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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2308052
Susan (who is having a rotten day), meets Tommy and things start looking up.
A Bad Day Turns on a Rose…
WC 292

I am having a rotten day: A check bounced; I trashed my knee on the door frame this morning; my project at work has gone up in flames.

Well, you get the picture…

So I'm limping along down Travis Boulevard on the way to Ernie’s Café (my favorite place for lunch) when I see this boy crossing the street. He appears to be about eight years old. He seems to need a bath and a haircut.

Where is his mother?

As he gets to the curb, he waves his hand. He does not engage his arm in the gesture, just his hand bent at the wrist and a slight movement. I instinctively wave back.

He stops directly in front of me. I put on my brakes. The boy’s eyes are so mournful, I want to cry. He holds a rose; he offers me the flower.

“For me?”


“Thank you, young man. That is so sweet of you,” I say as I lean down toward him and accept the gift.

“Well, ma’am, I think you could use some cheering up.”

How sweet! And polite.

“Yes, as a matter of fact, I could. Thank you.”

How could anyone neglect this sweet young boy?

“Are you hungry?” I ask.

He is silent, but I know he could use a warm meal.

“I'm on my way to lunch. I'd love for you to join me. My treat.”

“I'd like that very much,” he says, eyes looking at the sidewalk.


So my new friend and I walk toward Ernie’s.

“I'm Susan, by the way.”

“I'm Tommy,” he says, looking up and smiling.

We shake hands and continue our journey.

I'm not limping.

I smell my rose and smile at my good fortune.
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