Full of Guilt and Resentment

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When the owner of the taxicab came back, we were close enough to see, but we were hidden enough so that nobody could see us. My friends Josh, Eli, Miguel, Jacob, Tony, Edgar, who was called “Churro” because of his squeaky voice, and I had been helping out the past week at the Salvation Army Los Angeles Central Corp. We were helping there for The Angel Giving Tree, which is a program that receives donations to give to those in need, since 9 AM and it was now 4 PM. Our task was to separate all the thousands of gifts into age group. After 7 hours of arduous work, my friends and I decided to do something fun.

Jacob said, “Lets go to Starbucks and get some coffee and a piece of cake!”

“You would want to eat,” said Churro. “Whenever you are not sleeping you are eating.”

“I don’t have any money,” said Miguel, a short Hispanic with a Mohawk.

“Don’t worry bro, I’ll pay,” I said immediately.

“Thanks,” he said.
Tony, an athletic 14 years old, said “Let’s play football before rush hour.

We all agreed to this since rush hour started at 5 Pm and it was barely 4 PM.
But first, we had to get a football, and I knew exactly where to get it.

Jacob sneaked into the Mayor’s office, while the rest of us were looking out, in case anyone was coming. The lights were completely out. We made sure we were out of sight of all the cameras... infrared cameras. Jacob moved all the chairs that were in his way, looking back constantly, making sure nobody was watching, until he got to the football. He put all of the chairs back, and left.

We went outside and started to throw soft and short passes to warm up. We started throwing the ball harder and farther. Tony threw the ball. The ball spun out of control sideways making it impossible to be caught. The ball kept going and going, until it crash in to a car window. The glass shattered into a million pieces. We stood there, motionless for what felt to be one hour, but in reality it was only 6 seconds. After those few seconds, we realized what had happened. We just stood there looking at each other, unable to say a word. It was Josh who ran toward the taxicab and took out the football. But in this attempt, he cut himself with a sharp piece of glass. Even with all the pain, he took out the football. He ran towards toward his mom’s 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee. He opened the door and threw the ball inside.

Our instincts told the rest of us to stay there, but we didn’t listen. Instead, we ran away, heading towards Starbucks at L.A Live. On our way we dodged all of the pedestrians. I dodged right then left, until I finally got to the door. I opened the door and I smelled the fresh coffee and whip cream scent that was in the air. The hot vapor air touched my face. A woman in a gray suit hurried out the door pushing everyone in her way after picking up her tall vanilla bean. A man in the corner was banging his head on the table, after he realized his computer was out of battery and that he hadn’t brought the charger with him.

I ordered a Caramel Macchiato with extra shots of caffeine to get my mind off the horrific incident. Thoughts raced through my mind.

“Well, I can just drink this coffee and go back to church as if nothing happened.” I thought. “Anyways no one saw.”

“You know, I have been thinking about what happened and I think the best thing to do is to say the truth.” Josh finally said after breaking the silence. “Someone will probably find out and that poor man might have a family to take care of. We can’t just leave him there with a $300 bill to pay.”

“You know what, you’re right lets just go and let’s try to find a way to pay him back, said Churro.

“I have some money that I have been saving up for the past months that can cover the price of that window. I’ll just pay him with that and then you guys can just pay me back later,” I said quietly feeling ashamed of my past thoughts and actions.

We went back and told the driver what had happened.

“Can you please forgive us? I’ll go to my house and bring you the money,” I said.

Months later, I still see this man parked across the street of the LA Central Corp. Every time I see him, I am reminded of my dishonesty.





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