An Open Letter to the Person Who Stole My Stuff

Maia Matsushita

Dear Nobody,

Here are the heinous crimes I am committing you of:
Stealing my pencil case full of stationery I’ve collected over four years from Japan;
Stealing my cosmetics pouch that I was quite fond of because of the “Follow me on Instagram” plastered across it (I now regret not writing in my handle);
Stealing my long sleeved Brandy Melville “New York” shirt with minor bleach stains that I attempted to cover up with a blue whiteboard marker.

You may have seen the five stages of grief that I went through.

My things did NOT just get stolen: When I first noticed that my pencil case and cosmetics pouch was gone, I was in denial. I dumped out everything from my backpack onto the skinny black bench and reaches into the crevices of my backpack, my fingers only feeling dust. I checked all around, hoping that my things would magically appear on the locker room floor. I scoured the lockers in the vicinity, opening them and slamming them closed as I grew frustrated at the reality that my things were truly gone. When you took my shirt, I felt around my backpack again, almost twisting my wrist in the process.

Steal something better challenge—Failed: The first thing I did was open my Snapchat story to post about it. Who would want my things? My phone, AirPods, and iPad were all in the same backpack, but you chose to steal some of my most sentimental items. But when you stole my shirt, I was absolutely furious. It’s literally A SHIRT. You can’t even wear that out now because I would know it’s my shirt. It has bleach stains on it. On top of that, I had nothing to wear! So I had to go to third period with my PE shirt on, sweaty and self conscious, my dignity reduced to nothing.

Please let it be in a locker: The entire weekend after I got my things stolen I was praying that they would suddenly appear in one of the lockers or the lost and found. When I walked into that cursed locker room, I was very disappointed to see that there was not even a trace of where my things were. I put a sticky note on the locker I use, I don’t know if you saw it. If not, it’s your lucky day! Here’s what was on it: “To the person who stole my stuff, give it back and get a job.”

Goodbye, old commodities: I was sad and angry for the longest time. I told this story to all my friends because my sadness couldn’t be contained. I tried to recall all the things I lost but I couldn’t–there were too many things in the bags that you took for me to remember. I still feel a pang of sadness when I think of the things that I no longer own: I used to wear that New York shirt when I wanted to dress down. I have traveled from country to country, from city to city with those things, and they were gone at the hands of a thief.

Starting anew: I replaced some of the things you’ve stolen, but it’s not the same. My friends bought me new things for my birthday, and I got new 0.3 lead mechanical pencils because you took my stash. I got new mildliners freshly imported from Japan, so you can have fun with my dead, two year old ones. It became clearer and clearer that you weren’t willing to give my things back.

I’ve told everyone this story: my family, my friends, my dog, TikTok, and now here. And honestly, I’ve seen you with my New York shirt on so don’t think for a second that you’re slick. Nobody, you’ve fooled and blinded me like Odeyssus did to Polyphemus in the Odyssey, but Odyessus got Poseidon’s wrath in the end–you can fill in the blanks from here.

To everyone else: keep your things close. Thieves exist within the confines of Cupertino High School.

Also, just don’t steal things. It’s a crime.

Your dear, dear friend,
Maia Matsushita