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Mission City Voices: Great Way to Stay in Shape

In Mission City Voices, Author Larry Flora remembers the chase of a lifetime during his tenure as an employee at the Lucky Store.

It was a warm sunny day during another summer month. School was out and I  couldn’t help but notice the young boy, who looked to be about 11 years old, inside the Lucky Store looking suspicious. From experience I’d seen that look many  times before and I knew what was about to happen. Sure enough, with one final look over his shoulder, he stuffed a package into his coat pocket and then exited swiftly from the grocery store. Once outside the store I knew I could stop him easily but I didn’t count on him hopping on his bicycle and riding speedily away. Time to take my work apron off and start the workout; the chase was on.

He quickly gained thirty yards on me but today my years of being on the track team were about to pay off. Within a short block, he was within my reach but I hesitated in stopping him. I wanted him to sweat and think about why he should not steal again. As he looked over his shoulder he started to panic; he then attempted to pedal even faster. I smiled as I easily matched his fast-moving getaway. Another block passed and I started talking to him. “You better stop, I’m going to catch you!” He tried to pick up speed and I could hear him starting to gasp for breath. I started to smile knowing that he was in a full panic. “You better stop, I’m going to catch you!” I whispered over his shoulder repeatedly as I easily jogged behind him. Sweat was streaming down his face as he began to tucker out from his petty shoplifting escape.

He finally slowed down and came to a halt. He was bent over his handle bars trying to catch his breath with the weight of his exhausted body draped over the bike. He had met his match and I was barely breathing hard. I smiled and calmly told him, “I told you that I was going to catch you!” We turned around to return to where the race started. He returned the package to the store manager and promised not to do it again. As he turned to walk to his getaway bike he turned back to look at me and smiled as he shook his head in amazement. I returned his defeated smile and then gave him a small wave goodbye. As I later thought about it, I should of thanked him for the fun workout.


Mission City Voices

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