The Truth About London (prompt "Tomorrow")

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Tomorrow will be better.
Tomorrow will be ours;
Tomorrow I will greet you with flowers,

And with roses,
With enduring love.
Today is wrong,
My sweetheart,
And tomorrow -

Tomorrow never comes.



Jade remembered that first candy bar she stole.

It was Cadbury milk chocolate – nothing fancy, and it tasted bitter and sweet. Her son would have liked it, she thought, if he were old enough to eat it, but he wasn't. He wasn't her son either, any more. Some other family would call him that now. Some other woman he would call mum, once he learned how to. Probably better that way. She was only sixteen anyhow. What did she know about raising a baby.

It's been a while now, Jade knows, he's probably grown and bigger and forgotten all about her. He must be walking by now.

She's stealing the £8 Indian meal deals from Asda. They're nice, and they're enough for two people, but the people in this town can't afford them. She couldn't afford them either – if not for the stealing. She has an order for six today. There are a few Asdas around. It's not a big deal. Nobody gets hurt.

She wouldn't steal from a person, or from a corner shop, those people who do – jesus, they're scumbugs. Nobody gets hurt because the owners of Asda already have houses all over the place, and now they sold out to Sainsbury's, well they're laughing, innit. They're laughing, but that mum down the road still needs nappies. They're bloody costly, they are. But not from Jade. Jade keeps her prices on the cheap. Jade knows all the mums on the estate.

Jade is caught again, and all that happens is a court date. Her face shows up in shop windows, she's barred from 80 just in her town. She gets a bit of a reputation. The kids know who she is. It's kinda like fame, kinda fun, and she goes with it, when one of the estate kids asks for an autograph, as a joke, then others follow. It's kinda cool.

When Jade is alone, she counts the stars and wishes on the fallen ones, that tomorrow her son, her Eli, he will enough food to keep him the day, and when he looks around there is love, and he is content.

Jade no longer believes in happy.  



***

A note from me:

I watched a documentary called "Shoplifter and  Proud" today, and it broke my heart. There are so many people in the UK stealing food, because that's the only option they feel is available to them. If you have a spare half hour, watch it. It's on youtube. Let me know what you think. 

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