His eyes darted around like a pesky housefly, trying to survey every corner of the bus,
trying to look for an unwary target in the crowd, amidst all the commotion and ruckus.
All he wanted was a small window of opportunity, in which he could use his skills,
As soon he’d see someone with his guard down, he knew he would go for the kill.
He’d trained for years as an expert pickpocket, he had mastered the art of stealth,
He had used it wisely over the years, and that had got him a fair bit of wealth.
He loved the thrill of every little crime, it made him more eager for the next attempt,
No longer a passion but an obsession now, it was all he breathed and of what he dreamt.
He saw scores of people come and leave, but he knew they weren’t the ones he’d seek,
His hands were itching to get to work, as he felt his excitement hit it’s absolute peak.
And then he spotted a figure to his side, and suddenly he knew his chance had come,
He was looking at someone evidently fatigued, his shoulders droopy and eyes were numb.
He put on his most sincere, innocent face, as he sneaked carefully to the bus’s rear,
He couldn’t help, but chuckle a little, this would be the easiest heist of his career.
As soon as the bus braked he threw himself ahead, and gave the man a powerful shove,
As the man fell down in a heap he rushed forward, the ever helpful stranger filled with love.
“You ok sir?” He asked ,as he pulled up the man slowly, quickly sliding his hand onto his wallet,
“If you’re hurt really bad, we could bring an ambulance, just give me the word and I will call it.”
The man stood up, obviously dishevelled, he just flashed the smallest hint of a weak smile,
He smiled back and then got off at the next stop, and then grinned at his own genius and guile.
He walked to the nearest deserted corner, as he eagerly emptied the wallet he’d just flicked,
Laughing at how the man’s face would look, once he discovered he was so cleverly tricked.
As he overturned the wallet and shook it a little, two pieces of folded paper jumped out,
As he unfolded the first one with his nimble fingers, an astonished gasp escaped his mouth.
He was looking at a cheque for 2 lakh rupees, for a second he wouldn’t believe his eyes,
He shouted out in pure, unblemished ecstasy, it was the dawn of a new day in paradise.
He hurriedly grabbed the second piece of paper, praying for more money that he could claim,
But as he opened it he realised it wasn’t a cheque, but he just kept reading on all the same.
“Dear Mother, I have finally hit the magical number! And I did it with just a day to spare,
Now I can finally pay for my cancer surgery, and move immediately into intensive care.
To think the margins of death are so slim Ma, the doctor said a day more and I would’ve faced death,
But don’t worry I’ve toiled and got it in time, I’ll soon begin the long road to recovering my health.
I’m going to give the cheque to the hospital today, I knew you’d love to know it before hand,
I know we don’t have a house or any money to spare, but Ma today I feel so overjoyed and grand!
I love you, so do wipe off those tears now please? Your son is going to be alright I swear.
I promised you, I’ll always be around didn’t I? See, even God knows I’m going nowhere.”
Horrified he tore away his eyes from the letter, he couldn’t find the strength to read any further,
His obsession had cost someone his life, he was no longer a mastermind of theft, but cold murder.
He felt his tears of happiness fade into the void, the guilt was pummelling his soul into a hollow,
He destroyed not one, but many lives at once, the facts were true and difficult to swallow.
He renounced his thieving ways once and forever, he’d never again indulge in this terrible game,
The mask of a thief was one he could no longer don, he’d now wear for eternity a mask of shame.