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The accidental thief.

2004-08-01 - 11:38 p.m.

My name is Shawna and I have a confession. Once in high school, I… I… I kind of…


…it’s so hard to go on…

…it was an accident. Really. I didn’t mean to actually STEAL it. It was supposed to be a JOKE.

Ok, here’s the deal. I accidentallystoleafriend’scalculator.

Whew. Is that a load off my conscience.

What? Details?

It was a joke that didn’t go exactly horribly wrong, but not at all to plan either. See, I had this friend and he had just gotten this brand new calculator and he was all proud of it and showing it off. That very same day, the guy had his back to his open pencil case and all in a flash – ‘cause I had to act fast of course and have you ever had an impulse to do something and then regretted doing it? Tell me I’m not alone here – I had this image of him discovering that it was gone and panicking for a moment and then I’d bring it out all “Psyche! Gotcha! You should have seen your face dude,” but I was still a bit of a do-gooder so I couldn’t bring myself to cause him that much panic so my hand veered for his old, partly broken one and I took that instead.

Which was stupid right? Because then there wasn’t really anything that would inspire that moment of panic so that I could brandish the lost object with a flourish and laugh at his relief.

So off we went to math class and all through the hour and sixteen minutes of class (yes, that’s exactly right, our classes were one hour and sixteen minutes long) HE NEVER SEEMED TO NOTICE THAT HIS CALCULATOR WAS GONE. And why would he? He had his fancy new one that he was using at that point instead.

So, no moment then. And no moment for the next couple of classes either. And then, a few days later, he says to me,

“Some idiot stole my old calculator. They must have been stupid because they took the old one when my new one was right there too. What a moron.”

And really, what could I do at that point? Put my hand up and say, “Moron here,” because my window had passed and now it looked like I was actually a thief, which I suppose I was but had never intended to be? I was, in fact, hoping to find a moment to slip it back to him undetected but no opportunity presented itself where I wouldn’t have obviously been the culprit, then he had a dramatic upheaval in his life and went AWOL from school for awhile and I hardly saw him again after that.

I couldn’t bring myself to just throw the cursed thing out so I ended up using it and feeling a twinge of guilt every time I did – it was almost like a sentence I imposed on myself: thou shalt use the purloined evidence and may it prick your conscience until such time as it ceases to function. And that partly busted calculator? It lasted for, like, years. I think it made it all the way through university with me. Its spirit, clearly, haunts me still.

Before - After

All content © Shawna 2003-2010
That means no swiping my stuff - text, images, etc. - without asking.

P.S. If you're emailing me, replace the [at] with @ in the "to" line. Oh, and if you put the word "journal" in the subject line it'll have a better chance of making it past my junk mail filters.

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