Her clothes reeked. Her hair knotted. Her fingers intertwined, dirty. She didn’t have much. In fact, she had nothing. She lived off of grace of other people.

She would often starve for days before someone would give her food.

But she had her pride. She never begged. She was always more hungry than full, more cold than warm. Her destiny was this and she learned to accept it with time.

Never in her life was she wealthy. She had enough. And she was happy that way. Then one day, her home was taken away, she was left on the street with nowhere to go. She had only her bags and hope in better tomorrow. But that tomorrow never came. It was only worse with every day.

She was all alone, she didn’t have family, her friends let her stay with them for a while, but then they asked her to move out and started avoiding her.

At first she was angry and blamed everyone and everything. But with time, that anger was replaced with sadness.

She wondered why she had the will to fight for her life, when everything was taken from her.

Lies Thru a Lens  / Foter.com / CC BY

As she remembered how she got there, she sat on a square, watching people walk by her, watching the sun rays playing with birds. Some people would give her money, some would avoid her. She still didn’t beg. It was the good in people that brought her that one meal.

Of course, there was always more of those who looked away and sped up walking past her than those who would smile at her and would put some money next to her, but at least the good people still existed.

She sat in the sun, letting it tell her the most wonderful stories about beach and sea and happiness. She slowly lifted up her head, lightly smiling.

A man approached her. He was angry. He started yelling at her. All she could do was look at him. That seemed to made him even more angry, because he didn’t understand how she had the nerve to look at him. He hit her, once. Then again.

I ran towards him, but it was too late. She hit her head on the wall behind her. The blood spread around.

He was furious. He wanted to punish her more.

‘It is enough!’ I yelled.

‘No! She deserves it, that filthy whore!’ exclaimed the man.

‘What did she do to you?’ I asked.

‘She was begging. She was filthy. She deserved it!’

‘And who may you be to decide that, if I may ask?’ I was curious

‘That is none of your business. Let me go, I want to leave’ said the man.

‘Oh so you want to escape from the evil thing you have done? I won’t let you.’

‘And who may you be to stop me from doing what I want?’ he was cynical.

‘I am Grace. And I presume you are Greed?’ I said.

‘But.. but… Ho..How did you know?’ the anger vanished. Fear replaced it.

‘I have been watching her for the past two years. She is the most wonderful woman I have met. And then, I see you. Every day, walking past her, with a frown on your face whenever you see her. You act like you have the power, trying to convince others that you are strong, but in the end, you are just as weak as she was. Why did she bother you that much? Because you feared that one day you may end up like her?’

‘No! That is preposterous! I will not stand here and listen to you jibber jabber about me like you know me! She was a filthy beggar and she deserved it!’ said Greed.

‘But you’re wrong’ I corrected him. ‘She was, in fact, once like you. Like me. She had a life, she had a job, friends. Then one day, she lost it all. And it was not her fault. They let her go from the only hob she could do, she had no sources to pay the rent, so they kicked her out and all of her friends left her in fear that the same might happen to them. She fought for herself, but in her condition, there was nothing much she could do…’

‘In her condition?’ finally, he was curious.

‘She was born deaf’ I explained. ‘She never wanted to beg. The only thing that she had left was her pride. And she was clinging to it until today.’

‘Lies! All lies! She begged every day! I saw her many times here, sitting, begging! I worked for my money hard, I won’t be wasting it to a beggar!’ he returned to his natural state of mind.

‘Have you ever heard her beg? Have you ever seen her hand reaching out to you? Have you ever stopped to notice that her eyes were smiling even though she had nothing left? Have you ever compared yourself to her? Seen how better of a person she is than you?’

‘She is not! Not, I say!’ he was still frowning.

Her lifeless body lied between them. So fragile, so little… so scared.

The police came quickly because there were no people around. Naturally, people are afraid to be a part of an unpleasant situation because they are too preoccupied with their own lives.

‘What’s going on here?’ asked the policeman.

‘The Greed killed Poverty’ I said.

‘I never thought I will see the day that happened. Take him away, and do what is necessary. His punishment will be to take all of his fortune and distribute to the less fortunate and those in need. Take him away’ said Justice.

By Jelena Jekić

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