The Man This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   We walk down the narrow street paved with old, cracking cement. We're but two faces in the crowd, an inseparable pair of teenagers with our arms locked together.

Looking away from my companion and the people passing us, I focus on another person. His dirty face and ungroomed, bristly white beard match his clothing. His wardrobe consists of nothing more than a brown tee-shirt with grease stains, and dark pants ripped for reasons other than fashion.

As we walk closer to the mound covered in a tattered gray blanket, he slowly looks up, leaning his head against a brick wall of some building, peering into my eyes. My stomach turns, and although I try to ignore the sorry sight that shivers from the cool wind, I can't. I can't turn away. I feel his eyes tear into my soul, and slowly he puts forth a ceramic cup. My head nods, and I reach into my leather coat's pocket for some change. Tossing several coins into the air, I manage a hasty smile. The pieces fall inside the cup, hitting the sides and bottom with a "clink." "Please take care," I say.n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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