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Rosa (standard:drama, 2851 words)
Author: GiovanniAdded: Apr 13 2001Views/Reads: 2927/1618Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Rosa, is still homeless but she has just gone back to work after a long layoff. She is worried about her daughter roaming the city all alone. She takes some donations for homeless children from a can that she places on her drugstore counter. Carl a jaded,

Rosa's skinny reddened cheeks expressed, at least for the moment, a
shred of self worth while she double bagged the customer's purchases. 
It had been months since she had felt this way because she had been 
jobless and homeless for so long; only briefly was she pleased; she 
soon became increasingly worried about her daughter Malena. Where was 
she now? A little street urchin with a mop head of hair roaming around 
aimlessly: murderers, perverts or both could easily swipe her. Rosa 
hated leaving her eight-year-old alone, but she had no other choice. 
She tried convincing herself that maybe Malena was still at the library 
where she had left her early that morning, her little mop haired 
daughter holding a dog-eared picture book. It was impossible for Malena 
to be by her side on her first day of work at the drugstore. As Rosa 
handed back the customer's change she slowly nudged a tin can toward 
him; the man clutched his patented leather briefcase. Bouts of 
queasiness plagued her the whole morning: the tin can shook in her 

"Would you like to make a small donation to the Food For Homeless
Children Campaign," she hesitantly asked. The thirty-something 
brown-eyed man scratched his head. His tan face almost gave way to 
slight pallor. You would think he was just asked to donate his kidney 
the way he sunk into contemplation. The man fumbled with the tin can 
and stuffed a crisp dollar bill inside it and then turned the can 
upside down and shook it till seventy-eight cents popped out. He 
jiggled the change in his hand then stuffed it in his pants pocket. An 
old lady behind the man tapped him on the shoulder with the handle of 
her cane. 

"You're holding up the line," the old lady croaked rubbing the wart on
her nose. As she bent down to pick up one of her many items a little 
boy released his thumb from the balloon he was pinching, fsssssssh, the 
boy mimicked the air escaping the balloon. 

"The silent ones are the deadliest," the old woman reported. Fssssssssh
the little boy released the last bit of air from the balloon and let it 
go. It flew to the counter. "Excuse me," the old woman said, bending 
down to pick up her generic hair dye. 

Rosa found the little boy's antics and the old woman's comments both
utterly humorous and adorable as well, but she didn't laugh or smile. 
This woman could easily be her mother if she was two inches shorter and 
seven years younger. After ten minutes or so had gone by and the old 
woman had finished placing each single item on the counter she plunked 
down her crumpled food stamps. Rosa's fingers were slow ringing up the 
items. The back of her hands ached. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome forced her 
to leave her first secretarial job months ago and she had never 
recovered fully. While Rosa reached for the receipt, the old lady 
dropped some change into the tin can. 

"You're too too kind but I-I can't take it," Rosa stammered. The old
woman rolled her eyes. Her previous jovial self turned gruff. She 
grabbed her bag saying, "You should be ashamed of yourself denying poor 
children their food. What kind of heartless person are you?" 

"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." Rosa felt around her pockets for change so
that she could match the old woman's generosity and prove to her that 
she was a good person, a person with compassion. Rosa patted both her 
pockets and when she thought she found some change it turned out to be 
a plastic disc, part of a game that once belonged to her son Robin. I 
am a terrible person Rosa thought to herself. Not only can't I provide 
for my daughter, but now I am reverting to cheating good people. Rosa's 
stomach growled not having had anything to eat in two days except a 
candy bar and some water. The little boy and his nanny next stepped up 
to the counter. He puffed his cheeks up with air and squashed them with 
his chubby little fingers. Rosa smiled at the little boy, exposing her 
crooked front tooth; the little boy nuzzled against his nanny's waist. 

Rosa's sleeve rode up her arm revealing the gashes on her wrist. The
jagged discoloration nearest the bottom of her palm: her scar the badge 
of her cowardice. She wore long sleeves all the time, even when it was 
hot and muggy outside. If it wasn't for the birth of her first son 
Robin she might have sliced herself harder and more often with her 
razor. She struggled pulling up on the sleeve; her wrists ached. 

The little boy's dark brown bangs hung down from underneath his orange

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