Candy Thief

By Ryan C. Daily

July 25, 2016

Candy Thief

Rounding the corner with grocery basket in-hand, I spot my father staring at a display of candy. At a distance, I watch as he grabs candy bars off the shelf and slides them inside his coat, so absorbed in the act of stealing, he doesn't notice me approach. I tap him on the shoulder and he turns. Startled, he begins to empty his pockets.

"You can have two," I say, pointing to the unearthed candy. He stutters and picks up a candy bar, inspects it. Then he pauses and looks up at the other candy, then back at the pile. Back and forth, until finally deciding on a Baby Ruth bar and M&M's.

Decision made, we walk towards the front of the store. The cashier smiles, scans our items, and hands us our plastic bags, unaware of the almost-theft in aisle 11. Bags dangling from arms, we make our way outside.

We walk across the parking lot to my car. Inside, my father slouches in his seat and looks longingly into the bag. Before I can start the car, he begins to mumble. I turn to him and watch as he digs deep into his coat. From his pocket, he pulls out a Crunch bar, bent in half and covered with lint. He hands it to me and struggles to say, This is for you.


Photo, "tasty treats" provided by Ginny via Flickr's Creative Common license.

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Comments (4) - Post a Comment
Wow. So poignant. The two of you had and still have such a loving relationship.
Linda at 10:01am EDT - July 25, 2016
Poignant, I agree. My heart aches for the father, for the situation, for the terrible beauty of the last gesture.
Joanne at 11:37am EDT - July 25, 2016
This piece is so moving on so many levels. Bravo!
Jayne Martin at 12:27pm EDT - July 25, 2016
So bittersweet; you've captured perfectly the juxtaposition of love and caring vs. frustration in living and loving our aging parents. Thank you for this beautiful thing!
Melissa Hoagland at 11:51pm EDT - July 30, 2016

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