SURREPTITIOUS and QUANDARY
Sliding past the cans of beans, she surreptitiously slipped it inside her handbag.
Honesty was a quandary she couldn’t afford. She tried to make the food in her cupboard last, but her little boy was hungry. The last few months she had lost weight, and convinced him it was from choice.
But her son knew better, and now he was adding food to her plate instead.
This wasn’t stealing – not really. The big companies could afford to take the loss and it was only one tin of cheap beans. Tomorrow, she would get her wages, and she would be able to get some shopping legally.
She thought about food banks, but she was in a job, and it felt like she was letting her child down in some way. It wasn’t just the food, but electric, gas. Extra blankets kept you warm, but they didn’t stop the damp in the corner of the bathroom.
It felt like she was drowning in a mound of paperwork, and juggling pennies to make ends meet. She had no choice in the matter, because life went on. School uniform needed to be brought. There was no shame in charity shops, but there was still shame.