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A Sucker For New Sneakers - a bedtime story by A.B.King


   Once upon a time in the city of New York, there lived a boy named Elvis.
   There was nothing in the world Elvis loved more than a brand new pair of sneakers. Even though Elvis already had two wardrobes full of sneakers, there was still something Elvis found irresistible about getting a brand new pair of the most popular sneakers of the day.
   Elvis’ Dad was a wealthy business man and also the President of the; “Amazing American Alliance Political Party” (A.A.A.P.P). He was highly respected in his community and wished his son Elvis was more like his daughter Molly who loved to read books and could always be found at the library not at the footwear store collecting every sneaker ever made.
   One day, Elvis walked by a footwear store and he saw a brand new pair of Gold Coated Sneakers. It wasn’t on display but it was just so irresistible and beautiful.
   Elvis rushed into the store immediately and told the owner of the store that he would like to buy it. The owner of the store was surprised, although the Gold Coated Sneakers were not hidden, they were kept in a place that it won’t be easy for those inside the store to notice it, yet someone looking through the display glass from outside the store found it so easily. But hey! It was Elvis the Sneaker Sucker we are talking about.
   “Sorry, it’s not for sale”, the large muscled man who owned the store said.
   “What do you mean it’s not for sale?” Elvis asked with disappointment.
   “Look kid, the sneaker is already sold. It was custom made to the specific instructions of some new New-York rapper. He has used a lot, if not all the money from the sales of his debut album to pay for that sneaker. The sad thing is that before I could finish making it, he was arrested for a crime that I think it best not to tell you what, but whenever he comes out of jail and he shows up, I would give the sneakers to him. He’s already paid for it.”
   Elvis left the store sad and was sad the rest of the day.
   Elvis had friends that loved sneakers just like him but not quite as much. They were Stupid - Rich people.
   There are two kinds of rich people: Stupid – Rich people and Smart – Rich people.
   Stupid – Rich people are those who are rich today but would be poor tomorrow. While Smart – Rich people are those who are rich today and would still be rich tomorrow. The major difference between the two being: one invested wisely once upon a time, while the other has a lifestyle of investing wisely all the time.
   Elvis’ Stupid – Rich friends helped fuel his desire for that sneaker, telling him all sorts of things that he should never have heard.
    30 minutes later Elvis suggested stealing the sneaker. They taught he was joking. These were rich kids. Stealing wasn’t something they could ever dream of doing. I mean, these were very very rich kids. I doubt they even knew anybody that has ever stolen anything. But what was a stupid - rich kid to do when he wanted something money couldn't buy? Elvis was somewhat their leader and so he easily convinced them that stealing was the way to go.
   At 10.00pm that night, Elvis took off his pyjamas and put on a black turtle neck jumper. He dug his legs into his sweet black Kombat jeans, stuck his hands into his favourite pair of black gloves he bought at a New York City Comic – Con, and lastly topped it off with his favourite and most expensive plain black sneaker. He was really feeling cool like a spy straight out of an action movie.  He was going to sneak out of his father’s mansion unnoticed.
   His father’s mansion was well guarded but never underestimate a kid. Kids show rare flashes of genius that could make the greatest Nobel Prize winner freeze in shock when you least expect it, and Elvis had his moments, no doubt. He knew sneaking out of a highly secure mansion his father owned won’t be the real challenge. The real challenge would be sneaking past his sister’s room which was next to his, without his light – sleeping Goodie – Two – Shoes sister inside waking up. If she woke up, his plain would be ruined, she would wake up their Dad who just read him a bedtime story 20 minutes ago before he went to bed like he always does.
   Sneak – Sneak – Sneak, Elvis quietly snuck. One more sneaky tip-toeing toe, and he would be home free. He was already half way past his sister’s bedroom. He closed his eyes for the final sneaky step, crossing his fingers with his teeth clenched tightly together ... THERE !!!he made it.
   15 minutes later, Elvis waited at the rendezvous point for his friends but after some minutes went by, it became clear that they weren’t coming. He would have to steal the sneakers alone.
   Elvis rubbed his black gloves covered hands together in anticipation for the task ahead. He walked towards the shop window. He stretched his hands towards it.  
   “WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING?”
   Elvis went cold from head to toe, Popsicle – Icicle cold. He couldn’t hear his heart beat. He was afraid to turn his head and look at who ever was behind him. But his brain kept working – processing ... that voice? Wait! That’s Molly’s voice – his sister’s voice. He turned, his heart returned to his chest, it was Molly.
   “What are you doing here?”, Elvis asked angrily.
   “I followed you here”, Molly answered. She looked truly concerned, “I hope you are not trying to do what I think you are trying to do”.
   Elvis didn’t know what to say but he figured he should say the macho thing to say, which was also the jerk-yiest thing to say. “Beat it, Molly!”.
   Molly ignored his mean command and started talking to him about how what he is about to do is wrong. How as a Christian they should be the last people on earth who should be doing this sort of thing especially as they are rich Christians.
   Even after Elvis explained to her that the man refused to sell it that some rapper in jail had already paid for it, Molly still wouldn’t budge. Molly still believed that what he was planning to do was wrong. She told her brother that he has become addicted to sneakers. It might not be a crime or be in the same class as being addicted to drugs, but it’s just as dangerous to the health. You can beat this, she told him. "I know a lot of young African – American males who broke free of their obsession with sneakers even thought it seems like at a super secret 'Sneaker Makers Convention' someone cast a spell on all African – American males that they would never be able to say no to new sneakers especially when they didn’t need them." Molly told her brother that he doesn’t have to be among the vast number of African - African males who remain obsessed with sneakers. He can choose to be different. He can choose to say, No!. His decision starts here.
   Molly went on like a truly loving sister about how God has given us the Holy Spirit so we can have the ability to do what’s right whenever it seems tough to do the right thing. For it is written God said, “I would put my Spirit within you and cause you to keep my status”.
   The sermon truly was touching, in fact Elvis knew that Molly being there to stop him alone was a sign that God didn’t want him to rob the store. He could feel it; that Molly was his way out – the way out of doing something wrong – something he might regret. But that Gold Coated sneaker – that Gold Coated sneaker had the ability to make him look way cooler than any other sneaker had ever made him look before.
   Elvis looked at Molly, “Sorry, Sis I just have to do it”.
   Molly kept quiet. She didn’t say one more word. She just put her head down, turned around, then walked away.
   After she had gone, Elvis reached for the window – it wasn’t locked – the store owner must have forgotten to lock it. Wow! A sign. He just might pull this off smoothly he thought. He creeped through the window. Everything still felt OK. He made his way to the Gold Coated sneaker and picked it up. The joy of holding it alone was almost too much to bear. He put it into the black school bag he had brought. Wow! That was easy. He was really feeling like a spy in a movie now. He headed back to the window and climbed out only to find the owner of the store standing there in his night robe and with two cops beside him. Busted! Talk about being caught red handed. Caught with bag in hand!
   It turned out that the store owner did not have enough money for a high - tech security system. So to save money he devised a means for any theif to have a one easy to think of; first to try way to rob his store.
   He always left his window closed but not locked so it would look like he had forgot to lock it, whereas he connected the window to trip off a silent alarm which alerted the cops whenever it was opened if the alarm system was activated, which he always activated when closing for the day. Clever, economical, risky but it almost always worked. Crooks always checked the windows first, and if it wasn’t locked it was their dream come true.
   Elvis’ Dad was greatly disappointed because he loved his son and expected better from him. To make matters worse, when word got out, it soiled his Dad’s reputation and those who wanted his position in his political party started saying; ‘ ... if he cannot manage his house well, can he then manage the political party well?’
   Elvis’ Dad taught about a good way to punish his son and an idea although gruesome was fitting to the crime, came to him.
   He would have a bonfire in honour of  his son. He brought out every last one of Elvis’ sneakers which were so many they looked like they could completely fill up a mini – van, and set them out as the item to be burnt. He made Elvis watch all his sneakers go up in flames which proved to be the most painful experience in Elvis’ life so far.
   His Dad then bought him two new shoes. “No more sneakers”, he said, “you would wear shoes from now on and don’t expect any new shoes until these ones are old”.
   Elvis’ Dad sent him to rehab. That sure would cure him from being a sucker for sneakers.
   It just goes to show, we should learn to be content with what we have, never steal, and never be greedy.

THE END.


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