Rhonda shielded her eyes from the blinding light as she stepped from the dark subway tunnel. The sun was high. The first person she saw was a stranger, standing in the middle of the sidewalk. “I AM A THIEF,” read the sign he wore over his chest.
Rhonda, overcome with curiosity, approached him. “What did you steal?”
“Some DVDs.” He spat into the gutter and Rhonda tried not to recoil.
He shrugged. “Done it before, thought I could get away with it again. Make some quick cash. Judge said 30 days in jail or wear the sign all day. Picked the sign.”
A car zipping by honked the horn and he waved, like a politician angling for votes.
“Well, it’s pretty hot out here. Want a drink?”
Rhonda ducked into a corner store and grabbed a water. As she meandered through the aisles towards the counter to pay, she stopped, dropping the bottle in her purse and heading to the front door, a subtle smile on her face.
“Ma’am!” A stern voice called out.
As the cops led her away, the man looked at her briefly, then recoiled, as though he were disgusted.