Mayhem at the Mall

by Addi, 14, from Wisconsin

“Mom! Look at these earrings! Aren’t they adorable?” I said, holding up a pair of earrings shaped like foxes.

“Oh, Lily, those look just like something you’d wear,” Mom said.

We were in the jewelry section of a department store, looking for a gift for my older sister Holly’s birthday. I saw many things she would like, but nothing stood out to me that really said Holly. This was the sixth store we’d looked in at the mall. By this point, I was bored, tired, dehydrated and hungry.

As I scoured the racks and rows and carousels of necklaces, earrings and bracelets, I noticed a man nearby. He was looking at the expensive jewelry in the display cases—the bling that’s made of diamonds, rubies, emeralds, amethyst and other precious gemstones embedded in settings of gold and sterling silver.

The lady behind the counter greeted him. She led him to the section of diamond rings. (I know where it is because I like to look at diamond rings when I’m in jewelry stores. I like to imagine which one will be on my left ring finger someday.)

The customer’s eyes lit up as he saw the beautiful gems. I smiled to myself, thinking he must have a special girl in his life. He held up an engagement ring to admire it.

From a distance, I saw a sinister-looking man walk toward the counter. He started to jog, then broke into a run. The saleslady shrieked as the mean-looking man tackled her customer, snatched the ring and took off. Not knowing what else to do, I dropped my fox earrings—I had forgotten until that moment that I was still holding them—and took off after the thief, sprinting as fast as my legs could carry me.

Turns out, I’m faster than I thought. I ran right past a security guard and shouted at him, “Help me!”

The guard joined the chase. “What did he do?” he asked while racing beside me.

Breathlessly I replied, “He stole a ring from that store! We’ve got to get it back!” By now a couple more guards had joined us. We cornered the thief.

The chief of security took the ring. He handed it to me and smiled. “Let’s go return this to the store.”

My mom was waiting right by the entrance. Still out of breath from the chase, I used my last bit of energy to run to her.

“Oh, Lily! What were you thinking? You could’ve been hurt!” she gushed, giving me a big hug.

“I’m OK, Mom,” I panted.

I turned to the customer. “Looking for this?” I said, handing him the ring.

“Thank you so much!” he exclaimed. “I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t got this ring back. It’s the perfect one for the girl I hope to marry.”

He reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet. “That was very brave of you. Let me buy you something to show my gratitude. Maybe those fox earrings?”

I looked at my mom for permission. She smiled and nodded.

“Thank you,” I said to the man, “that would be very nice.”

As we walked out of the store, I realized something. “Mom, while I was running through the mall I saw a purse that would be perfect for Holly!”

Mom smiled. “Well, let’s hurry and buy it, before you go chasing after more jewel thieves.”

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