Ottilie’s boyfriend, Jamie, has a new job stacking shelves in Tesco. This is a good thing – it means he has more money for petrol and more money for petrol means more opportunities to drive out into the countryside and fuck like rabbits on the backseat in some village where nobody knows either of them.
And so Ottilie cannot explain what it is inside her that’s pushing her to jeopardise this newfound freedom; she just knows that she wants to.
It is the Easter holidays when she does it. Jamie is working as often as he can, and Ottilie is supposed to be revising for her A-Levels. She’s probably still doing more work than most of her classmates – she’s always been a swot – but there’s something restless in her this year that hasn’t been there before – something that pulls her away from her desk and into town, where she loiters, trying to work up the courage to do it.
When she enters the store, Jamie is nowhere to be seen. She had planned to head for the beers, but her courage fails her – she’s scared she will drop the glass bottle and draw attention to herself; can’t imagine what her parents would say.
So she makes for the confectionery, which seems more manageable somehow, planning to slide a Mars Bar up her sleeve. Start small.
But when she sees the Easter eggs, she cannot help herself – there’s something so temptingly impossible about smuggling one of the bulky cardboard boxes out unseen.
There is nowhere to hide it – she’s not wearing a jacket she could wrap around it, so her only choice seems to be to look nonchalant, get as close to the door as possible, and then make a run for it.
She makes it as far as the library, sprinting, grinning madly, before Jamie’s weight is on her, forcing her against the brick, wrenching the egg from her grasp.
‘What the fuck are you doing?’ he pants.
She shrugs. ‘I wanted it.’
‘You can’t do that,’ he says, but she can feel that she is not the only one who wants it – his cock is bulging against her stomach and it only makes her want to steal again and again.
By summer, she’ll have got herself quite the little shoplifting habit.