You know how they say “be careful what you wish for?”
When asked the question: If you could get locked in to any store, what would it be?
Easy: Bookstore, of course!
Well, that actually happened to me last Saturday, when, while in a bookstore at the mall, unbeknownst to me, a robbery was taking place in a jewelry store nearby.
There was a commotion outside the bookstore, and we saw people running toward the exit. Not knowing what was going on, people inside the bookstore started panicking and running toward the back of the room.
People came in to the bookstore to hide – gunshots were allegedly heard, some people claimed that civilians with guns were running amok inside the mall, firing at will; other claimed that hostages were being taken and that a child had been already shot.
The bookstore security manged to close and bar its front doors, keeping the people inside safe, while ensuring that the people with guns could not enter.
Several things crossed my mind while stuck inside the bookstore: One, I wish the shelves with the fiction books weren’t so close to the glass windows near the entrance so I could go and get a book to read while waiting (without fear of getting shot by stray bullets); two, I’m glad I didn’t finish my sandwich earlier and got the leftovers “to go,” – now I have food if we have to stay here overnight!; and three, why didn’t this bookstore have that item I was looking for (which was the reason why I went in there in the first place).
After about 30 minutes to an hour, the bookstore opened its doors and announced that it was safe to go out. The mall was deemed safe, though the thieves were never found.
We only found out later, on the radio, in the comfort of our car, what really happened. Turns out a group of 4-5 men armed with guns (or a gun) and monkey wrenches robbed a jewelry store at an adjacent building. One man with a gun fired in the air to cause a commotion, then proceeded to run out the building with the crowd. The thieves escaped with the loot, no one was hurt, and no one was taken hostage.
So, bucket list item #12: Get myself locked in a bookstore…Done!
Somehow, it didn’t turn out quite the way I imagined…