The Grieving Shoplifter

John wandered around the shop touching,feeling picking up, putting down. He wasn't looking for anything in particular.He wanted to kill some time. He had one hand in his pocket fingering his change. He was aware of the sound it was the sound that Hilary had moaned about. " Stop jingling " she would say, " It's really annoying" He would sigh and stop ...for now...until he forgot and he would start again, round they went in circles. How he wished she was here to tell him off, to moan at him. He missed her so much, in every way. He picked up a pair of soft, red, leather gloves, how she would have loved these, he felt each finger,individually, the softness reminded him of Hilary , looking around him slowly,carefully, he slipped them into his pocket,next to his change. Hilary would love these. She always wore gloves ,cared for her hands and slender fingers. He waited for his heart to slow down a little and settled his breathing. He tried to stop himself from checking the shop, he kept strolling. He found himself in the beauty department. He was looking for some hand moisturiser,to compliment the gloves, she loved anything with butter, thick creamy, coconut or chocolate smelling. John picked up a large tub, he read the label, "Shimmering" he said to himself......"No she doesn't like shimmering", he replaced the tub. Then the offer jumped out at him two for the price of one,shea butter, whatever that was he thought, he very quickly slipped one into his coat pocket. "One will do" he thought better not push it" He pretended to be interested in other bottles and bits, as he walked slowly to the exit.

A strong hand cupped his left shoulder, a young man dressed casually was talking to him, John looked around, " Excuse me sir would you please accompany me?". The best way to describe his feeling ,John realised later was one of relief, he followed the man to the back of the shop. "Please empty your pockets sir" This was not a request. John sighed and took out the shea butter, and the gloves,he was aware of his jingling change, He was thinking of Hilary,

"Thank you sir, I am going to have to involve the police,this time because I believe you were here 2 weeks ago taking from the shelves and not paying," .

John said "I am sorry, these are for Hilary I miss her so much so very much"

By Karen Marr