Stolen

Elena was unwell yesterday and the day prior, but we spoke by e-mail and phone.
 
I’ve been favoured with kindness and friendship this semester on multiple vectors…  Maybe it’s my silly uniform that makes me seem like something.
 
Today I thought of three barriers with Elena.  But if I had to choose today… I couldn’t choose the others.  They have… software incompatibilities…
 
The barriers, from most permanent to least, are: age, attractivity, and acquaintance.
 
  • It’s hard to think of marrying up, all other things equal…
  • I recognise that I still suffer from visual deception, and my malfunctioning eyes share a polarity with her image…
  • Not nearly enough time or experience has elapsed.
So, of course, tip over the third, and the others may topple like dominos…
 
Anyway, in my first e-mail to her I established "friendship", and we’ve quite casually called it that since then.  My only goals now are to retain independence, and avoid any more gangrenous infections… and to make absolutely sure that I always admit exactly what I have, so that it won’t take another killing loss for me to realise it.
 
 
My backpack was stolen this morning for the second time.  I didn’t see it happen, and the discovery was a brutal one, pushing me to desparation in prayer.  I spied two parties leaving the area: a SLCC student and a wheelchair couple I’d failed to help cross the street in the (miscalculated) interest of meeting oncoming children.  Hoping that somebody kind had taken it into the school, I picked the wheelchair couple to apprehend, seriously doubting that it was them.  They were already several minutes down the road by jog.  I caught up with them at the next bus stop past the school; there was a backpack hanging on the lady’s wheelchair (her husband was pushing her, and briskly).  The pack wasn’t mine…  Anyway, I got ahead of them, thinking to ask if they’d seen anything… and, wonder…!  There it was on her lap…
 
I instantly chose my approach and began thanking them for their fortunate rescue of my missing things.  They looked surprise but didn’t resist at all, going along with my story and claiming to have hoped to find a name inside.  I left gratefully with my gear, which had been unzipped and re-arranged.  I decided to check the contents… and found that two of my books were missing.  I thought they might have been transferred to the couple’s own pack.  I ran after them a second time, asking them if they perhaps noticed any books that may have fallen out.  They quickly affirmed that they had seen them back at the school’s bus stop.  I asked, were the books in white, plastic bags?  They confirmed it.  Just then, I noticed my bus pulling over at that school stop…
 
I ran back, all my stuff in hand, hoping not to have been tricked by the couple, but determined to catch them a third time and search their stuff if I had been.  The bus passed me on my way back.
 
There were no books at the bus stop, only the seat and the garbage can.  The funnel mouth on top of the can had been pushed to the side…  I looked down, and… there was the plastic bag from the bookstore!  The book was inside, and the second bag and book were underneath it.
 
I thanked heaven, and sat and waited for the next bus.
 
I really don’t want to wear the pack while crossing…  Either I can set it more noticeably so I can respond quicklier, find a safer place to set it, or be diligent to keep my person on the same corner as my stuff.
 
-Steve
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