My earliest memory of my mother was at the age of six. This is when she taught me how to become a thief. Walking down the street with my mother, in what I thought was an ice cream run. She kneeled down to me and said, “Angel eyes”–this was her nick name for me me since birth–“I need you to sit on that bench and don’t move. And you better not talk to any strangers. You understand?” “Yes,” I said. “I have to go inside this store for one minute,” she continued. I watched her as she entered the store. She entered the store as a slim woman,and walked out as a fat woman. I didn’t understand, so I asked lots of questions. “Terrlyan, why did you go in the store slim and come out fat? Why are you walking like that? Why?” “Little girl,” she said, “stop asking me all theses questions and walk faster.” “Yes Mommy! I mean Terrlyan!” She never liked for me to call her mommy. Every time I did she would respond, “What did I tell you to call me?” I would then apologize and try not to make that mistake again. People would approach my mother and put in orders. My mother was the neighborhood booster. This is how she supported her addiction. At age six I became her partner in crime. She would use me as her decoy to steal from lots of stores. Looking back, she was really good at it–a professional. It became like a job.

 

 
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