Friends

Jacob waited at the bus stop for his ride home. It was a day like any other. Overcast, threatening rain and crowded, especially in this part of the city. He saw a man approaching near to where he stood but Jacob didn’t raise his head. He knew very well how to mind his business. His headphones were playing some of his favorite music and he decided it must be some sort of ploy for money. Why else do people come up to strangers anymore, Jacob thought. From the corner of his eye, he watched a passenger walk away in haste and disgust. The man could obviously no longer stand to be in the presence of what was obviously a beggar. Within a few seconds the man approached where Jacob stood. He spoke but Jacob didn’t remove his headphones, hoping the man would go away, or at least realize that he was busy within his own world.
“Hey, do you have any friends for sale?” the man asked. His eyes sparkled blue and he looked disheveled. The effects of age and lifestyle had taken a toll upon his physique.
“I’m very sorry,” Jacob replied, unsure if his generalized apology would suffice to put off the man. The man walked away without quarrel and onto the next person. Jacob couldn’t help looking over. No one seemed to have heard the man’s request. A woman reached into her purse a pulled out a coin. The man stared blankly, eventually walking off without taking the money. He would be finding no friends here.

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