Eons ago, when I was still a crazy coin collector, I did what is unthinkable for me today, I thieved.
I still remember the incident as clear as yesterday. We were in a moving school bus and there were a lot of kids around, in blue. I was all of nine while he, seven. We talked about everything under the earth and soon enough, talk turned to coins. That was when temptation struck.
It was he who threw me the bait and unashamedly I took it. He looked me in the eye and asked if I knew about the East India Company. I said I did and dramatically slowly, he took out his little black Kodak film roll case. He jingled it near my ear and sure enough, there was the rattle of coins.
I was dying with curiosity and the devil took his time to open the box. Slowly, very slowly, as if the djinn resided inside, he opened the box. There were seven copper coins in all, one huge while others varied from small to smallest. I remember the words I spoke, "May I look at them?"
He wouldn’t let me, at first. But soon he gave in to the look in his friends eyes and gave the box to me.
I took out the coins one by one and deliberately took my time in looking at each one of them carefully. I wasn’t interested in the beauty of the coins, far from it. I was deliberately timing my movements so that the stop where he had to get down was approaching fast. My friend sat lost looking at the glee on my face. I am sure he must have felt contended, at having made me happy.
Then in one sudden flash of realization, he understood that his stop was on him. He tried to snatch the coins from my hand. I deliberately stumbled and barring the view of the smallest coin behind the largest one, I slipped the little one quietly into my pocket. He just ran with the box.
I was truly unhappy that I could not steal the biggest coin. I never felt guilty; it took me many more years before that. But when it did, he was completely lost to me.
To this day, that little coin resides in a corner of my room. It is safely packed inside a little black Kodak film roll case. If I ever meet my friend again from so long ago, I shall take that box out and beg him for forgiveness.
Forgive me father, for I have thieved.