Underneath her heavy winter coat, Lynn clutched the double CD of Billy Joel’s Greatest Hits in her left arm pit. She held her purse in a purposefully awkward grip in her left hand, to disguise the fact that she wasn’t moving her left arm. She didn’t shake or sweat; she smiled.
Rule one – don’t look like you are hiding anything.
“Gosh, it sure is cold out there,” she said to the cashier and she counted out the coins for the pack of gum she was buying.
Rule two – always buy something.
She looked up into his eyes, he was tall, and very cute. He blushed.
“Yes it is, miss.”
Lynn finished paying and took her receipt, smiling up at the guy. ”Bye,” she said, letting out a little blush of her own.
Rule three – look happy and project confidence.
The reaction set in almost too soon. Almost before she could get to her car. Warmth flooded through her veins. Lynn could have melted a Minnesotan lake in February with the amount of heat pouring off her body. The shaking made her drop her keys, and lose her grip on the CD. It crashed to the ground and she used the motion of picking up her keys to toss the CD into her purse.
Inside her car, she let the rush overtake her and she reveled in the ecstasy. There were no highs better, or cheaper than shoplifting.
Years later, Lynn stared at the security systems placed at the doors in that same store, the little anti-theft devices glued to every CD, and smiled to herself, wondering if she had some small influence there. Lynn could remember the rush, the same way she could remember the joy of an ice cream cone when she was little, or the thrill of running into the living room to see what Santa had left for her under the tree. She’d grown out of those things as well.
Was it luck that kept her from getting caught? Possibly, but Lynn liked to think she was just smarter than most other shoplifters. She couldn’t help thinking that her rules were still good ones, and maybe, if she tried it now… But no. Age brought wisdom and the knowledge of consequences, something her 17 year old self had no awareness of.
And besides, there wasn’t anything in the store she wanted. Not the way she’d wanted that Billy Joel CD.
“Jason! Brandon!” she called out to her kids. “Come on! Pick something and let’s get out of here.”
Daily Prompt: Breaking the Law - Think about the last time you broke a rule (a big one, not just ripping the tags off your pillows). Were you burned, or did things turn out for the best?