Angels Are Among Us This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   People marched ant-like through the lines. Expressionless, they poured milk into cups and filled their babies' bottles with juice. An older fellow shuffled up to the line of tables with his cane and a chipped mug in his hand.

"Got any coffee?" he asked.

"Down on the end in the big metal carafe," I said, smiling.

With wobbly legs, the man clutched the tables on one side and his cane on the other. He slowly made his way to the coffeepot. The man pulled the lever on the spout. We both watched as only a few drops trickled out. He looked at me and held up his mug.

"All gone," he said.

Jesse, a man who was also helping at the soup kitchen, said he would refill it. After filling the carafe, Jesse slowly set it on the table. Then he went to the back of the table to plug in the electrical cord. The cord didn't reach, so he gave it a yank and the coffeepot went crashing to the floor. All eyes quickly turned to the mess and laughter filled the room.

"Way-to-go, Jesse!" one woman shouted.

"Yeah, J-dog!" another man said.

I smiled and quickly went for a mop to clean up the mess. The event became the talk of the afternoon. It seemed to bring the people alive and out of their routine.

As the afternoon progressed, I cleaned tables and made small talk with those who remained. One woman told me about the model cars she used to work on when she was my age.

"This pussy-cat's got some pretty steady paws," she said.

A few people asked me about school. They seemed genuinely interested and concentrated on what I told them. They looked me straight in the eyes and captured my heart.

I continued to clean and returned the milk and other beverages to the kitchen. Then I stood in the corridor and got ready to go back to school. A woman with long, stringy hair approached me. Not saying a word, she took my hand and opened my palm. In it she placed a chain with a circular, clay bead strung. On the bead was an angel.

"You've been an angel today," she said.

The woman smiled at me with sunken blue eyes and returned to her table where she was socializing with others.

I waved good-bye and blew her a kiss as I walked out the doors.

She winked back and I left, walking on clouds. My walk to school was frigid, but the warmth in my heart kept me from shivering.


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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