Robert gripped the fragile paper bag with eager fingers as he hurried along the street. It had been so long since he had eaten a burger; he would tear into it with great enthusiasm as soon as he was home.
The parcel was warm in his hands, a welcome heat for his ungloved fingers, chilled as they were from the winter air. The sweet, enticing scent of the tender meat and toasted bread wafted through the icy wind, making Robert’s mouth water. The temptation was strong to rip open the paper and devour his meal in a single bite, but he imagined the pretentious looks of the passer-bys if he should do so, and so he contented himself with simply inhaling the delicious aroma as he quickened his step.
It was the coughing he noticed first.
Had it not been for those dry, weak gasps, Robert could have easily passed the girl by without noticing her, like many other pedestrians were doing. But he could see her now, and found he was unable to look away.
She was a young girl, probably not much older than sixteen. It wasn’t uncommon to see kids on the streets, but it still broke Robert’s heart. She was curled up in a doorway with a hoodie over her head and her arms tightly folded against winter’s wrath. Robert could see her shivering as he slowly walked towards her; the unhealthy hollows of her cheeks made it clear that she wasn’t new to the homeless life.
Robert’s fingers flexed uncertainly around his highly-anticipated burger parcel, but, as another cough wrenched itself from the girl’s chest, his grip loosened.
He approached her quietly, knowing that she would be likely to run if she realised he was there—these streets weren’t exactly a safe place for young, defenceless girls. He was beside her when she finally looked up, sunken brown eyes wide with terror, but Robert raised a pacifying hand and took a step back. Slowly, carefully, he knelt down and placed the burger beside her.
“Looks like you could use this more than me,” he said softly. A dry cough rasped past her lips, but she managed a small smile, weak but grateful.
Robert turned towards home, chuckling at the sounds of paper being eagerly ripped away. He wrapped his arms around himself and tried to ignore his own grumbling stomach.
Snow had begun to fall by the time Robert turned into the alley. A painful cough escaped his own chest as he dropped to his knees and crawled inside the pitiful shelter of his cardboard box.
Home, sweet home.
Happy Blog Action Day, everybody! Today, all around the world, bloggers are posting to the theme of food. Did you join the phenomenon?
It is sad but true – nearly 925 million people go hungry every single day. Blog Action Day is all about making people stop and think about some of these crucial global issues.
So even if you aren’t registered for Blog Action Day, why not blog a quick post that simply draws people’s attention to this fantastic cause? Remember: use the tag #BAD11 to join the world in talking about food.
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