The Day My Life Changed

By , Ashland, WI

I was just another homeless man to add to statistics, my name is Larry Peterson. I have never come from anything special in any way. Both of my parents were killed in a car accident when I was very young, and was forced to be put into foster care. I never found a home right for myself, and this is the reason I have decided to live on my own for the majority of my life. I have lived in Chicago my entire life, whether it was in someone else’s home or living out on the streets by myself. Life has never granted me anything special, until one day when I came across something that changed everything for me.
There I was spending another night underneath the same bridge that I usually sleep underneath.  As I was laying there I could hear commotion in the park near by so I made my way to the sound of the distress. I could see a group of men conversing, one of them was holding a large briefcase in his hand. It appeared that the man with the briefcase had black hair and a scruffy beard; however, it was hard to get a good look at any of their faces. The men were arguing over something, but I couldn’t make out what they were saying to each other. A few moments passed and then another car pulled up near by. A different group of men got out of the car and approached the group that held the briefcase. The man with the briefcase approached the other men and began to speak to them. It was obvious he was not happy with the group that had just arrived. As the man was handing briefcase over, another person had come out of nowhere and stole the case from both of the men, then took off towards the bridge. All of the other men chased after him, but they could not keep up with him. He took cover underneath the bridge as he was being chased by all of the other men. I watched very close because I knew whatever was in that briefcase was valuable. Eventually the men stopped looking for the man, but I noticed he never came out from underneath the bridge. I decided to check it out. As I approached I realized the man was fast asleep with the briefcase next to him. I made the decision to take the case just to look at what was inside. I opened it and inside was over one million dollars. This is the moment that my life was to be changed forever.
At this point I had to make a decision if I wanted take it or not. Obviously,  many people would be searching for this briefcase. My decision was clear after I thought about how often life has thrown me down. That day I spent more money than I had spent in the last 10 years of my life. I continued to spend money, buying a car, renting the nicest hotel rooms, and eating the fanciest foods I could find. The money changed who I became. I didn’t even recognize myself anymore. I only had a small portion of the money left in my possession. There was anywhere from $200,000 to $250,000 left of the money. At this point I had another big decision to make on if I just wanted to buy into my habits and keep buying until I had nothing left, or I could use to the money to invest into my future.
I decided to sleep on my decision and wait until morning to decide. As I was sleeping I could hear that someone was in my room. I quickly switched the lights on to find that the man who had originally stole the money was now stealing it back from me. Still to this day I had no clue how he was able to find out where I was. The man took off and I tried to run after him, but just like in the past, he was just too fast for me to catch him. That man ran off with the remainder of the money and I haven’t seen him ever since that night. I will never forget that man’s face.
I was able to learn a lot about life from this experience.  After being able to spend all of that money I realized that I really didn’t need any money at all. I still remain homeless in people’s eyes and I think that I would prefer that over being a greedy person. Money was able to change who I was and not for the better. I am glad that the money was stolen because  without that money I have been able to enjoy the true beauty of the world.






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