Waiting on the rickety old bench at the bus stop that is two seconds from falling apart, I sit and wait. Watching the world pass me by, I sit and wait.
The music courses through the wire that is attaching my phone to my headphones. The right side sitting calmly in my ear. The music is calm and the traffic is heavy.
I see the bus down the street stuck behind cars, trucks, transport trucks, bikes, everything. As I sit waiting for it, a little boy comes up and sits down beside me.
A cleft lip, and missing an arm, I look for his parents. This boy can't be more than nine years old. I ponder, wondering how he is out and about the city all by himself.
I sit thinking of whether to ask or not. Of course his parents might be running behind and he sat here to wait. Maybe he is much older than he looks.
But the pressure in my mind to ask keeps pounding against my skull and so I turn to him. I look at him as he is sitting there. Watching the world as I just had been.
"Where are you parents? Are you here by yourself?" I suddenly ask while surprising myself I gained the confidence to do so. "I'm not sure. I haven't known for years really.
" He said not putting his gaze on me. His head dropped as he finished speaking and his hands were pulled together in a grip.
As soon as I was going to ask another question, a lady walked up to us. I suspected this to be his parent or guardian of any kind. But what came next surprised me.
"Keep a bag over that face and you should wear long sleeve shirts to cover your arm. That's gross and makes people uncomfortable." She said. My mouth dropped as I stared at her cold, grey eyes.
My head immediately shot to the boy sitting beside me. It was if he was not even bothered one bit by this comment. My heart started to race, each passing moment my heart would race faster.
My hands turned clammy and a scowl sprawled to my face. "I'm so sorry. I can't believe that." I said to him. The boy turned to me and smiled.
Scooting closer to me, he took my hand and said, "It's okay. I get that a couple times a day." But it wasn't okay.
It wasn't okay that not only did this boy have to endure a disability but he had to hear those comments. Those disgusting, gut wrenching comments from strangers. I shook my head.
I try to get the image of the lady out of my head but to no avail, there she rests like a lazy cat in front of a sunny window. No intention of leaving.
The bus came closer and my mind kept racing trying to decide what to do with the boy.
"Can I take you somewhere? Do you have a place to go?" I ask with a stern voice trying not to let my emotions take the best of me. The boy shook his head. "I have nowhere to go.
I don't know where to go. I've been running the streets for a month now trying to find somewhere to go. But no one wants me.
No one has the "resources" to help me, they say, what ever that means,: He said. My heart broke and plummeted to the bottom of my heart.
Is it reasonable to take in a nine year old at age 23? Is it allowed? Of course I have a job and the resources to help him.
"I can help you," I said in a heart beat without really thinking this through," I'll find you a home."
The boy sat with his arms crossed and a smile that was so small and so tiny that it could be easily missed, came to the surface.
The boy sat up straight and looked to me, eyes locking with mine, and said, "Will you really accept me?"