Written for Trifecta. He squints because he is nervous, examining the silk sweater, which is finer than white sand. Usually, he judges silk only by touch. The eyes of a saleswoman rest on his back with intention. God made him a thief, but at least he can trust his intuition. He sets down the shopping bag and glides to a rack of silk dresses, rubbing the slippery fabric between his thumb and middle finger. Underneath his designer jeans, he wears three pairs of silk boxers.
The first time he discovered silk, his parents were on a cruise in the Bahamas. He'd woken up minutes before sunrise and padded into their room while the nanny slept. At five years old, his mother's dresser held treasures more precious than the doctor's trove of lollipops, comic books and plastic horses. He rifled through her top drawer, inspecting each item as if looking for flaws.
At first, his favorite was a thick, shapely bra, red and lacy. He wanted to take it into bed and cuddle with it, he didn't know why. Then he found the silk underwear, which he did take back to bed, rubbing the material between his thumb and middle finger until he fell asleep. When the nanny found him in bed with his mother's lingerie, he didn't know to feel uneasy. But after she scolded him, he did.
At age eleven, he stole an eggplant-colored silk robe for his mother. She thanked him, but never wore it, so he took it from the hook in her bathroom and threw it under his bed. He would never give her another gift. At 17, he opened a shop on eBay selling silk items. He got $75 for the eggplant-colored robe. At 20, he is richer than all of his friends, including the ones who work in construction.
The saleswoman continues to watch him, so he catches her eye and asks for a fitting room. When she turns her back, he disappears.