# A DEAR FRIEND…# (based on true story)

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            “He was young, around thirty. He was dirty, haven’t slept normally for weeks, haven’t eaten, he was standing there on the corner of the street staring at the world. People were giving him money, he didn’t want them. He’d give them to the kids passing by. Nobody asked to hear his story. Nobody cared enough for him. He was holding a peace of paper and a pencil. He used to write every night. Don’t know why he chose to write in the moonlight. He was nothing but harmless. You could see it in his eyes. He loved to stare at little ladies. Not in a brutal way. He seemed to admire them. That corner of the 65th Graham’s street became his home for 3 months. He wasn’t poor though or homeless. He just preferred simplicity. Maybe too much of it. Nobody ever wondered why until one day, a 15-year-old girl on her way back from school approached him and asked him why is he giving his money away. Nobody has ever heard his voice. He looked the girl in the eye and answered graciously, money meant nothing for him. He lost the love of his life and everything now was of no importance. He said that standing there made him somehow happy. The girl was surprised. She left her bag down and made herself comfortable next to the strange man. It was for the first time he smiled. The girl took an interrogatory expression and started asking the man general questions about his life. Time passed so quickly. They were talking for hours. It was around nine o’clock. After a comment of the man about the moon the girl realised she had to go. She promised him she’d be back the next day. The man smiled of satisfaction. That night was even more darker. Having someone to talk to, now he felt lonely. He got used to the companion of his little friend. He was only left with his little piece of paper. Many would have wondered how he sees in the moonlight to write. He didn’t need light. The story was enough to full-fill the lines. Being tired he slept till the morning. It was the first time he could sleep so well and so much. He knew he had someone caring about his story. He wasn’t of no importance any more  Since the minute he got up, his heart was beating so fast, he was expecting his little lady. He seemed like a child that was given a candy. After 5 hours of waiting his friend arrived. She brought a chocolate. She sat next to the man and shared with him half of the sweet. The man took it with his perfect hands and ate it slowly. He said chocolate has to be savoured like love. Slowly, feeling every trace of it in your mouth, willing to have more and more because it pleases you. The girl stared at him eating, smiled and gave him her other half. He kept it for later. That other half would full-fill her absence when she leaves.
         After some minutes of silence she remembered the reason he was there. Love. The girl so impressed of the man’s answer yesterday was about to question him. She took a deep breath and when she was about to speak the first word her parents were approaching the corner. The man didn’t know what was going on. He just saw the girl taking a scary look. She got up in a rush and ran. She knew her parents won’t like seeing her staying there with a homeless man. They’d found him dangerous although she knew he had a pure heart. She stayed hidden in the coffee shop just opposite the 65th Graham’s corner. After a while she got back to the man. He was disappointed because he understood the reason the girl left. He knew nobody can see her with him. He was an embarrassment  His face was sad. The girl took his hand as an action of excuse. His eyes were filled with tears. She stopped him from crying with a hug. They were friends now. She finally asked him; what happened  how he lost his love. This time tears were unstoppable now. He was silent for a couple of minutes and then, the only thing he could tell the girl, the only thing his mouth could speak were three words: my love died. The smile on the girl’s face disappeared so quickly. It was replaced by sadness. The man’s face had only pain. It was nothing else to say. They both stayed there in silence until the moon reached again the sky and the stars were shining in the dark. It was time for his little friend to go home again. She promised again she’d be back the next day. That was the only thing that could make the man happy. After she left, he continued his work; writing. The girl even if she knew about his piece of paper she never asked to see what it is. She considered it personal; maybe too personal. That night was the second and last time the girl talked to the man. They both didn’t know what life had prepared for them.
            Around midnight, a gang of the so called ”macho men” approached the man. They were drunk. They had no control of themselves. They decided to have fun by beating him up to death. The man was helpless. They caught him in his sleep. He hadn’t harm anyone but they didn’t care. For them he was just a homeless dirty idiot who would make a favour if they killed him. They thought that would take him out of his misery. What they didn’t know was that, that man wasn’t miserable. He actually was happy, at least in the last two days. In the morning the man was found, taken and buried in the city’s cementer y  At noon, when the girl came to visit her friend she saw an empty corner. The 65th Graham’s street corner had no life any more  She knew something bad happened  A tear came out of her eye, her legs weakened  her hands were shaking. She stood for a minute blocked looking from far the corner and then she ran. She ran so quickly. Her friend wasn’t there any more  She screamed and cried. She knew; in her heart she felt it. He was gone. The first thing she did was get up and run to the cementer y  She saw a priest near a grave, with tears in her eyes and pain in her heart she approached him and asked who had been just buried. He told her about the man. On the graveyard she saw his name. She never had asked. She didn’t have to know. Jeremy. That was his name. The girl fell on the ground on her knees. She cried there for hours. She hadn’t have the chance to know him better. After a couple of hours she got back to the corner of the street. She left her bag, as she used to, she took a chocolate, ate it slowly as he used to, crying about her lost friend. She prayed for him. She stayed there until the fist star showed in the sky. She did that every day since then.
          After the first month passed people got used to see her there but she didn’t got used to the people passing by. She now understood what Jerr felt. In a way. One night, as she stood up taking her bag to go, a brick of the building she supported her back to fell. Unconsciously she took the brick to put it back. There, in that hole she saw Jerr’s papers. Her face smiled, she took them and read the title. It said ”The story of my life from the day I met love”. There were so many pages, enough to make a whole book. The girl’s hands shaking got to the last page. She looked at the date. It was from the night she saw him for the last time. Though, it was something strange. There was a final line on the bottom of the page saying ”…I hoped someone worth loving to have it one day. For my little lady that made me smile again…and don’t forget my dear friend to keep the one half of your chocolate because if you give it away people will ask for more”. It was like he knew. The girl collapsed on the ground, having no tears, she left herself feel the pain in every inch of her body. After an hour laying on the ground she looked one more time into the hole on the wall to be assured she hadn’t miss anything. But she had. She put her hand into the hole and she felt something. It was the other half of chocolate she had given to him that noon. He didn’t eat it. She threw it away as it was stale and kept the packing. That night she got home with a treasure. It was someone’s life story in her hands. It was her friend’s, Jerr, story. She stayed all night awake and read it. The morning light found her with tears in her eyes. It was a line in the story she memorised so easily. ”My darling, life is like a kiwi. Yes, that. Dirty but green and beautiful. Black in the middle. Sweet and fresh but it can make you shiver of it’s kind of bitterness. When you find yourself to the end of it, you may want more but you have to understand exotic fruits aren’t that cheap to buy. So, my darling, everything has an end but if you ate it slowly and made every second of it a pleasure then you’d be happy”.