Three Dollars and a Penny

September 16, 2009
“The Point of No Return” just started in the theatre next to my box. “The Phantom of the Opera” is always popular around Christmas time. About a half an hour later, people started exiting the theatre, talking about the show. The ground shook as the crowd trampled on the snow covered concrete. I remained in my small cubical, alone and shadowed. In front of me, a fog was hitting my hands, warming them. Cars outside of my box were blaring again, and multicolored lights were streaming down my alley. In the distance I could hear carols chiming. They must have been drowned out so much while Christine was singing in her high-pitched voice.
My Boogie Bear was in my hands, as always. I loved him so much. I had him for as long as I can remember. He was missing an eye then. He lost it in a fight with a hawk last summer, or at least, that is what I imagined happened to him. I had him for six years then, and he was with me through thick and thin. I remember that last year, and near Christmas time, I almost lost him.
It was almost the same date as today, but a year in the past. I was listening to the “Phantom of the Opera” again, and the snow was falling hard. I was inside a different box (it didn’t last through the winter, so I was so happy when I got a refrigerator box) and huddled in the corner, trying to keep warm. I started to fall asleep, listening to a beautiful song that was being sung next door. After a while, I actually fell asleep. I was dreaming of summertime, probably due to the song. Then, I heard a rustle. I remember waking up, and everything was in a haze as I saw a dark shape standing outside my box. I was so tired that I didn’t react when it came inside my box. Its head was moving around, and then in a moment, Boogie Bear was snatched out of my hands! The thing ran out of my box, and I nearly instantaneously snapped out of my daze and ran out of my box. Looking around, I saw a tail whip around the corner of the brick building. I ran to the corner and looked down the street, hearing people shout at the creature. Without thinking, my feet were moving at full speed.
It felt like I was chasing the cheetah. I couldn’t seem to get it. It was hard to pay attention with people screaming at me. Also, the steam rising from my mouth was making it harder to see where I was going. But I tried my best to pay attention to the thing that had my best friend in its mouth. I couldn’t even imagine what would happen if it got away. My stomach was wrenching with Boogie Bear out of my hands, and even more painful to see his hand waving at me. Boogie was the only family I had, or the only I could remember. It turned a corner.
When I turned the corner, I found myself face to face with a tall, business-like man. He was in a suit, with some fancy tie and a dark blue jacket. He was wearing a large smile, carried a black briefcase in one hand and Boogie Bear in the other. I exclaimed about my bear and he bent down to meet me at eye level. I started to throw a small tantrum, wanting to get my bear back. People were staring at us, and he was laughing at them. I didn’t even care about them. When he has my only family, it didn’t even matter who was looking, as long as when it was over, Boogie bear was back in my hands. He put his hand on my shoulder and started to talk to me as if I had some sort of brain damage. The man asked me my name, and I gave it to him, a bit frustrated. The man smiled and laughed. I could not see what was funny; I just wanted my bear back.
He asked me were my parents were, and I answered to the best of my ability: home. I, unfortunately, didn’t even know were home was. Then, he handed the bear to me. I could have sworn my heart skipped a beat, and I hugged my bear to me so tightly. He was wet. I looked at him, and noticed that were his button eye once was, a string had taken its place. I must have been crying, because the tall man said that he was sorry about the missing eye. The man wished me a Merry Christmas and stood upright. He said something about giving me something. He reached into his pocket and gave me three bills and a brown coin. I thanked him, not sure what to do with it. He apologized that it was so little money, and at that time, I did not even know what money was. He once again said Merry Christmas and walked away, merging into a crowd of people.
It took me a few minutes to get back to my box, mainly because the theatre had just let out and people were coming in my direction. The shops were starting do close, and the snow was falling even more harder. Then I reached my home. When I crawled inside, I immediately went to my corner and stayed their, Boogie Bear in my arms. I put the “money” in a safe spot where no one would ever find it.



The crowd had finally faded away, and the only people on the street were my fellow beggars. I could hear the garbage can next to my box shake, and I crawled to the other corner of my box. Shivering, as always, I hugged Boogie Bear even closer. The year had gone by so fast, that it seemed like I was still in 1976. I held Boogie out, looking at his missing eye. Patting his head, I could see dust flying off of his head.

I caressed his back, and found the tear in the seams. I reached inside, and took out the three sheets of paper and the small silver disk. Holding them in my hands, I looked at the figure of an old man on the paper. I stuffed them back inside of Boogie Bear. Laying back on the ground, I snuggled up to Boogie Bear and drifted off to sleep with the choir broke out into the chorus of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”





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penguin35 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 24, 2009 at 8:22 am
This is really good! And it's sad. Poor homeless kid!
 
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