Helping Hands

“Please”, she moaned, “oh please can you help me? Just a few dollars, please!”

He was halfway past her already, city-living armor a mile thick.

“I’m not a tourist, you know,” he glowered, “I’ve seen you before, and I know your routine!”

Confusing self-righteous for right.

Her crocodile tears stopped flowing, left to dry on her cheeks until the next white couple exited the restaurant.

An ill-fitting ugly smile in reply.

As if her affected pain could not possibly be a sad veneer covering a much deeper, more personal ache beneath.

She wore her layer of false weariness like a windbreaker. Resilient enough to repel the disgust of every indifferent passerby, but paper thin, leaving her cold beneath.

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