When It Counts

Frantisek_Krejci at Pixabay

Joseph sat at his customary spot on the pavement, and huddled for warmth in his threadbare overcoat. He placed a cup, with chips in the enamel, in front of him and pulled out his cardboard sign, Please help – God bless you.

As usual he remained invisible to most people, though some would toss small change into his cup.

One young man made the effort to give him a smile each day, and apologise for having nothing to spare.

“God bless you all the same,” Joseph would respond.

One day the young fellow passed by without his usual greeting. This at first sent a wave of disappointment through him. Then it occurred to him that something might be wrong, so he rose and followed the man into the park where he sat alone on a bench.

“Is there something the matter?” Joseph asked.

“No,” the man said before bursting into sobs.

“Tell me,” Joseph prompted.

“You know I have told you that I didn’t have anything to spare. That was because I was saving up to get a bus ticket to go see my parents on my Mum’s birthday. That’s tomorrow and I’m still four pounds short,” The young man said despondently.

Joseph said, “You gave me plenty each day, because your smile made my day.” He then took his enamel cup out of his coat pocket and presented the youth with four pounds. I think it’s time for me to give you something in return.”


Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #99

5 thoughts on “When It Counts

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