Peter was tired; he had worked a 48 hour shift and was trudging home from work. He couldn’t believe he had been at this job for 15 years, same old routine, bosses have changed. The current boss was the worst of all; he was embezzling funds. The accountant had opted to use part of the staff’s salary as his and fight staff back when we demanded answers. Peter was just fed up.
On his way home on the verge of blacking out, Peter always passed Josephine, an elderly waif who he would toss coins to. Lately he had been under such duress that he had found a friend to chat with in the wee hours of the night and day as he waited for an emergency call to save another life in the city.
This morning Josephine was unusually cheerful and was rambling on about something while waving something in the air. Peter took minimal notice of what she was holding in her hand. And bent over to hear what she was saying.
“He came! He really did! He came to see me! He came!”
Peter’s brain had frozen from exhaustion, and was defrosting as she repeated her statement. “Oh! Really?” He jolted in response!
“Yes he came and he promised to come back and get me in the next few minutes! Can you wait with me?”
Josephine had her usual adorable and persuasive toothless smile. Peter’s heart melted and stayed. But as he stood, he felt hungry and knew it was time to grab something hot. Peter got his traditional hot chocolate and a fleshy meat pie to warm their empty bellies.
As they sat and watched the warm rainbow of shades give way to the sun, Josephine’s joy grew stronger sharing heartwarming stories of her childhood. Smiles and glowing faces turned to tears, aching stomachs and gut wrenching laughter. It was always hard to fathom a warm and kind woman like Josephine, lived on the streets. Anyone related to her would want to care for her.
Soon the sun was scorching and people were milling up and down the streets going about their business. Peter had never been in town this late in the day. He was always asleep. All of a sudden Josephine went quiet and dropped her head; “He lied…AGAIN!” Laughter turned to violent sobs that shook her body.
Peter dropped to her side, landing in a sobbing pile. He cried not out of sympathy, he knew exactly what it was like, having hope shattered after being lifted time and again.