Morris checked his wallet–he only had $5. Christmas was tomorrow and his boss hadn’t handed out holiday bonuses. At this point he’d gladly take another $5. He had a gift for his wife who was at home with their newborn. There were a few ornaments hanging from the windows, but no tree and he knew Sara wanted one. He barely had enough money to put food on the table for the next week. Without a bonus, he’d have to steal a tree
Morris sat at his desk exchanging glances with other workers waiting for Hans to enter with a handful of envelopes—it had always been this way, but never this late in the day. Quitting time was in an hour.
When the bell rang without Hans appearing, the room was filled with curse words. A chair fell over. Someone kicked a desk.
Morris threw on his coat and followed the others. Outside a few workers made obscene gestures to the second floor where Hans had his office. Morris walked away, intent on securing a tree before he got home.
He stopped at a lot about three blocks from his apartment. There were only small trees left. An old man stared at him.
“How much for the cheapest one?” asked Morris.
“I only have $5.”
Morris inched forward nervously. He would grab the smallest tree when the old man wasn’t looking. He didn’t see the police officer across the street staring at him from the shadows of a building. Morris inhaled before snatching a tree.
“Let me pay for that.” It was Hans who explained he had been delayed at the bank. He handed Morris an envelope.