Thursday, November 18, 2010

Big City Lights Don't Bother Me...

“Spare some change guv’?” He hoarsely asked, not really looking up as the sea of faceless corporate suites passed by; oblivious to him and his plight. No one saw or cared, this dirty dishevelled man could have been a father, a husband, a brother, or a son; but none of them cared. He was someone though, he had been someone. A father and husband, a brother and son. None of those faceless suites saw that, none of them cared about where he had come from or how he ended up to be here; sleeping rough on the mean streets of London.

The City light shone brightly and these streets were paved with gold, or so they say. All he saw now was what it had taken from him, what it had turned him into. Those big City lights that once held promise and hope, now held fear and uncertainty; it was most defiantly not a happy place for him.

“Here...” Said the deep but kind voice from above, as he felt the bag land into his lap.
“Thank you.” He replied, puzzled and perplexed not just by the bag; but who had thrown it.
“No problem, I was like you...” The stranger answered, turning to leave; hoping his gift would help. Inside the bag were four, maybe five bundles of tightly bound £20 notes. Coming from a banking background, he knew exactly how much was in the bundles; fifty grand easily.

As his mind did the mental arithmetic’s, he knew someone was looking down on him; but of course after all he had been through he could not understand.
“Hey, wait...” He called after the stranger, who smiled before turning around. For the first time both were able to study the other, taking in all that they saw.

Tony saw a lot of himself in the person sat before him, Ray saw the man he used to be before the crash hit. Ray was dirty and grubby; being homeless did that for a person. His clothes were close to hanging off him, and his shoes had worn right down to nothing; it was true he was not a nice sight anymore. Tony on the other hand was dressed immaculately in his 3-piece suit, umbrella and briefcase only adding to the image of a banker or lawyer; Ray thought.

Tony was clean-shaven and smartly turned out, the dark navy pinstripes a clear sign that this was a man with somewhere to go; indeed he was someone. Ray on the other hand, had nowhere to go and no real reason anymore to be someone. But still Tony knew that this man could be someone once more, after all; that was how he had been.

“I don’t know what to say...” Ray began, stuttering and stammering slightly.
“I used to be a banker before the crisis hit, lost everything thanks to it...” Ray went on; aware he could never repay Tony’s kindness.
“Don’t worry about it, now you can be something again...” Tony smiled, nodding his head before turning to leave.
“Give her a call, she’ll be worried...” He added, smiling at the fact he knew this time would be different.

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