I ventured to Wal-Mart to find something to drink. I walked through the magazine session and tweeted about how they had no National Geographic Traveler Magazine, thus adding to my growing disdain. However, I noticed a gang of young hooligans making loud noises and knocking things over. I helped the middle aged employees place things back.
They ran screaming through the store and headed towards the exit with items in hand. I walked outside to see them enter license plate-less vehicles and disappear into the night.
I was distraught. I wanted to call the cops, but there was no plate number to give them. I felt helpless.
As I left the parking lot I couldn't help thinking about those darn kids. What compelled them to do such a thing? It was after midnight, and I, a 23 year old adult, was ready to call it quits. Why were these kids even up? Who gave them vehicles???
I knew that we had nothing to drink or eat at home so I decided to swing by the Wal-Mart near the house. After all, that was my initial reason for being there. But as I was preparing to turn in I noticed two familiar vehicles.
It was the same street urchins from the other Wal-Mart! This was my chance. I could help. I could do something right.
I parked far from the entrance, and casually strolled into the building. I began to converse with a frequent door-greeter as if I knew nothing. As soon as the kids walked past us I alerted her to what was about to happen. She said thank you, and I waited for results.
Any second things could get out of hand, and I was terribly under dressed. Flip flops, tight jeans, a blazer and a red Life Aquatic with Steve Zizzou beanie.
I saw some of the girls in the distance, and it seemed as if they recognized me, so I left the store in search of the parking lot security. He directed me to the manager who happened to be outside as well, and I told her what was about to happen.
I returned to my car, and sat to watch the events unfold. I had done everything I could, and hoped that justice would be served.
The kids strolled casually out of the store with an aura of clear consciousness. The security car doubled back to follow them, and I could hear them yelling obscenities.
"You ain't so bad without your f***in car," they taunted.
The got in their cars and recklessly sped away.
There I sat. A Shameless Samaritan who had failed to bring justice. Perhaps my red hat was a dead giveaway to a trap, I can't be sure. But I do know that it hurt me. So much so that I didn't go back inside. I was too embarrassed.
I returned home to find my brother and I's college diplomas hanging on the wall. My father said they deserved to be there, and said he was proud that we had achieved success and were now working towards our masters. I told him about my story, and in the same breath he told me I shouldn't get involved.
After all, it didn't directly effect me right? It wasn't my store. I normally can't stand Wal-Mart to begin with. Why put myself in harms way to defend a global giant from petty thieves in adolescence? Why risk myself?
I really don't know. I saw something going wrong, and I believed I had to the power to stop it. Those kids most likely don't have a father who hangs their diplomas, so guess that's where they and I differ. I would have tackled every one of them, male and female if I could have.
But I couldn't.