On the Street - the Dilemma of Thievery

As I was exiting the grocery store yesterday, I overheard a conversation between a woman and what I assumed was her teenage son. She was holding at least four candy bars in her hand.

"Why were you stealing these?" the woman asked. "Haven't I taught you that stealing isn't right?" "But it's just a couple of candy bars," the boy said. "It's not like they'll miss them." "That's not the point! You shouldn't steal stuff from the store." "But you were talking the other night about how this store keeps charging ridiculous prices for things." "Yes, I was, but ... " "And you were saying that they try to screw over people by making up sales that really aren't sales." "Right, but still ... " "So I'm just trying to even things out here, ya know? It's not like they are going to lower the prices if I don't steal."

I turned to look at the mother, who didn't seem to have an answer for her son. She looked around and noticed that no store clerks were standing between her and the exit. She put the candy bars in one of the bags, and they both walked out.

I had just arrived in the store, so I walked into the candy section, next to an elderly man.

"I remember when a candy bar used to be a nickel," he said. "But the prices keep going up, because everyone wants to be paid more, especially those security guards who keep the kids from robbing the place."

Before, I was craving a Kit Kat, but I had quickly lost my appetite.

"On the Street" is a collection of fiction shorts.