Re: [War] Section: Creative Writing
Not Everyone Can Have Everything
Everyday after school, we visit the store on our way home. I love our trips to the store because I get to pick one thing to buy for myself. I also get to drive the cart around just like Mom drives our car. The first time I got to drive the cart, I hit an old lady in the behind. Mom got really mad at me. She wouldn’t let me have my treat that day and told me driving the cart is a big responsibility for someone my age. Now, I drive like a good person. I have to look both ways. I’ll even say ‘beep beep’ when backing up, just like those huge construction trucks fixing the roads in my neighborhood.
Out of the whole store, my favorite aisle is the Candy Aisle. No toys. No cereal. No cupcakes can compare. I don’t want to leave the aisle. I want this one: it’s tangy and soft. Or this one: hard and sour. But what about this one: chewy and flavorful.
And the aisle is so long, it takes me forever to choose which one to have. Mom will even leave me alone and continue shopping, just so I can choose something when she is ready to leave. But there are so many, how can I choose. Shelled candies, mints, taffy, and chocolate. Chocolate! That is the best food ever. It can be mixed with peanuts, almonds, peanut butter, caramel or whatever, and still taste the best. That melted feeling in my mouth, the way it sticks to the roof as my tongue tries scrapping it off... it’s so good.
A new item catches my eye today. Some kind of round candy coated caramel. It doesn’t look that good but I’ve been fooled before. Tomorrow I can get something else. I want this thing.
I find Mom finishing up in the fruit section. There are a lot of colors here like a rainbow and it’s kinda cool, even though I don’t like them. Mom makes me eat them though. She says they’re good for me. I like candy and that’s all I need.
We wait in line and place our items on the moving belt. The candy near the check out haunts me, as if saying “you forgot to buy us”. I don’t like these candies, especially the gum. Gum is too hard to swallow and doesn’t taste as good as chocolate. My friends tell me I’m supposed to blow bubbles with it. As if they would know, they’re not allowed candy like I am. Amateurs.
“That will be fourteen dollars,” the cashier says, looking down at me with a watching stare.
This is the next best part of the trip. I get to keep any change. I mostly quarters and dimes and maybe sometimes a dollar. One time, I got five dollars. She wasn’t going to give me that much but I was good all day and she changed her mind. Soon, I’ll be at a million dollars and I will be able to buy anything I want.
“Here you go honey. I got one dollar in change today.”
“Yah!” I start dancing as we walk out the automatic doors. I hold the dollar into the sky and cheer.
Mom starts putting the three bags of groceries in the trunk and tells me to put the cart away. When she’s not looking, I run and push the cart as fast as I can. There are no cars or people in the middle of the street, so I don’t have to worry about hitting anything. I stop at the cart return section and toss it in, hearing the clanging of the metal as it hits another cart.
That’s when I see him. A man in ragged clothes with holes and patched up spots in his pants. His hair is dusty brown and his beard is uneven. Next to him is a shopping cart full of trash and cans. He sits at the bench a few ways from the entrance of the store. He looks tired.
I rush back to our car and get Mom to look.
“Look, Mom. Look at that strange man.”
“Pay no attention. It’s nothing for you to worry about.”
“But why does he look like that?”
“He’s homeless. He lives on the street and scrounges to stay alive.”
“Why doesn’t he have a home?”
“I don’t know, could be anything. In most cases it’s because they run out of money and lose their jobs. Although, he could be one of the victims of the fire that happened last month. Some of the stuff in his cart seems burnt.”
“I hope our house doesn’t burn down. I don’t want to end up like that.”
“Don’t worry. As long as you save your money wisely and be responsible, you will be fine. Now let’s go home.”
But I couldn’t go, something about that man drew me toward him. I ran back to the store, past the car return section, and stopped at the bench where the man sits. I looked at his cart of ash flavored things. He was taller than I though and I was a bit nervous to be standing by this stranger.
The man looked at me with fixed eyes. “What do you want?” he said sternly.
“Here.” I held up the dollar I got from Mom, reached over the meta, and dropped it into the cart.
The homeless stranger squints his eyes at me and perks a smile with his right side. His shaggy head nods slightly as I scamper back to our car.
Thanks PE2K for all the memories.
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