Good Girl Gone Bad and Then Good Again

I have always been a good person. Okay, okay. I have always been a good kid. Well… Okay. I’m not absolutely, an outright terrible human being.

I haven’t started any wars or anything of the sort. I get good grades in school, I don’t hang out with the wrong crowd of people and I stay out of trouble, eh, for the most part. My entire life I have been known as “The Good One,” little miss goody two shoes. So when I moved from Chicago to Rantoul, where no one knew anything about me, I decided I was going to be someone else, someone cooler. The day it all came crashing down was totally unexpected. No one would have ever thought that I, Tamia Dorsey, would be arrested.

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They’ve got the wrong one is what everyone would have thought. No, that’s exactly what everyone thought. That was one phone call in particular my mother wasn’t expecting, ever. That day is one etched so deep into who I am today, I will never forget it. It was just a typical weekend.

My friends and I walking the mall like we do every Saturday: laughing, joking and just having fun. The mall was packed as usual. People were everywhere you looked; eating food, buying clothes, yelling at small children who were crying because they couldn’t get the toy they wanted. I was having a blast. Amber was going on and on and on about the latest guy who had her attention when I saw it.

The thing I just had to have. This was no ordinary object. It was the most beautiful, most artistic, coolest piece of jewelry I ever saw and I didn’t have it. So I took it, and just like that it was mine. Now this wasn’t the first thing I’d ever stolen. The first time it was strawberry lip gloss, then it was dollar candy and before I knew it, I started going on full out stealing sprees.

Stealing whatever it was I couldn’t buy or just thought was cool. Every time it was the same. I saw it and realized it wasn’t mine, I didn’t own it. My hands would start to itch and the next thing you know, it would be in my possession, free of charge. I was the new me now. I was better.

I was fearless. I was bad. And I could do anything I wanted – or so I thought. Just like the first time I ever hung out with them, Amber and Cam gave me an all knowing smile and the fun began. All day Amber, Cam and I continued the spree I’d started.

Store after store after store, we’d go in and put on our show. Cam talking to the person manning the register, Amber always going to the back to take attention away from, you guessed right, me, the one loading up on all the good stuff. The stores were crowded as you’d guess but no one cares for three misfit teens window shopping. Then we’d all leave, laughing and not caring about the consequences looming right overhead. The rest happened as fast as lightning, but now that I look back on it I see it all in slow motion. It was like the final scene in an action movie where the camera pans back in slow motion.

There’s the big explosion of some sort and the character’s facial expression is frozen in time for a few seconds as they barely make it out alive. Then everything speeds back up into real time. Yeah, well I didn’t make it out in time. Right as we were crossing over the threshold of the door, I could to taste the freedom, the manager stopped me. Only me.

Just me. All by my bad self. The next thing I know the police are being called and so is my mother. Amber and Cam? They are nowhere to be found. The police start going through my bags and emptying my pockets after reading me my rights and I am in utter shock.

I am the girl who stays home and reads the entire Harry Potter series on a Friday night. Trouble and I run in completely different social circles. So I start crying. Yes, crying. Well, it was more like outright groveling and blubbering in front of a million people in a stupid store in the stupid mall all over a really stupid decision to try and be something I know I am not.

The cops, seeing how messed up I was, cut me some slack. They told me that if I returned everything, did a few hours of community service and didn’t steal anymore I would be set free without a record of any kind. Of course I agreed without hesitation. In the end, my mother was fiercely disappointed in me and it took me months to earn back her trust, but it was worth it. We became a lot closer after I confided in her how I wanted to change who I was and she understood me way more than before. I haven’t stolen anything since, I swear on it, and I’ve stopped hanging with people who can’t accept me – the Taylor Swift and Twilight loving version of me.

The me that I’m proud for people to know because that girl, well she’s actually alright.