So I'm like nine years old. And I want some candy. Bad. Real bad. The problem is, I have no money. That's bad too. Real bad.
All I need is a quarter. With a quarter I can get three candy bars and four Bazookas. (Yes, I'm that old.) So all I need is a quarter. But I don't have a quarter. So I do what so many of us have done but won't admit.
I go into mom's money drawer.
But there are no quarters. There are no ones. Not even any fives.
So I take a ten.
That's reeeeeeeally bad.
Ten dollars is a lot of candy. But I only plan on getting a quarter's worth of candy. I will then hide the rest of the money and use it to buy candy until I'm 12.
I slip the ten in my shorts' pocket, run out to the garage, and take off on my bike like a little girl terrified of getting busted for stealing ten dollars from her mom's money drawer. I arrive panting and wheezing at Bowen's Candy Store five minutes later.
I reach into my pocket.
The money is gone.
It fell out of my pocket.
I spend the next three hours retracing the five minute bike ride to the candy store. I look under every rock, in every gutter, on every porch.
I'm being punished for stealing. I just know it.
I go home with the guilt of a little girl who just stole ten dollars from her mom's money drawer and then let it fall out of her pocket. I hide in my room for a while wallowing in my shame. Then mom calls me downstairs to feed the dogs and set the table.
I bring the dogs' bowls of food to the back porch. Sweetums runs up the steps and starts inhaling her dinner. Sundance stays in the yard, barking. He's dug a hole, and he is standing there barking at it.
This is odd. Our dogs don't dig holes - or bark at them - and they never allow their dinner to sit for one second longer than necessary. I wonder if he has tried to bury a bone, or if he just wants to prove to me that he knows how to dig a hole.
I go down the stairs. I look in the hole; hoping there is nothing disgusting in there like a dead bird or one of my brother's socks.
It's not a bird or a sock.
Lying in the bottom of the hole is a ten dollar bill.
And yes, I put it in mom's money drawer.
And I never stole again.