The Beggars

Her face is gentle. Button nose above smiling lips. Ice blue eyes sparkling in the light. Brown hair pulled back into an effortless ponytail. White neck and teeth and cleavage. She looks as if she doesn’t have a care in the world. Men hope just to hear her laugh. The are blessed if they can make her laugh. It isn’t easy. Her face is her mask.

They walk towards an expensive restaurant along the tree lined avenue. The canal stagnant and pungent next to them. Her flowing black dress swishes over her moving legs. Her shoulders covered with a torn denim jacket. Her flip-flops flip and flop.

The boy beside her floats along the concrete. His mind in turmoil, he wonders if he should speak, if he should hold her hand, if he should take her by the elbow to guide her. He doesn’t notice her arms crossed tightly over her chest. Her face lost in thought. He only notices the she’s walking next to him.

Ahead, a man is slumped between two trees shaking a cup of coins. The boy takes two five Euro pieces out of his pocket, smiles and jingles them in his hand. He stops and drops them into the man’s beaten cup.

“God bless you,” the man slurs. His irises are milky white, dirt is crusted into his cheeks and his breath stinks of vomit and decay.

The boy’s face cringes. “You’re welcome, brother.” He turns to smile at the girl. But she has already disappeared into the crowd.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Comments are closed.