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A Mere Request

written by: MVKrain

While I was walking home today I came across something that made me stop and think about something particularity interesting concerning time and what it really means when a person says that "our time here is only a mere moment". By late afternoon, I was on my way back from the grocery store when I happen to stumble upon the scene of an ragged, old homeless man sitting inside a bus terminal awaiting for its arrival although he missed it already by just a few short minutes. Although I was originally compelled to walk past this man without a second thought, something pulled me towards this person to see if he needed help in any way possible; although I must admit out of shame I thought he was going to only ask for money. After turning around and walking up to him he slowly stood up and the look in that mans eyes still haunts me to this vary day, his one pale blue eye looked straight into my soul and gave me a a sense of deep sadness and regret while his other eye, long-since scarred for some unknown reason in time, gave me a slight chill in my spine like in Edgar Allen Poe The Tell Tale Heart and yet, I felt as though this man had something he needed me to do that no one else could do for him. I politely introduced myself and I asked for his name, he responded in a husky voice that his name was Paul and that he was in an extremely desperate situation. Paul did not ask me for money, much to my surprise, but of what he did ask of me caught me completely off guard and to this vary day I can still hear and see Paul like he was that vary cold, desolate day. Paul then shook my hand when I offered it and gave me an old parchment of paper and then proceeded to explain his situation, "Sir, I thank you more than I thank God everyday. You have come at a time when I need someone like you the most because I have no one else to turn to. Its not important as in how or why, but all that I ask of you is that you send this piece of paper to the address on the front. Please sir, you are the only one I can trust at this moment even though you are a complete stranger but I have no family or friends I can turn to." We talked for a few more minutes when the bus arrived suddenly out of the corner of my eye. We shook hands again and I promised him that I would do as he requested and he gave me one last look of pure joy and gave a toothless grin at my direction. Curious as to what this parchment of paper was, I opened it only to discover that within the contents of the parchment was a medal and a short sentence that said "This medal that you now hold in your hand has been with me for over 40 years since the Vietnam War and since I have no family, no friends, and no home and the fact that I will be dead soon I have decided to give it to the first person who would shed one act of kindness towards me. For over two days I have traveled around and not once has a single person turned to help or ask of what I needed, so this is the only thing I can offer you as a way of saying thank you. The address marked on this parchment happens to be the place I wish to be buried, with all my former family members and friends. I hope this medal serves to you as a reminder that time is fleeting and when faced with the thought of ones end, sometimes one simple act of kindness can really change someones life for the better."

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