I’m From Fresno, CA.

by chris y.

There’s a swelling in my chest: Hate, shame, loneliness, pain. The man I met on the Internet snores and elbow me in his sleep. The alarm clock light dims the room, I can see his face, his eyes were closed but his right eyelid was slightly ajar as if he was still watching me. I shifted around and slid out from under the covers as quietly as I can with his breathing down my neck. I navigate through his littered room, made my way to the cabinet, his jeans wrapped around the edges in a perfect circle. My hand reached for his wallet; as the wallet exited the pocket a round metal object accompanied it. I took the piece of metal and the remaining $300 he had. I escaped through the bathroom window and jumped into my car and sped away as fast as I could.

When I got home I took a shower. A baby’s cry from the next apartment over is muffled out by the hot water running down my back. The water is cleansing, although it is not purifying. I got out of the shower and stepped into my jeans. I felt the foreign round object again and took it out to investigate. It wasn’t metal at all, in fact it was gold. I fingered the gold band. Steam rising off my body. Tried the ring on. Took it off. Steam engulfed the room, the ring. Letters began to form on the inside of the wedding ring. I lifted the ring toward the light to see what was inscribed on the inside: “With all my heart — Jen.”

The swelling in my chest began to ache. What have I done? Tears burned the back of my eyes. A bruise formed on my chest where I got elbowed as I cried alongside the baby in the next apartment wishing someone would cradle me and tell me what I had done was okay.


  1. Joe Jordan-Allen

    This perspective is like nothing else I’ve read here, thanks for sharing.

  2. Way to romanticize being a thief. I hope the shame and guilt you felt was for being a terrible human being and not for having anonymous sex.

  3. I don’t know if the constant switching between present and past tense was intentional or not, but it was very distracting.

  4. Yes, theft is bad, but this short, glimpse of a story is about more than just stealing. This guy is dripping with guilt and shame! He feels bad about sleeping with a guy he met online, stealing, and then finding out that guy was married. That’s a full plate!! I’m glad Chris shared his story. It’s a great one, regardless of minor errors like past/present tense confusions, for this story says a lot with its briefness.

  5. Stealing rates far below what that married man did on the scale of bad Karma, whether the ring said Jen or Jim on the inside. I guarantee you he felt no guilt. Wonder where his spouse thought he was.

  6. Stealing is not good at all and tense using is kinda confusing, but this site is created for unique stories like this I think.
    Now you know the pain, hate, and shame. Hope you will figure things out yourself before karma comes to you. You know your value. You better than that. Good luck, Chris. ^^

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