*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a friend who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.*
I have always thought that theft is one of the most despicable crimes one can commit. It’s just so lowly, gross and selfish, in my humble opinion, and it says a lot of negative things about a person’s character to me if I know you like to steal.
I have a friend, Josh, who in his youth worked for a trendy clothing store at the mall and prided himself on how much he got away with stealing in his time there. Thankfully he grew up and out of that habit, but I still think of him talking about that from time to time and get a bad taste in my mouth.
Another thing I believe is that everything eventually comes around. We all pay one way or another for the mistakes we make in life, and somehow, sometimes karma gets us in mysterious ways.
This friend Josh married another friend of mine, Lydia, and as we had kids the same age and I really enjoyed Lydia’s company, we spent a lot of time together. I was always invited to their family picnics and gatherings at their big house with its sprawling backyard.
One summer, Josh and Lydia threw a huge party just for the fun of it and invited almost everyone they knew - close friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances. There were a ton of people coming and going in and out of Lydia’s house to use the bathrooms, and the inside of the house was as busy as the yard at some points.
When the party was starting to calm down and people left, Lydia went inside to start cleaning up. She did what she always unthinkingly did - she took off her wedding rings and put them on the windowsill above the sink before doing dishes.
Does it surprise you that hours later when she went back to look for her rings, they were nowhere to be found?
When Lydia went back to the windowsill to get her rings long after the party was over and everyone had gone home, they were not there. Rather than throwing a fit or breaking down into tears, Lydia had a laugh.
Unbeknownst to the person who stole her rings, Julia had actually lost her original diamond ring years ago and replaced it with a $50 dollar cubic zirconia knock-off that looked just as pretty and no one ever noticed.
Months later Lydia and Josh hosted another party, something they loved to do. It was Lydia’s intention to go around to every guest and check their hands to look for her stolen ring.
Sure enough, Lydia found her ring on the finger of one of Josh’s coworkers. Lydia sat down next to her and leaned in close.
“That’s a beautiful ring you have on,” she said to the woman who’d stolen from her. “I have one just like it, see?”
Lydia held up her hand to show the woman the second replacement ring she had gotten for herself, identical to the stolen one.
Josh’s coworker was mortified. Her face turned bright red, she ripped the ring from her finger and shoved it at Lydia, then got up from her seat and ran off. That week she also quit her job at Josh’s workplace, too humiliated to face him.
What would you have done if you had the chance to confront your thief?
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