I picked a spot where there weren't a bunch of people but still like one every now and then.
I thought about getting caught. Jail would be pretty crazy for a boy like me but maybe it wouldn't be worse than this. That made me a little less scared. At least in juvie they'd hafta feed me.
A lady come along, walking fast, talking on her cell. I stepped out from the alley where I was crouched. But then I was a idiot and stood there too long, totally staring at her. She walked way around me, like wouldn't even let me get near her. On her cellphone she was like, “I think this kid was just about to rob me!”
So I went back to my crouching spot, smacking myself for messing up. That's when this voice said, “She wasn't a good target anyway.” Well I jumped a mile and a half cuz I was in an alley and where'd this guy come from?
He's a teenager like at least fifteen. So he coulda beat me up if he wanted to. I knew it and he knew it. But maybe he didn't want to. I told myself I had to be tough, can't just run away from every person you meet.
I couldn't believe it but this guy from out of nowhere started giving me advice. He said to pick one with an expensive purse and cheap heels, like I’m supposed to be able to tell. He said it was worth waiting for just the right one cuz it was too big a risk to snatch a bag with crap for pay off. He said the girl I went after was all wrong: she was wearing jeans and sneakers, she looked real confident and like maybe she'd played softball or something, He told me to pick one that like wasn't even paying attention, He said pick one I thought I could take in a fight cuz it could come to that real quick. I ain’t never thought about no hitting a girl before, but never thought I'ma be grabbing a bag either. I said I didn't think I could take any of them in a fight, which was stupid cuz then he knew for sure he could beat me up. But he only said that then I'd be waiting a long time. Told me his name was Charlie and that he wanted to help me but he couldn't watch while I did the thing so I should meet him at the park near Luckys grocry after I’s done.
Then this lady is coming at us with a fancy hairdo. Her heels were like taller than she was and she was reading a magazine and listening to an i-thingie. Me and Charlie looked at each other like we both knew this was the one. Looks like I'll be seeing you soon, Charlie said. He reminded me not to run back into the alley like an idiot.
When she got close, I ran out super fast and grabbed her bag. It was like a handbag and she didn't let go like I hoped, we were both pulling on it and I was real close to her cuz the strap was so short. She smelled like soap and I wanted to say I was sorry but if she got away I'ma have to find some other lady anyways so instead I said GIVE IT TO ME I HAVE A GUN.
It was just like the intermural games, all sweaty and loud, except at least I didn't have Jerry telling me if I didn't win this one he'd teach me a lesson for being such a pussy. But this was scarier a course and I was thinking I didn't even win at that, even with Jerry and the class pulling with me.
She screamed but then the strap on her bag broke and I had the good end with the stuff. She was running after me. I jus knew she was going to catch me. But the sidewalks are uneven and her heel broke and she fell. I knew I shouldn't look back but when I did I saw she was a little scraped up and crying and her skirt was up and you could see her underpants. I thought that was really terribul but I didn't cause that, right?
I ran all the way to the park. Then I passed it and kep on running. I wanted to meet up with Charlie even though I knew he might jus rob me too. He'd been right about what he tole me. Maybe he really could help. I went through the bag to see what I got in case like if he tricked me and took stuff I'd know. I took all the cash and put it in my underwear. Back at the park Charlie was sitting on a picnic table, tapping a beat out with his hands. He was good at it. He told me to pocket the cash and I jus kinda stared at him cuz a course I already did that. He asked me if the get away was clean and I didn't know what that was either so I kept staring. What now, I’s asking him. He said, Now we go shopping. I musta looked so stupid. He told me that the first thing that girl was gonna do was cancel her credit cards so we hadta use them hella fast. But no way anybody was gonna to let me spend it. I still didn't know if he was lying but he was right—My clothes weren't too bad off but I hadn't showered in weeks.
But after he asked me where I was staying but I didn't know what to say again.
Charlie stays at a big empty house in one of those neighborhoods that's pretty enuf, but everyting kinda looks the same. I couldn't believe he had that whole big house and he said not to be dumb cuz he was skwatting. I didn't know about that but I didn't say anything cuz I didn't want him to call me dumb again.