My early teen years were a complete mess. I was a run away and a druggie, and the following story is the by-product of that lifestyle. On one of my many wonderful adventures, I tried to steal from Claire’s, and the consequences were much greater than I could have ever imagined. It started out like any other day. A group of my “friends” decided that since we had nothing better to do (like go to school) we should head to the mall. I have no idea if I had smoked pot that day (I did most days so it wouldn’t be a shocker), but on this particular day, I decided I was brave enough to try my hand at thievery. I walked around the store for a while just browsing when I spotted a pair of earrings I thought I could easily gank (white-girl thug for steal). I grabbed them off the peg and proceeded to walk around the store while ripping off the paper holder. I shoved them in my pocket and headed for the door. At this point my friends were already out the door when I heard her: “STOP … DON’T LEAVE …WHAT’S IN YOUR POCKET?” I froze, while my friends stood there trying to get me to leave the store. You see, this entire lifestyle just wasn’t me. If you really knew me, you would have never in a million years thought, I would be “that girl”. The girl on the side of the road with over-sized Jnco’s, dirty green hair, and a cigarette hanging out of her mouth. I was against smoking, stealing, and fighting. I wanted to feed the children and save the whales. Somewhere along the way, I got derailed, and here I was facing the clerk; trying to choose between running or facing the consequences of my actions. I started to cry, and handed the earrings over to the cashier. She had already called the police, and the cop was walking in to file the report. The officer took me to the back room, and asked if I had cash ($3.98 to be exact) to pay for the earrings. I was a runaway, and I had nothing. He took down my information, and asked for a form of ID but I didn’t even have that. Then he tried calling my parents, but they were on a business trip in the Bahama’s. I was informed that because of my lack of ID I would have to go to JAIL. I had just turned 16, and I was going to jail. I cried for the rest of the day, and all night. Jailers don’t care how old you are, they still strip-search you like they would any other inmate. It doesn’t matter what crime you commit, you are still placed in general population until you get sentenced. That was the longest night of my life. The cell I was in was like one big holding cell. Everyone slept, showered, ate, and lived in one BIG room. I had a friend in the area, so I called her and she got her dad to bail me out and take me home. In court I was given time served and 1 yr probation. I was in a bad place, and it didn’t get better for about a year after that. Breaking probation was the reason I had to do weekends in jail in my hometown (that’s a post for another time). All of this trouble over $3.98. Not that my life was fine before or after that incident, but it’s amazing where one bad choice can lead. Now, I am the person that drives all the way back to the mall because I realize my toddler took one shoe off the shelf and it fell into the basket under her stroller (true story). So what about you? Have you ever stolen or tried to steal something? Was your experience similar to mine?