Timothy oster had been living on the street for so long that he’d, forgotten, he’d ever lived any other way at 35. He was hardened angry and, like so many other homeless people, he deadened the pain with drink 20 years on the streets meant that tim was a survivor and things he did to survive weren’t exactly always legal or pleasant. Tim had no friends because no one trusted him and he trusted no one. It is hard to imagine a lonelier life. Once long ago, tim had been happy.
He had lived with his mom in a small apartment in east harlem, and maybe it hadn’t been easy street, but ali oster had been streetwise and funny, and her son’s best friend ally also had a drug problem, but she’d always made sure tim was safe, clean and Well, fed social services had come around once or twice, but despite her problems, they had to admit ellie was a good mom. We’Re family hallie would cry fiercely. It’S just us two in the whole world. Remember that tim remembered. He remembered that, as he grew, older, ellie had grown less pretty and more desperate and sometimes he’d begged her to stop using to go to rehab ellie said i can’t leave you buddy.
Remember it’s just us two in the whole world, on the terrible night, when ellie died, a fire had broken out in their rat trap, apartment building, and there was no way out. Ellie had thrown a chair through the window and let in the icy air which had only made the flames leap. Higher ellie pushed him into the waiting, fireman’s arms and screamed go when they came back for her. It was too late. The shivering weeping tim had been taken in by child services, but, a week later he ran away.
It’S just me and the whole world mom he whispered, and that was how he’d been living since then footloose and free with an eye on the main chance tim looked around him, hey, hey, he whistled the opportunity was calling and tim was going to answer. Just a few hundred meters away from the bench where he was sitting an older lady was walking her dog, the dog had gotten all tangled up in its lead and the woman set her bag down beside her. While she tried to free the snappy little dog, who was getting more frying by the minute tim approached quietly, but the older lady was so focused on the dog, she didn’t notice him pick up her bag and walk calmly away a little further away. Tim broke into a jong. If the purse was fat, it could mean a few nights in a cheap hotel, a dozen square meals under a bridge tim squatted down and opened the purse.
There were lots of old lady things which he threw away, but he kept a gold. Compact tim opened the wallet in grinned 520 dollars. That was great and some credit cards too. Tim didn’t use credit cards, but benny the geek would pay at least 50 per card. Then tim saw a photo in the plastic insert on the wallet and froze it couldn’t be with trembling fingers.
He pulled out the photo. It was ellie, a very young ally with her blonde hair, long and shiny, but that same dazzling smile, oh mom, he whispered. I didn’t even have a photo of you. How did this woman tim dug out the woman’s id one to solomon, oster, age, 74?
He leapt to his feet, stuffed everything back into the purse and ran back to where the old woman stood with her dog.
The leash was untangled, but the woman was looking around her in bewilderment, clearly wondering where her purse had gone to tim approached her slowly and stretched out the hand that was holding the purse lady. He said, i’m so sorry. I took this the woman gasped and tore the purse from his hands. She pulled out her wallet and opened it. I didn’t take any of your money.
Lady tim said: i don’t care about the money. The woman cried where’s, the photo tim held out the photo please. I just want to know where you got this photo, please the old lady, snatched the photo from tim’s fingers and looked at it. It’S my daughter, it’s the last photo. I took of her your daughter, ellie asked him the woman gassed.
How do you know her name? She cried, who are you tim started? Crying ellie was my mom, i’m her son, so i guess you’re my grandmother. The woman grasped tim’s face in her hands. You have her eyes.
Oh i’ve been looking for ellie for so long. I wanted to beg her forgiveness. Ask her to come home. The woman was sobbing ellie took up with a man i didn’t like she started doing drugs. I made her leave told her to come back when she was clean, but i regretted it.
I never stopped looking for her. I’M sorry tim whispered, ellie died. 20 years ago. The woman was weeping and tim put his arms around her and cried for ally for the first time since he was a boy, he rocked his grandmother in his arms and whispered. It’S all right.
It’S us two in the whole world that afternoon tim took his grandmother to cielie’s grave and that night he went home for the first time in 20 years. It wasn’t easy, of course you don’t break the habits of 20 years overnight, but with his grandmother and his family’s love and support tim straightened out his life. He wasn’t alone anymore, and he never would be again.