Money is not free and it does not grow on trees. With our economy today, money is an extremely valued item and leads people to do ignorant actions when it is not present. In my case, that is exactly why I did what I did. Although part of me regrets it, the other part of me is happy with what I did. We all make mistakes throughout our entire lives and it is through these mistakes that make each and every one of us stronger and smarter. It was a few weeks before my friends 18th birthday debut party. She had a cotillion put together consisting of nine guys and nine girls.
This cotillion shared a dress code. All of s guys had to wear the same color suit and tie and the girls had to wear the same colored dresses. One weekend, we all went out together to go shopping for our outfits. We split up into smaller groups of about six people. The color scheme of the party was purple. So our goal was to find ties that were purple. It was actually pretty hard to find a purple tie that was exactly what she wanted the guys to wear. We went to many stores around the whole mall and still couldn’t find anything good. We finally reached the store JCPenny and gave it a shot.
There were two ladies that helped us find the tie section and were very helpful. Their help led us to finding the proper tie to wear for the party. My friend Gerald and I grabbed one tie each for ourselves since we were the only two that needed the ties in our group. We were on the second floor of the store and made our way to the cash register on the first floor. As we started making our way to the cash register, Gerald and I came up with the idea to steal the ties. I mean come on, they’re just ties. They are small and can be hidden very easily.
That way we wouldn’t have to pay for anything. We told the other people in our group that we were just going to take the ties without paying. They didn’t do anything much but tell us that it wasn’t a good idea and that we could get caught, but that didn’t stop us. First, we both walked around the store, making sure no one was looking at us. Assuming that were we good to go, we both entered an elevator on the 2nd floor, ripped off the tags, and threw them into a bag that I was holding from a store I bought something from. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking at the time.
I mean seriously? We walked into an elevator with the ties in our hands then walked out with nothing. I’m sure the security guards watching us through the cameras thought we were complete idiots. I would not argue with them whatsoever. We continued out of the elevator and made our way out of the store. Since we pulled off the tags from the ties, the security alarms did not go off. When finding this out, I felt an immediate relief rush through my body. I just got away with stealing something. Unfortunately, past the detectors was as far as I could go.
Two men appearing to be security guards found us and took us into a somewhat holding place for people who do actions like this. We were caught. At first I panicked that we were caught and mentally beat myself up for what I just did and momentarily tried to find solutions to our problem. During our walk to the holding room, I eventually accepted the fact that we were caught red handed on tape. It was very embarrassing and such a disappointment to Gerald and myself. They questioned us and pretty much gave us a lecture on how what we did was wrong and that there were serious consequences.
They explained to us how if we were eighteen we would have went straight to the city jail, but since we were sixteen, they called our parents along with the police. Knowing that they were going to call our parents, I entered a mode of shock and was extremely scared for my mom to pick me up knowing what I just did. The police came and ot all of our information. They then put us in handcuffs and made us wait for our parents. Fear and disappointment took over my body as I stared blankly at the floor. My mom came and immediately broke down into tears.
I could tell from her reaction that she would rather not have me as her son at the moment. Gerald’s Dad came for him and reacted the same way without the tears. They both began to yell at us and all that was on my mind was that I wish I could turn back time and just buy the tie. The police then took us outside of the mall and to their patrol vehicles. We also got a little lecture from the police as they escorted us o the police car. Being put inside of the car was such an experience. I felt like a criminal, like someone meant to be put into jail. I wasn’t that kind of person.
I just made a stupid mistake and learned the hard way. The police continued by letting us go with citations. The relief of being released from custody was very pleasing. But when I thought it was all over and money was the problem solver, I was wrong. Me and Gerald were required to take classes called “Short Stop” which basically was a discipline class teaching teenagers how to stay away from trouble and what the consequences of these actions were. During these class sessions, we watched many videos showing us examples of kids our age getting into trouble that was far more severe than what we did.
Sitting through these classes, I admit was really boring, but helped me realize a lot of things in my life. We had to complete three sessions. From each session we were given homework to do when we got home. One assignment was to volunteer for community service anywhere and document it on paper. In addition to my petty theft issue, My high school, Bishop Montgomery High School, found out about this situation and asked me to leave the school, instead of just expelling e. It was tough finding a school that would accept me because I left in the middle of the year.
Driving home from school that day I was asked to leave was completely miserable. I felt like my life was over and that there was no more hope. I wasn’t going to graduate from high school and my career dreams would never come true. Fortunately, there was a school that was willing to accept me. It was Mary Star of the Sea in San Pedro. It was a small Catholic high school that was very religious centered. The students there were also required to wear uniforms such as Bishop Montgomery. Moving schools was such a hard adjustment.
I barely knew anyone and it was hard to get used to the environment. Eventually after a few months, I began to settle and make friends based off of common interests. I then realized that moving wasn’t so bad after all. My life during this time was hard, stressful and disappointing. I made a lot of mistakes that I regretted at the time. But now that I look at it, it was those mistakes I made that strengthened my character and made me more mature. I can truly say now that I have learned from my mistakes and will never make them again.