“When I was fourteen … ” by Alyssa Redondo

When I was fourteen years old, I was arrested and almost taken to jail. During this time, I was hanging out with the wrong crowd. One day after school, I was at the mall with a group of my friends. They were all shoplifting and I noticed how easily they were getting away with it. While they were shoplifting, it started to seem tempting to join in. The mall was very busy, loud, and hot. With the mall being so busy, the idea of shoplifting became intimidating but also not impossible to take part in. We went into Macy’s, the store was bright, colorful, and loud. There was a strong smell of perfume. I began to put Morphe palettes and a bunch of other makeup in my bag. My friends and I ran to the nearest backdoor and made a run for it. We were then stopped at the door. While my friends got away, my hands were suddenly wrapped securely in tight, cold handcuffs. I was taken to the back room and the man pointed at the sign in front of me. The sign stated, “Smile you’re on camera”. That sense of realization that I was caught, hit me. There was a dry dehydrated taste in my mouth and I couldn’t stop worrying about being taken to jail. The officer called my parents and seeing the worry, as well as the disappointment in their eyes, completely broke me. The smell of the strong perfume began to stink and the warm hot store became cold. My mind became busy, worried, and stressed – instead of happy, high, and light. After that experience, I knew I would never shoplift again.

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