February 5th, 2004
The most frightening part of the trip occurred when they ducked into an Asian grocery store and she saw him steal four packages of soba noodles. He plucked them off the shelf and stuffed them into the inner pocket of his coat in one smooth, practiced motion, and she realized that he had done this before, God only knew how many times. The soba noodles were on sale, four packages for one dollar and forty-nine cents, and she knew for a fact that he had over six hundred dollars in cash tucked into his wallet, alongside three major credit cards.
He refused to look at her as they left the store. As they turned onto the sidewalk, he broke into a walk that tried to evolve into a trot. She had to scurry around other pedestrians to keep up with him. That night when he cooked the noodles for her, they tasted bland in her mouth, as if all the flavor had come off in his coat pocket.