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Some missing punctuation (mostly periods), author discretion advised

We more often than not regret or apologize only after our actions have come back to haunt us. So, what do you do, when you pay the price for trying to make everyone happy through those actions?

Her name is Kim. She first transferred to my school in the 6th grade, and I didn’t know her so naturally I never thought anything of her. But now, she’s probably the greatest person I’ve ever known. She has my sense of humor, she’s smart, has a big love for music just like me, loved nature, is very independent and honest. She’s short with a very thin frame and dark brown hair down to the middle of her back. We started talking in our junior year of high school. We were paired in our shared art class and I didn’t think of her as anything more than a classmate who I honestly thought was kind of pretty. She wore these expensive looking, but still casual clothes. Some nice earrings and what looked like the latest iPhone. So she was wealthy I assumed, at least more than most. I walked to her table and sat down next to her. It was about 2 minuets of painful silence before the first words were said.

K “So, what do you wanna paint” She asked

D “oh uhm, it’s up to you I guess” I responded

K “really, c’mon”

D “I have nothing seriously”

She heavily sighed and said “fine, I say we paint the shire”

D “The what?”

K “No, you’re joking”

D “uhh no I’m not”

K “The lord of the rings!!!”

D “ohhhhhhhhhhh, I haven’t seen it”

K “Watch it!! You’ll never forget your first time watching the whole trilogy”

That was pretty much our first conversation, it wasn’t until the last week of our junior year when I thought of her as a friend, and we were somewhat close. So, I saw no problem in asking her to hang out after school. I was so nervous even though I thought of her as a friend, and I wanted my invitation to be as friendly as possible. So, I simply said “hey do you wanna stay after school and go on a walk?” I couldn’t just ask to go to her house as she lives with her aunt, and because I’m pretty poor so I didn’t have access to a car. And to my surprise she said yes. I honestly felt butterflies when she said it, and I let out an uncontrolled sigh of relief afterword. It went great, and it was tons of fun. It started kind of awkward. I mean we’re friends but this just felt different than sitting in a classroom and making jokes.

We walked to the mall, and just walked around in it not buying anything but still going in every store. We talked the whole time about, well life. We basically bonded that day, and ever since I’ve felt a little different after that. I think we’ve all had that day, where we have a different feeling towards someone we’ve known for a while. I didn’t understand it at first, but after that day, I kind of looked forward to seeing her every day. I did binge “the lord of the rings” trilogy, she insisted the extended edition, we went to the mall once a week to buy basically nothing, and… It was honestly the happiest I’ve ever been. But at the time I wish I could’ve told her about my “night hobby.” Now I only wish, I knew about hers.

Oh yeah, I didn’t tell who I was. My name is Daniel, I'm now in the middle of my senior in high school, and I'll be honest, I went down the wrong path early. I personally think it's justified, but I understand it's still bad. It’s just me and my mom that live in our home 30 minutes away from school and civilization. It’s in the middle of nowhere and our nearest neighbor lives 20 minutes away. Mom would drop me off every morning at the bus stop, and she would leave to work as I waited. But when she left, I would sometimes not wait for the bus, but rather leave and go off and do uhm… not good things. See this night hobby I mentioned, well what I would do was… I would… break into houses at night.

It sounds bad I KNOW, but I want to at least tell why I did it. My mom is very poor because she never seems to keep a job, I’ve spent too many nights listening to her soft sobs of frustration with life through the walls. But she always gave a smile and love to me. Of course, I give her it in return. One night in my sophomore year, before I ever met Kim, I was super depressed and felt life was nothing anymore. I know my mom felt the same, because I could hear her cry down the hall. I was fed up, and decided to do something. My logic, take something from someone with way more money. I mean… they have enough wealth to replace something small. I just want to take a small load off my mom.

So, the next morning I planned to skip school after my mom left me at the bus stop, and go off to one of the many suburban neighborhoods in the city and just, take something. The plan was set, and once my mom did drop me off with the other students waiting, I sat down till she drove around the corner, then I got up and just started walking. For about an hour I walked. I didn’t want to go to the nearest neighborhood, so I went to the second one down. I made it and my feet were killing me. I saw a kid on a bike riding around and I thought “why isn’t he in school” and, a bike would be amazing right now. I then went behind a house and waited, luckily no one saw me just standing around a corner stalking this guy on a bike. I played the waiting game and I won.

He eventually set the bike on the wall of his house and walked inside. With so many nerves, and anxiety. I sprinted towards the house, got on the bike, and peddled straight for the exit. I didn’t look back and peddled all the way back to the bus stop. Obviously by then the students were at school, so I took the bike further to the Walmart about 10 minutes away. I stole a can of black spray paint, bought a soda to avoid suspicion, and left.

When I rode back to the bus stop, I went into the woods that lead to my house and spray painted the light blue bike completely black. I got pretty high on the fumes; I didn’t know that would happen. Karma, I guess. That was my first, and second time stealing something and it honestly… felt good. The adrenaline was like a drug and I wanted to do it again.

After that I didn’t take the bike home because mom would notice, so I hid it in some branches, leaves, and other stuff around in the woods I could find. I hid it near the bus stop so when I wanted to skip school, I had a ride. Once a week I would go and ditch school completely to steal something new. What I consider as my first big robbery was a car. It was a 2014 toyota and I just looked up how to unlock doors on youtube, and after some practice on mom’s cheap car, I tried it on this Toyota. It worked like a charm and I ended up with 200 dollars in the glove compartment. Pretty lucky because who just leaves cash laying around in the car.

I robbed nothing but cars for about three more months, ending up with mostly small necessities and about 700 dollars. I never ended finding a jackpot like my first car though. It was so exciting every time I did it. By that time mom found a small job and I honestly felt like I was helping by secretly giving her some of the money I stole. Sneaking it into her purse when she was away from it. But I knew it wasn’t enough in the long run and I finally set my sights, on a house.

That was at the start of my junior year, and nearly the same time I met Kim. I found myself riding my bike to the same neighborhood I stole the bike from and started looking for a house I felt didn’t have much security, and/or the owner had a lot of money. I found one near the end which was nice for a quick escape, and with only one car out front I assumed it was one or two people inside. I told myself that I will only do 10 robberies, because I was already cutting it close with everything else. And after about a week of looking I found the perfect house.

The yard was right up against the tree line to the woods, which would be my get away. That Friday night I told mom I was gonna spend the night at my best friend Charlie’s house, I packed my bag full of stuff I was going to use, and she dropped me off at the bus stop where I told her my Charlie was going to pick me up. I got her to leave by saying they were about two minuets away, then I dug up the bike and rode to get into position. I wanted to wait till at least 2am, so I waited and waited listening to Linkin Park and Guns and roses to hype myself up. I downed an energy drink and hopped the fence into the back yard. Went up to a window and using my car experience I got it open and climbed inside.

I didn’t know where to go first, I didn’t think I’d make it this far. I went into one bedroom and just opened a few drawers; thank goodness this room was empty. I went to the next room across the hall and went into the closet to look around. I was so filled with so much excitement and adrenaline, that I’m surprised I remained so quiet. While moving my hand across the top of the closet, I felt a small metal box on top. I pulled it down and tried to get it open quietly. I decided “screw it, I’m out” and just took the whole box.

Once I got back outside and over the fence, I felt the most immense joy overcome me. I loved the rush and thought “I’m in the clear, lets break this thing open.” Using a hammer I bought, I smashed the lock and looked inside. It was over 2000 dollars in cash, and beside it was about 10 grams of weed and a shot bottle of some alcohol. I get the most INSANE luck on my first runs it seems. I then went to the bench by the bus stop and just fell asleep. That was my first house break in and I basically paid for almost all our bills that month, mom thought she did, but I saved her a lot of money for her to use on herself. She seemed happier and it made me happier.

Life was great at the end of my junior year, I was falling in love with this amazing girl, had nine robberies under my belt with one to go, and I was able to provide for me and my mom. The downside was our city had caught on to the increase of houses being robbed, and social media wouldn’t let me escape the reality of what I had been doing. I’d been in the local newspapers and the anxiety was building. I thought about quitting while I was ahead because I was pretty lucky to not have already been caught. But was unsure.

That wasn’t the only pebble in my shoe. At the start of my senior year, I was urning to tell Kim how I felt, I didn’t like holding it in and I was confident she felt the same way. That’s a lie I wasn’t confident at all I was terrified she didn’t like me back. The thought of rejection was almost more nerve racking than preparing for a robbery. Nonetheless I was to much of a chicken to tell her.

One thought I had in the back of my mind was, I take from people, and some could be like Kim. It made me start to regret a little. We both joined the next art class just called Art ll, and I got to see her every day. We were also fortunate to be partners again. Our first project was to paint some sort of portrait of ourselves. So, we took a selfie and tried to paint it as best as we could. Kim and my mom were making my world go round and it was an amazing period. I was feeling pretty good about life and felt invincible, and that’s a very bad feeling to have.

Kim’s birthday was coming up and when I asked her what she wanted she just said that I don’t have to get her anything. She said she “had enough already” but I wasn’t going to listen to that and I wanted to get her something nice. I’m terrible at gifting, plus I’m poor. She loves the lord of the rings franchise and the band Queen, I mean who doesn’t love both of those things. So, I had my eye on getting her the extended edition box set, and a vinyl of Queens “A night at the opera” it’s my favorite album and I hope she’ll like it. Furthermore, back at home mom told me that she was looking at trading in her car, and she was going to save up money for a while to do so. But I thought “well, I can most certainly help with that.” But I was still broke, and I needed to get good gifts, AND help pay for a car.

I started to hate myself more and more before each new job. Each time I entered a house I thought of Kim. What would she think of me if she found out? I promised myself ten jobs and I was on nine. I kept telling myself again that these people could afford to lose the small amount I took (well small for them). I said I was loving life, and I was, but only the outside of what I did at night. I was already feeling the guilt hanging above my head before the last robbery. But was also relived that it was almost over, and I could pursue a normal way of getting money like a part time job. I could sleep at night again, and grow more with Kim. But the only way to get to that chapter of my life, I would have to finish writing the one I was on. It was time to start planning for my biggest, and final job.

I was going to do this last one differently, instead of a house with little guests and bad security, I was going to go to a bigger house on the higher end of one of the richest neighborhoods. I was getting cocky and wanted to go out on a banger.

Nonetheless I still had rules, one of them being they had to be near the forest line, and another being the house had at most two cars in the lot. The truth behind the cars rule was I was hoping it wasn’t a full family I was robbing, only one or two rich people. It doesn’t make much sense but again I was hoping for it. I gathered info on my last house, two stories, twelve windows, six cameras on the outside, but almost no blind spots but one, and I was going to exploit it. See they pan left and right, and there are two that at the exact same time pan to opposite directions. So, the middle would be clear for about five seconds, in that time I would try to sprint to get underneath the cameras. I was going to use a crowbar to unhook the side window to the living room and climb inside. Then so on, going in a room, looting boxes, drawers, and maybe safes quietly. After that, back out the window and wait for my five second window and leave. Maybe the camera would catch me for a second, but that would be on my way out, and thus too late.

The date was set, and soon enough on Friday, October 10th I would make my move. I sat in art class around 12 o clock, the anticipation and nerves were immeasurable. The teacher was explaining the assignment but I didn’t hear a word of it. My thoughts ran wild and I began to doubt myself throughout the day.

“Hey, you okay?” said Kim

D “Oh shi- uhh yeah I’m fine, just didn’t get much sleep”

K “Aww whys that, what’s her name?”

D “What?!”

She giggled “just kidding, but seriously what’s wrong”

D “I guess I’m just stressed about stuff”

K “Like?”

D “You know, school”

K “That makes sense, but just don’t get behind this early, then you’ll be stressing hard”

D “Trust me I know what that feels like, I’ve only done it all three years”

K “I… believe in you, I mean that, your hard work will pay off”

I looked in her eyes after that and, just was amazed, I honestly wanted to marry this girl, she couldn’t possibly know what was going on, but her belief in me calmed and motivated me. This was for her and my mom. I was going to finish this and move on. It was in that moment I decided while looking into her beautiful eyes, that I was going to tell her how I felt on her birthday. I thought of it as a cherry on top for her gift. The day went by and I saw Kim after school again, and she said her parents were going to pick her up as she was going to stay at their place over the weekend.

D “So, when are they getting here?”

She looked at her phone “I don’t know, mom said her and dad left the house and would be here in about 5 minutes, and that was 10 minutes ago.”

D “Damn, that kind of sucks”

She sighed, “yeah it does. Dan, I don’t want to look dumb here alone can you stay with me please? We could drop you off at home”

D “oh wow, I mean you don’t have to do that but…”

K “No seriously I’m sure my mom won’t mind”

D “Okaaaay”

K “yes! okay I see the car”

D “Well, that’s convenient”

She then pointed towards this black car, and I couldn’t believe it honestly, it was a Bentley Continental GT. I was in shock, not only because that meant that her parents were pretty wealthy, but the car was beautiful. I finally got to meet her parents and they were very nice to me. Her dad intimidated the hell out of me though. But they agreed to give me a ride back to the bus stop where my mom would get me, and on the way, we broke the ice with talks of school. But I also thought her dad was interrogating me, he asked about my plans after school, my grades, colleges, hobbies, and more. When we got to the stop, I said bye to Kim and her parents and they rode off. I immediately felt just how poor I was once I stepped out of the vehicle, that was a different feeling being in there. From there my mom picked me up and took me home, where I would make my final preparations for the night ahead.

It was around 10:30pm when mom fell asleep, once I was sure she was sound, I locked my door, grabbed my bag, and was off. Using my bike that I hid around the perimeter of my house for this occasion I started the ride. The normally 30-minute drive was so much longer now that I was on a bike, and so around 11:50pm I made it to my stop.

I waited for two more hours until about 2am, listening to a creepypasta narrated by mrcreepypasta while waiting, and once my alarm went off, I jolted up in a panic. This was it. My last one. It will finally be over. Putting on my balaclava and black fingerless gloves, I thought about Kim. I felt immediate shame after that, but there was no turning back. I looked at the security cameras waiting for my window to pounce. About two minutes had went by and my chance went by a few times. I was waiting for the right moment, the one made for me. Then it hit, the cameras went outward in opposite directions for what felt like the thousandth time, but I knew this was the one.

I jumped the fence, and as I hit the ground I landed badly on my left ankle. It hurt like hell but I had to move quickly. I ran as fast as I as I could towards the wall. Each step more painful that the last, at this speed I wasn’t going make it. So, in the last second before the camera panned back my way. I dolphin dived for the wall, just nearly missing the cameras by about half a second and planting hard on my shoulder. I got up relived, but still in so much pain. My ankle was done, but the job wasn’t, so I had to keep going. I maneuvered towards the side window and put my crowbar near the latch. I slightly pried it open and used a wire to unhook the latch. Once it was open, I slowly pulled it up and crawled inside, trying to make as little noise as possible.

I was in. It was dead quiet and nearly pitch black, with the only light being the back-porch light leaking in through the window and casting my shadow onto the living room wall. I carefully walked towards the hallway before seeing nice a JBL speaker by a lamp. I grabbed it and put it into my bag, and kept walking. Once in the hallway, I put my ear up to the first door, I heard snoring. So, there was no going in there. I went to the next, and heard no sound. So, I tried the door, and it turned with a slight creek. I went in and had the dresser in my sight. I walked over to in and opened the first one, it was just panties. So, a girl stayed in this room, I saw airpods on top and I put those in my bag as well. Then I found a purse and without looking at the ID I grabbed the money. But what caught my eye next was gold.

A jewelry box, and judging by the look of this house, it held some expensive stuff. I opened the jewelry box, and found a beautiful necklace. This was perfect, who knows how much this is worth! I was getting excited till I felt something loose underneath the box. I turned it over and saw that it had a secret compartment underneath. That only means even more valuable stuff. I had completely forgot about being quiet and why I was there, when I heard something, from behind me.

It was a shuffle, and what sounded like someone tossing and turning, in a bed. THERE WAS SOMEONE IN HERE. The dread and chills hit me hard. I’m such an idiot. I got to caught up in seeing the dresser I forgot to check my basic surroundings. I didn’t move for what felt like minutes but couldn’t have been more than ten seconds. But then I heard her voice.

“Who are you?”

Her voice was so calm and collected, like she was greeting me. I started to shake in fear. But her voice sounded familiar. It was over. I started to turn around when she spoke again.

“I hope you know we have a gun, and you won’t get far”

She sounded like she was putting herself above me, like she had more power. I now looked at her. And… it was Kim. No, no no no. It all hit me like a bullet. The fancy car, expensive clothes, earrings, and technology. They were from her rich parents, and this was their house. I stared at her but what she did terrified me. She put her finger up to her lips, and shushed me.

“Don’t move, or I’ll scream as loud as I can. My dad will hear, and will grab his gun and find you.”

I stared her down with anger in my eyes, but my real emotion was heartbreak, I had broken into Kim’s parents’ house, but those emotions had to wait. She had me in a tight situation. How the hell was she so calm and in control, she was never like this ever with me, or even showed signs of this behavior. She was always so nice and would never hurt a fly, or at least that what she showed around me. This wasn’t her; this person was basically threatening that her dad would kill me. The Kim I thought I knew would never put anyone into harm. But this wasn’t my first time doing this, of course I had planned an escape, and I was about to use it. I still had my hands on the box behind my back, and I thought that pretty necklace would do just fine. But it was Kim, I couldn’t. Thoughts ran through my head, guilt, pain, and regret swallowed me. I stared at the floor, waiting for what she said next.

“That box you have there, it’s very important, could you put it down please”

Without responding in any way. I dashed for the door with the box in hand. And true to her word, she let out a horrific scream that pierced through every wall in this big house. Trying to be quiet wasn’t an issue anymore. I ran down the hallway and into the living room, but while turning. My sprained ankle reminded me I wasn’t going far. Putting all the weight on it trying to turn, I collapsed in agonizing pain. I held in a scream of pain and tried to get back up. But it wasn’t happening, I wouldn’t get far like this.

I crawled to the kitchen next to the living room. While there I heard loud footsteps behind me, it was her dad, and he was hunting me. There was a door in the back of the kitchen I saw and I decided to go there. I opened it and crawled in; it was pitch black. Almost as soon as it closed, I heard her dad reach the living room. He cocked his weapon to let me know he was armed. I turned on my phone flashlight I had to better see. It flipped on, but what I saw next, made me sick to my stomach. What lied ahead of me only lit by my small phone flashlight. Was a board, and on it. Were dozens of teenage boys, all of them with Xs drawn over them, and written in red beside their names, was one word. Sold. But at the bottom of the list, the only one without an X or sold, was an all too familiar name. It was mine.

“What the fu” and before I could finish my sentence, I heard Kim’s dad stomping towards the door. “Crap” I told myself, I flipped my phone to the camera, and took a photo with the flash on. I then got up on my good leg and hopped over behind a box. The door swung open and he reached for a light. The light pierced the room and so did silence. I closed my eyes thinking I was going to die. He was looking but wasn’t entering the room. “Did anyone come in here?” He spoke, but no response. He scoffed, turned the light back off, and closed the door. I’ll be honest I was crying in that room after that. What was that board? Who were those names? What happened to them? It all ran in my mind when clouding reality when…

“He’s gone”

I nearly screamed when I heard those words. I covered my mouth to avoid it.

“It’s okay, he’s gone, get out of here.”

I was so confused; I turned my light back on in the direction of the voice. It was a boy, in a little cage in the corner. He was so frail and looked like he hasn’t seen light in days, because he covered himself when I put the light on him.

“What the hell is this” I asked

“This is hell” he said with nothing but pain in his voice

“What happened to you?”

“She happened to me”

D “Who’s she?”

“The girl, Kim”

D “what I don’t underst…”

“Leave here now, they have the police, the town on their side, there’s no winning just leave”

D “I can’t just leave y…”

“Go, before it’s too late”

D ‘What’s your name, at least tell me that”

“It’s Joseph”

By then I heard sirens in the distance, I had to get out somehow.

“Ill come back for you Joseph”

J “please don’t” he said hopelessly

I left Joseph and limped towards the door. I opened it slowly and could still hear Kim’s dad, but he was now upstairs, presumedly looking for me. I limped towards the window practically throwing myself out of it. I didn’t care about the cameras anymore. Painfully I walked through the backyard towards the fence. Thank God no one saw me. I hopped the fence and hit the ground hard. I landed on the bag I had on and it hurt like hell. Which reminded me, I still had the box. I hopped on my bike and rode into the woods. There was no way I would get far going my usual route back home. My best bet I thought was to ride into the woods for a while till it was clear.

After about an hour of straight woods I stopped. I got off and dropped to the floor exhausted. Still in tears I wondered about Kim. This wasn’t how I usually thought of her though. My feelings were running wild and I didn’t know what to think. Did I still love her? Did she even love me? After being in misery for a little bit I got back up and started the ride back home. It was 6:00am by the time I got back home. I had never felt so physically and mentally exhausted in my life. I climbed back through my window, threw my bag into my closet, and collapsed into bed.

When I woke up, I had a text message from Kim, it read “Dan, my parents house was broken into last night, it was crazy, I woke up to this dude in my room and when I screamed he ran off.” I messaged back, “WTF that’s crazy, are you okay.” She replied, “yeah I’m okay don’t worry, police didn’t catch him which sucks, but I’ll tell you the whole thing next time we meet.” My last message was “Sounds good, I’m glad you’re okay, be careful.”

I remembered I took a photo after that, and it was nearly a perfect photo of the whole board. I’m making a guess but I don’t think I’m far off. I think they were running some sort of slavery business. It had names of sellers, buyers, and those who were sold or still on the market. I remember one thing Joseph said to me, he said that ‘they’ had the police and town on their side. So, this could go deeper than I ever imagined. He also said that Kim did this to him. But how I don’t know. As for the box, well, besides a necklace and earring worth over 20,000 dollars, were pictures of me. One of them of me walking home, one of my house, another of me at the bus stop. They were stalking me, which raises the question, do they know about the robberies?

Everything you read happened regarding my last robbery was on October 10th through the 11th. It’s now May at the time I’m writing this. I’m at my lowest point in life. All I wanted to do was help out my mom, I got selfish, and I regret what I’ve done. Every time I see Kim or her parents I think of that night. Nonetheless I still talk to Kim, but it has gotten to be more of practice for my acting, since I can’t look at her the same. I can’t allow her to know that I know what her and her family do. My poor mother worries for me, I can’t tell her why, and that hurts. Hopefully ill just move away and hope I never see them again. Or worst-case scenario, I end up like Joseph. Ill update if anything goes down, stay safe everyone. Dan

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