Last night a couple friends of mine and I had a girls night out for a few hours while our hubbies played with the kids or pets at home. When was the last time we’d done that?
After having a delish dinner at a popular nearby mall, we decided to — wait for it — stroll the mall. Not rush in for a kid’s birthday present and rush back out. But actually window shop, pick up a few things, like we women rarely get to do these days.
We looked at all the great stores — most of which were unrealistic for one reason or another. Went into a few speciality stores. Oh, look at that dress. This would look great on you. OMG those shoes.
“Oh, look, that’s the same jewelry place Steve got my earrings from in Maui,” I said. The ones I was wearing tonight. There were actually two Maui jewelry places a few doors from each other right there as we strolled. Brought back memories.
“Oh wait – I need something from Macy’s,” we all said at practically the same time. Turns out we all needed the same thing — we’ll just call it an underthing. Macy’s was having a sale on underthings. So we went in.
When we came out, we heard a “pop” and saw people running into various stores. Or they were stopped and watching something in the far distance that we could not see, on the other side of the mall. So we ducked into a store.
“What’s going on?” we asked the Kate Spade cashier.
“I don’t know. Someone said they heard a shot.”
She called in to the mall headquarters but got no information. There were no announcements. No one guiding the masses. After a few moments, people resumed walking around but others kept standing around, consulting their cells in case something surfaced on social media.
We decided to go. The tentativeness, the quiet, the not knowing, was too strange.
So we went to the parking lot, to the closest car among us and got driven to our other cars. We said good night with hugs and drove off. We passed several police cars.
As we exited in completely opposite directions, we texted to each other what we saw: multiple highway onramps were closed in various directions. Cops and twirling sirens everywhere.
Driving home, we found out from one of our husbands, researching it for us online.
There had been a jewelry heist. At the Maui jeweler, just minutes after we had walked by it. Five men in masks — armed. The security guard had fired at them — that was the ‘pop.’
The suspects had escaped on foot and crossed the FREEWAY at various points to evade officers. Hence the multiple closures. Some would soon be caught. The rest were still at large.
The one night we finally, actually are out shopping, this happens? We couldn’t believe it, but we’ll always remember it. And as I drove home and gratefully greeted the family who asked how my evening was, all I could think of was:
There but for the grace of God go I.