Weird Love: A kleptomaniac love story by Lucie Britsch

I take things

Things that aren’t mine

Why would I take my own things?

Now that’s messed up

Who does that?

Probably some stupid fuck

They have a word for it

Klep toe mane ee ya

I think the Kardashians have something to do with it

I don’t take valuable things, or shoplift; I just take things that catch my eye

Like a magpie I guess

But I’ve never seen one

Or they’re just not shopping where I shop

Although I don’t like when people say ooh so and so is like a hawk, like a fox, like a rabbit

It’s never complimentary

You’re basically saying they’re a dirty animal

They’re never saying you have like really soft hair or nice teeth

But I guess I do have a magpie eye

Just the one

The other one I need for watching stuff on my phone and making sure I don’t walk into walls

Only it doesn’t have to be shiny things I take

I once took some fancy cheese in the shape of a heart

It just has to be pretty things then, to me anyway

I started doing it when I was little

I would take things from friend’s houses

Only small things

A porcelain thimble

I couldn’t even tell you what a thimble is, even now

The name is giving me no clue

I’m guessing it’s something from the old days when they didn’t have TV

Who has thimbles?

People in fairy tales and old ladies that’s who

So I guess I do know more about them than I thought

I’m full of surprises

I only take things that can easily be taken

I tut at people trying to take cars

Or dogs

I like things that are quiet

You won’t catch me making the dick move of trying to steal me a bell

I take things that won’t be missed

Things that fit in the warm round of my palm and then fit safely in my pocket

Sometimes I have concealed things in my sock

That’s my signature move so don’t go stealing it

Never my bra though

But I’m only young

Give me time and cleavage

Please god give me cleavage

I once heard of a lady that concealed things in her hair

She’s my hero

Like most people like me I like the feeling

I wish I liked the feeling of someone’s hand in mine

Or a summers breeze on my skin

Or a warm bubble bath

Stuff other people seem to get off on

But I like the feeling of thieving

I want to steal that for a t shirt some day

When I go straight

When I have my cleavage and better things to do

But for now it’s about the feeling

The feeling of seeing something I want and the art of how to obtain it

Because it is an art

I’ve seen other people, inexperienced people, chancers, try and take things and I have watched them epically fail

They shake, they sweat, they fumble, and they don’t have the speed, the skill

And they always chicken out or get caught

I never wanted sex the way I wanted my friend mums thimble with a Shire horse on it.

The horse was standing in a meadow with tiny buttercups

 I liked to think it was delicately hand painted by a jolly old lady in a barn somewhere

Definitely not made in China

I don’t want that shit

She may or may not have also churned butter

The friend’s mother had a tiny hand bell with a dairy maid on it too but I’ve told you my strict no bells policy

Maybe one day I would be skilled enough to know how to do the whole bell or dog thing but for now I was happy with my small quiet tat

Because people must have stolen bells

I’m sure someone tried to steal the liberty bell at some point

Everything has been stolen at some point

On entering a room then my eyes will scour the surroundings for possible treasure

Like a greedy child always looking for something to shove in their face

My pockets were hungry

Tidy homes were no fun

And later, as a gown up, my time at minimalist friends homes were fruitless

Because I didn’t grow out of it by the way

This isn’t a story or redemption

I dreamed that Fagin was my father

When my peers were dreaming of Jon Travolta I longed to wake up soot smudged

Not dripping in glitter and Hollywood glamour

I would have made a fabulous pick pocket with the right training and jaunty music

These are not normal aspirations for a middle class girl from a good family

It was at school that I first found another like me

You would think that a kindred spirit or fellow sufferer, however you see it, would be a comfort

But no

My magpie eye and dickens fingers were my own private Idaho

No one new because if they did they would throw me in jail or worse, make me get therapy

Have you seen a therapist’s office? It’s all books and couches

There is nothing worth stealing!

A wilting pot plant is not enough to get me there

How could I possible explain the power of pretty to someone that wears pant suits?

How some things are just so wonderful that I need them near me?

That I need to touch them, to hold them, to make them mine.

Have they not seen Lord of the rings?

I have not seen Lord of the rings

But not just the sparkly, shiny obviously pretty things, things that have something else, the French seem to get it with their je ne sai quoi.

So there he was then, another, like me

Only boy shaped

And he had wanted to steal me from the start

Because he thought I was pretty

Only I was still waiting on that cleavage and was still in that mind set that boy shaped meant stupid shaped

Ok so I still think that to some degree

I mostly didn’t want the competition

But he did because he was a boy and annoying

So we spent the next few years trying to outdo each other

Well he mostly tried to get in my pants and I mostly told him where to go

On leaving a room he would show me what he had in his pocket

Followed by a wink

I would stick my tongue out

I wouldn’t show him mine

Not yet

But he wore me down

Like men do

I know that now

And I know now that I am considered pretty to some

A thing to posess

I eventually gave in to him because I am weak but mostly because I am a kleptomaniac and not even for good shit but shit like thimbles and old lady junk so I didn’t have many options

So we joined forces

Shared our treasures

He didn’t even dis my thimbles, or worse ask what they were for and I would have to tell him about the old lady and the butter churning and hope it distracted him enough that he forgot about what thimbles were actually for or failing that show him what I had in my bra because the cleavage did come despite all the stealing so god works in very mysterious ways

So we shared our treasures and then kisses and then bodies and eventually a poky apartment with leaky pipes

No one else would understand we told each other but also no one else understood, least of all his mother who had hoped he would share a pokey apartment with a lawyer and not a strange girl who collected thimbles

We stayed together for several years

Both trying to go straight at different times

Both sabotaging the other

Because then what?

What were we?

Then one night it came to me

It had come to him too

I crept into the kitchen

Let me fingers find a spoon

One he had stolen from a friend’s wedding

I had only taken his keys that night

When I learned he liked to drink

I crept back to where he was sleeping

And stole his heart

He didn’t stir

Or splutter

It’s yours anyway he said

So you don’t win

I cried then

Before taking his wallet and walking out

British born with Germanic roots (very different from Jamaican roots in the fun stakes) Lucie Britsch's writing career peaked when she was a runner up in a poopscoop slogan contest as a child. She has been writing crap ever since. A liberal arts grad with a drummer boyfriend she has set herself up for a long career in failing but is the punch line to many a joke. Swings roundabouts. She lives in the middle of England with her more successful boyfriend on their imaginary farm where she is not writing 3 novels but enjoys procrastinating and collecting imaginary eggs.

She has just had her first pieces accepted by a lit mag and hopes that will kickstart her writing career.