It’s also the reason you’re here.
Lottie, I’m going to discourage stealing of nearly all varieties. And I will hold my hands up and admit that yes, I have stolen stuff in the past (cause it’s good to be honest and open, right?) Mostly loo rolls from pubs in my uni days, the occasional wine glass too. Other stuff. You can ask me about it. I’m not condoning it. But there’s bad stealing and there’s BAD stealing. Don’t shoplift. If you get caught they will call the police, (and with CCTV everywhere now, you will most likely get caught,) and it’ll be stressful for you and your family. Don’t steal personal items from others, anything, to be stolen from is a horrible feeling and an invasion of privacy.
Stealing’s a complex thing. People do it for all sorts of reasons, occasionally because they can’t afford the things they want, sometimes for emotional reasons; reasons they don’t understand. Maybe to prove something to themselves, or others. If you ever find you’re tempted, question the urge. Stealing probably won’t, ultimately, make you feel very good inside.
However in spite of all this, I’m now going to tell you a tale of a theft, a steal, that had it not have taken place, you may not be here now…
Your Dad used to own the coolest hoody in the whole of Warwick. It was grey and had a VW Campervan emblem on the front. One night, when they were about fifteen, your Mum and Dad had been out in Warwick and he lent her this hoodie. She was cold, and he was kind. She wore it home, and that was the start.
When me and your ma went out on the Warwick night missions, to talk about life and stuff, we’d go to St Nicks park and your mum would always wear the hoody. And I was secretly jealous of it. She used to lend me a Red Newquay hoody, which was good, but the Grey VW one was better. And warmer.
She kept it, stole it, refused to return it to your Dad. Constant freak out on each corner we turned when the hoody was in tow, your Dad wanted it back, she wouldn’t give it though. He was pretty angry about it.
Sometimes, she’d let me wear it. It was SO comfortable, halfway down to my knees, lost inside it, protected against the freezing Warwick winter. Once I was wearing it and we saw your Dad, I was terrified he was going to ask me for it back. He didn’t. Luckily. That was probably the first time I met him.
Your mum would occasionally give it back to him, only to steal it again as soon as she got the chance. And so went on this dance for years; he continued to make his demands, and we continued to make our nocturnal missions, and we all continued to grow, apart and together, with the hoodie, without the hoodie. It was a theft, a steal, a find that became a contract. A contract that meant when she had hoodie, they would always have to meet one more time. And after the hoodie came words, a promise and then eventually an engagement ring; so even when they were living in different cities, there was always an excuse to meet just one more time. And the times clocked up and the time kept passing and we all kept growing and the times kept changing and we don’t wear hoodies anymore and I’m not even sure anyone knows where that grey VW Campervan hoody is now. And I’m not sure if anyone cares; better, much better, important, far more important things came along.
So here you are little girl.
Ten years later