He leaned against the half fallen bridge, watching the sparrows peck at the ground, as he waited for his companion to finish his task there. He stuck his hand in the bread bag and tore off another piece, rolled it, and tossed it to the birds. If his companion wanted to keep him waiting, then he would lose that much more bread to amusement. His companion continued to work under the bridge, pulling the clothes off a homeless fellow who had died there the night before.

“You won’t believe what clothes sell for these days,” his companion said as he wrestled the new shirt over the one he already had.

Knowing his companion’s intentions The Stranger might have offered his coat, but he didn’t particularly like the guy or his habits. He had only come to keep a promise to share food.

“Then why don’t you sell them and buy your own food?” the stranger asked, flicking another crumb.

“I can’t yet. Besides, you don’t know how cold everything feels when your hungry.”

With the shirt on, his companion finally looked his way.

“Hey what are you-

The Stranger held up the half eaten bag. His companion trudged over, swiped it, and sat down heavily beside him.

“I forgot you weren’t so nice,” his companion said pulling out a slice.

In all his clothes he was the fattest looking beggar The Stranger had ever seen. The stranger looked back to the sparrows that were now hopping around in search of food that would not come.

“Somebody told me you met a girl.”

If he really thought about it there should have been no sparrows at all.

“So I take it you met her,” his companion continued.

“Who?” The Stranger said, looking at his companion who was greedily eating his bead.

“This girl.”

“No, not really.”

“What do you mean by not really?”

“I handed her a grocery bag and told her to go away.”

“Let me clarify. You met a girl and ignored her.”

“Of course I ignored her.”

Well maybe he had not ignored her as completely as he intended, but what was the difference. His companion took out the last piece of bread.

“You’re terrible. Even your bread is terrible.”

“Should I stop bringing it?”

“Do you really mean that?”

“Yes.”

His companion looked away in disgust and continued munching.

“Terrible. For a half made experiment you should at least be able to pretend you care.”

“I kept the promise. Did you try reporting me again for money?”

“Why?”

“I’m bored.”

His companion crumpled the plastic.

“Then walk back yourself. I never did report you,” he said stuffing the plastic in his pocket before standing to leave.

“But I told you to,” The Stranger said calling after him.

The companion turned around.

“As insensitive and stupid as you are,” he called back, “I won’t hand in my own brother.”

The Stranger looked to the sparrows.

“You hear that. I’m not going back.”

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Previous                                                                                              Not Going Back

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