Imagine walking into a grocery store and not paying attention to your surroundings. You walk over to the dairy section and grab a half-gallon of coconut milk. Then, you proceed to the cereal aisle to grab a box of your favorite cereal.
After picking up a few more items, you head to the registers. However, you notice everyone is still and many looked terrified. You notice a woman looking strangely at you and motioning you with her eyes. You’re perplexed and wonder what she’s on. But, she’s not on anything except fear.
Seconds later, you feel something pressed into the middle of your back. Then, a voice entered your ear. “I need you to remain silent as I walk you to the back.”
You shake your head up and down and back away from the cart. Another person walks in front of you. Then, the voice said, “Follow him.”
Your heart is beating fast. You’re terrified for your life. You don’t want to get shot. Like, who wants to be shot? All kinds of things flood through your head as you follow your way into the unknown.
When you get into the back room, there are four other people sitting in chairs counting money while another one monitors the security cameras. At this point, you’re afraid to speak or move. Then, you’re pushed into a chair.
You finally get to see the person who kindly poked a gun into your back. His piercing dark eyes seem to burn a hole into your soul as your heart rapidly beats in fear. After a few inhales and exhales, your anxiety lessens and he speaks, “So, this is how it’s going to go. You’re going to leave out with us.”
A wrinkle forms on your forehead. “Why?”
“Because I said so.”
“I don’t understand why you’re involving me in this.”
“It’s simple. We know who you are and your co-worker wants his payback.”
“Yeah, you know who I’m talking about. Remember that job promotion you stole from your co-worker?”
“I didn’t steal a job promotion from my co-worker. I received that promotion based on my hard work and dedication.”
“You only received that promotion because you brown-nosed your way into it.”
“No, I didn’t. Please let me go.”
“Oh, we’ll let you go.”
He pulls you up from the chair and places your hands on the safe, the desk, and the door. Then, he pushes you back into the chair. “I think the cops may be on their way here. We’re going to get out of here.”
They put on their masks and walk out the back door with you. The cameras capture you unmasked. After easing you into the back seat, they speed away.
Once they’re five miles down the road, they drop you off at a gas station. When you go inside, your face is plastered on the television screen. The police want you in connection with the robbery. Panic covers your body. Then, the clerk recognizes you. By the time you walk out of the gas station, the police are ready to take you out.
What are you going to do? You didn’t know the people who robbed the grocery store and don’t know anything except what happened to you.
You obey the officers’ orders. They handcuff you and put you into the back of a police car. A sinking feeling settles into the pit of your stomach. This isn’t a television drama. It’s your life.
“Smile for the camera,” the officer says. You now have a mugshot. Your eyes briefly close in hopes of you waking up from a dream. However, opening your eyes dash your hopes.
After unsuccessfully convincing the detectives of the truth, you’re put into a cell. Here you are behind bars. You had hopes and dreams in a wonderful future. Now, you’re behind bars because of false accusations.
You think about if you were criminally-inclined that a grocery store would be the last thing to rob. A bank would’ve been better. Then, you sit down and put your head between your legs.
How could your co-worker be so vindictive? All of this over a job promotion that you didn’t scheme to get. The world contains some calculating individuals. And, you’re caught up in a mess that’ll ruin your life.
Once you received the mugshot, it became a public record. Even if they clear the charges, some people will think you’re guilty. You’ll always have a cloud of suspicion over your head. Your life will never be the same.
After speaking with your public defender, your stress level is lessened. One of the guys came forward and exposed the setup. The district attorney dropped the charges and arrested your co-worker.
You went back to your job and tried to function normally. However, the stares tore into your mental framework. You couldn’t bear the judgment and quit.
My question to you is what would you do in this situation?