I have a little food and a little money again! And I didn’t even steal it…well, ok I tried but it turns out that I’m not a very talented thief.
It was market day when I arrived at a small village and I thought I was in luck. I passed rows of vendors selling tons of different vegetables. If I hadn’t had been on my own personal mission and distracted by the emptiness in my belly I think I would have found the place pleasant. I had decided I was going to steal the most filling food possible and a huge pile of golden potatoes caught my eye. (I had previously tried sneaking into the fields to rob them directly but I was too late, everything had already been harvested.) I made my way to the potatoes as casually as possible but I couldn’t help looking around to see if anyone had noticed me. I was getting close. I could almost feel the weight of them in my hands. My fingers were moving towards them and then suddenly they weren’t. My whole body was being spun around; my wrist engulfed by the hand of a very large dark skinned man who was looking down at me with eyes the color of whisky. He told me I hadn’t planned on paying for the potatoes. I didn’t even try to defend myself. I just stood there like a small child in front of him hanging my head in shame. He told me I was nothing but skin and bones and then he started walking, still holding onto my wrist. I didn’t protest, I knew I had been caught. I have to admit I was surprised when he took me to what I presume was his home and proceeded to feed me! He said his name was Abel and I think he’s the kindest person I’ve ever met. He didn’t say much. More importantly he didn’t ask any questions. He gave me bread with butter and honey to start. After he gave me milk to drink and a huge bowl of stew he had been heating. I ate everything. Even long past the point of being full. As I finished eating Abel put a sack down on the table and he sat down. He sat there very still and very quite for a very long time. Finally, he told me that in the sack was some food and money, not much, but that I should be able to get by for a bit. He told me I was free to take it and leave. He then told me to take it if I wanted to keep on living the way I was living. He said, however, if I wanted to change my life and start over now was my chance. He said that he’d let me stay for a bit on the condition that I worked. He said there were plenty of places in town that would pay for an honest days work. He said he had some errands to do and the choice was mine.
God how I wished that could have been true! I would have said yes right then and there. But sitting there in Abel’s kitchen, my belly full because of his kindness, I knew that if I stayed all I’d bring him was death. This was not my new start, this was not my happy ending.