into the parking lot, anticipation boiled in my veins. I rushed out of the car, grabbed my mom’s hand, and ran for the entrance of the mall.

We walked around the large halls for a bit looking for the brightly lit windows of the candy store. I watched my feet closely as I stepped on the tiles of the mall floor, careful to avoid any cracks, when suddenly, my mom grabbed hold of my shoulder. I looked up curiously, my eyes locked on the bright gumball machine in the front of my (then) favorite store; finally, we were there!

I waltzed into the store, smile broad across my face, and closely looked at the of the candies. I couldn’t figure which one I wanted, until I saw it. A massive gummy bear on a stick, red fading into blue, square in front of my face. I needed this gummy bear more then I needed oxygen, and there was absolutely no way I’d have left without it.

I turned towards my mom at the counter, excited to tell her my decision, but my heart immediately sank when I saw she was holding a receipt and a bag of sour gummy worms. She probably thought I wanted them, after all they were my favorite, but I mean come on I got on purple and I thought I had a choice. I wanted to cry, I didn’t know what to do and I didn’t have time to think it through.

So, I grabbed the giant gummy bear off of the shelf, stuffed it up my shirt and quickly gabbed the bag from my mom to conceal it. I put a smile on my face, thanked my mom and followed her out of the mall into the parking lot.

“TCH!”, I felt a gust of wind up my shirt, looked down, and saw the candy I had stolen. On the pavement. In front of my feet. Right behind my mom, who was now staring wide-eyed at the item that was once not there. Her eyes heavy with disappointment, she grabbed the bag from my hands and the candy off of the ground and pushed me towards the entrance of the mall.

I was shaking with fear and dragging my feet as if I couldn’t bear their weight. We made our way to the candy store yet again, however it didn’t look as welcoming a the first time we were there. I look up to catch my mom eyeing me from above, merciless. I sighed and leaned against the counter, acting like I had no clue why we were even there.

Impatient, my mom kneeled beside me quietly, and whispered crisply in my ear “Explain what you did right this second, and apologize, and maybe I won’t give you as many chores once we get home today.” Goosebumps prickled my skin from the iciness in what was said to me; the warmth of the day now shielded in clouds.

Tears in my eyes, I told the clerk what I had done and said sorry with all of what my little heart could muster. He picked up a radio, and said something in it with words I didn’t know. When through the open doorway of the candy store walked in a scary policeman in a white shirt and sunglasses. His deep voice held me still in my place and tears poured down my cheeks.

Then, he addressed me directly, “Stealing is awful. It’s very wrong and against the law. I should arrest you right now, but your mom has done you a favor and convinced me not to. Do not ever, ever steal again or I will handcuff you and take you to prison.”

We went home, the drive was silent. He had really gotten to me, and my mom saw how scared I was and let me keep the sour candy she bought me. So, I haven’t stolen since in sheer fear of this mall cop with sunglasses appearing out of nowhere and taking me to prison.

It wasn’t worth the PTSD.