There is Goodwill truck down the street. Nolberta tells us that at night people just leave bags of clothes outside to donate.
“No hay security,” she says
She schemes this plan to gather all the neighborhood kids so we can help her search through the donations.
Our payoff is that we can find old toys and get to be bad.
Abuela decides she wants to join in on the fun so as soon as it hits 9 o’clock we all meet at the courtyard. She tells us the game plan.
“Ok put attention chamacos. We are going to walk down el street and we are going to search the bags. Only take things you need. No be greedy.”
Nolbera leads the way while Abuela walks by her side as her sidekick. There is 7 of us walking behind them. We super hyped just thinking of all the cool things we are about to come up on.
We get to the truck and its like a goldmine. We can’t believe people would donate all these things. There are all kinds of clothes, books, toys, we want to take it all but we have to be smart.
“Isn’t this stealing?”, I ask my Abuela.
“Pues no porque la gente que regala estas cosas las regala para gente como nosostros.”
I continue searching through the plastic bags.
All the kids go for the toys but I like books and pick up a couple that I can read when Abuela leaves me home alone.
I turn around and see Nolberta carrying a giant teddy bear. Its like those bears that are hard to win at the carnaval.
“Es mio”, she shouts.
We are all mad cause she calls dips on the bear and decides she actually wants to take it home to decorate her living room.
In defeat we all turn back carrying bags of the things we picked out from the old truck.
We have clothes, toys, shoes, and books.
As we are walking back we hear a siren bleep.
“La policia!”, we scream and make a run for it.
We run like roaches when you turn the lights on. We hide behind cars, jumping into bushes, running pass the street even my Abuela runs.
We turn back and see Nolberta’s big body running carrying the peluche. She won’t let go of it but it slows her down. Before we know it the cop car has a bright light shining on her. On the megaphone the cop says,
“Ma’am please put the bear down.”
Nolberta doesn’t really speak English but she knows she is in trouble. She slowly places the big teddy bear on the cement and as the cop walks towards her.
“Ay no se english! Yo pese que esto es free”, she says before the cop speaks to her.
The cop leaves her with a warning and we all watch as Nolberta walks back towards us, the teddy bear sits lump sided on the cement. Her face in defeat.
We all feel for her but before we can say a word to her she says,
“Mañana vamos a ir a otro lugar donde hay otra troca.”