What Isn't Mine(?)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
Do you think I wouldn't steal from you?

Submitted: August 03, 2016

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Submitted: August 03, 2016

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You think I wouldn't steal from you? It starts out with something small, like twenty dollars when you have over eighty in your purse, you might notice it's gone but you think maybe you spent it on gas the other day, or at the hair salon on Hall Blvd. Maybe you got your nails done, and Shayna did an excellent job, so you think you may have tipped her handsomely. Next I might raid your change jar. The one you keep on your dresser to deposit loose change into at the end of the day. I won't take all of it, a dollar here, a dollar there. You're so busy you hardly notice or care. After that I may use your card to withdrawal forty dollars once a week. I got the number from you when we were grocery shopping. I stood behind you pretending to text as you typed in your 4 digit pin. I told myself I'd never stoop that low, but you know how it is. Or maybe you don't. 
One day you'll notice that your car is parked a little more to the left than you remember. You won't think much of it because you've been working so much lately, and you've been tired. You'll think to yourself "I could have sworn I had half a tank" not knowing I drove your car to Gresham last night. I feel only slightly ashamed when I ask you for a ride the next morning. Eventually I'll get careless and steal something big. Maybe it's your Bose sound system, or a PS4. Perhaps I take all the money out of your purse, except one 20 dollar bill. If I'm brazen enough, I can use that to my advantage, "why would I take ALL your money? I wouldn't be that stupid, you'd notice." 

By this point you kind of care about me. My self deprecating humor and my ability to listen to all your bullshit has won you over, and so you WANT to believe me. It gets complicated, and things suddenly don't seem so black and white. One day, after weeks of denial on perhaps both of our sides you'll catch me , and I'll come clean with a barrage of half truths. I'll tell you I have a problem and that I don't know how to stop. I'll admit to taking some money, and tell you that you should change your pin on your debit card. I'll admit to stealing your DVD's and the change out of the change jar, but I NEVER took your car, no way. I wouldn't sink that low, and I'm still looking for the person who stole the PS4, I'll get it back in no time, I promise. 

I'll never forget that it was a Tuesday. I got up early and and noticed my parents were both at work, which was rare these days. By now they knew I was a thief and usually kept a close eye on me. They were too co dependent to kick me out and I took full advantage of that. I woke up and drew a hot bath. I liked to make the water so hot that it burnt me. When I got out my body would be red and I'd press my forefinger onto my thigh to see the discoloration. Before I pawned it, I would sit in the bath on my parents iPad and play chess against the computer. On this particular day I needed money worse than usual, and was thinking of things I could steal. My mothers jewelry box had been left relatively untouched, mostly because she hid it and I wasn't able to find it. I hadn't had much time to look but today was the day. I looked through their closet, through the top cupboards in the laundry room (they used to keep coins and old collectibles up there) I looked through old boxed in cluttered garage before I stumbled upon something strange. It was her jewelry box disguised as a fishing tackle box. Clever, I thought to myself. It must have taken her at least an hour to switch everything around. I grabbed what I could, and I stuffed it into a Jansport backpack, along with some clothes. I knew if I did this that I wouldn't be aloud back at the house, and that was ok with me. I could slowly kill myself in peace. 

When I left the house the sun came out and my neighbor waved to me. He had short brown hair and a funny looking nose. One of those noses that curves up and reminds me of an elf. He seemed like a really nice guy from the limited interactions I had with him but everyone has secrets. I wonder if he'd ever hurt someone. Like REALLY hurt someone. Maybe not physically, but in a way that's even worse, lifelong damage to the psyche. Like when you cheat on a girl and she loses trust in men. When you fuck her sister and she can't go to holiday functions anymore without that hollow feeling looming over her, like a dark cloud. When you inject a fried with heroin and he dies and his father finds him slumped over in his room. His lips are purple and his skin is cold to the touch, mostly because he's been dead for over 3 hours but also because you left the window open. The same one you escaped through after it all went down. The two story drop seemed harmless in comparison to the lonely death you were just apart of. Has my neighbor ever felt regret? Not some stupid insignificant, "I should have mowed the lawn before it rained" regret, but real heartbreaking regret. Like when you're 7 and stick your hamster in the microwave, or when you decide to put broken glass into the ice maker at your youth church your parents send you too, and Sharon Bigsby slices her tongue clean open. Does he know what it feels like watch someone who used to love so freely, be turned into someone jaded and despondent? 

I caught the 12 bus up Pacific hwy, and as I sat down in the cushionless blue seat I received a call from my mom. This was rare and I somehow knew that she knew. When I answered she was frantic and said if I brought back her jewelry she would give me money, "just please bring them back, you have my grandmothers ring!" She screamed in between sobs, I calmly said I had no idea what she was talking about. "I fucking hate you! How could you be my son? I regret the day you were born, you piece of shit. Please, just tell me where you are, I love you, we can work this out.. You sniveling fucking drug addict. I'm sorry, just let me pick you up, I won't call the police, where are you?!" I hung up the phone and walked towards the pawn shop. When it was all said and done I got a little more $650.00 for something that was priceless to my mother. 

As I left the pawn shop, I notices that I had a number of texts from my mom saying she was coming to find me. The texts were frantic and wrought with grammatical errors. I took the bus to downtown Portland and start walking up burnside. At the same time my mother was just getting on the freeway. As she sobbed and cursed and hit her steering wheel, it started raining. She turned her music up as loud as it would go so she wouldn't hear herself crying. There were tears and saliva running down her chin as she pressed on the gas, going 80, 90 miles per hour. By the time she hit 100 she lost control and hit the median. Her car spun around and flipped ten, maybe fifteen times before it came to screeching stop, upside down on the highway, she didn't die instantly. Her neck had been broken and her lungs severely damaged. She took slow painful breaths, coughing up blood before she passed. I turned my phone off because I didn't want to get her calls. I didn't want her knowing where I was. When I found out the next day, I wondered if she had been wearing her Rolex? And if she had, would it still tick? 


© Copyright 2017 Donald Morrison. All rights reserved.

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