“I’m sorry, Ma’am.”
“But I don’t want my money back,” she explained for the second time. “I just want to exchange the dress for a smaller size.”
“I understand that, but without a receipt, we’re not able to.” It was obvious the man behind the counter was not going to change his mind.
“Fine.” She turned in disgust and began to walk in the direction of the Ladies Department.
“Ma’am, if you’re going to shop you need to leave your package here.”
Rolling her eyes, she turned back to the Courtesy Desk and handed the package to him.
Once in the Ladies Department, she quickly headed over to a rack of dresses and almost immediately found the same dress in a smaller size. She loved it from the moment she saw it and now she could kick herself for not trying it on before she had bought it and for not saving the receipt. Taking the dress from the rack, she went into the dressing room to try it on. It fit her perfectly…almost as though it had been made for her. As she took it off, a thought popped into her head. It would be so easy to slip into my bag.
She finished dressing and after pulling on her jacket, she carefully looked around to see if she could spot a security camera. There was none, or at least if there was, she was not able to locate it. She quickly pulled off the tags and stuffed the dress into her bag. She had never done anything like this before and as she left the dressing room, she could feel her heart pounding hard in her chest.
Stay calm! She leisurely walked out of the dressing room and then continued to browse for a few minutes more so as not to look suspicious before finally heading toward the exit. She felt a rush of excitement wash over her, but she had barely gotten out the door when she heard someone call after her.
She recognized the voice as the man’s from the Courtesy Desk. She continued to walk, pretending she had not heard him.
“Ma’am! Stop! The dress in your bag!”
She froze dead in her tracks, standing there with her back turned toward him. There was nothing she could do. They had caught her. After unzipping her bag, she reached inside for the dress and slowly turned to face him. Keeping her eyes to the ground, she forced herself to speak. “I’m sorry. I’ve never done anything like this before. It’s just that you wouldn’t let me exchange it,” she said. As she raised her eyes to look at him, he was standing there, holding the bag that contained the dress she had brought in earlier.
“Ma’am, you forgot this at the Courtesy Desk,” he said. “But now, I’m afraid you’ll have to come with me.”