One Conversation

"Can we pretend, just for a while, that we're just two people and you're not better than me?"

He simply nodded.

"I'd like to say some things and I'd appreciate your attention."

He looked into my eyes to show he was listening.

"You stand in front of me, your head held high. You think you help people because you donate some of your money to charity; and you do help. However, you use it as an excuse to get attention. Telling the press how even though you have a little financial problem this month you have still donated. Saying how hard you've worked to make the extra cash. Let me tell you something though. You don't know a thing about hard work."

He opened his mouth to protest but one glance from me silenced him. If I wasn't so serious I would have found it comic how the guy who everyone thought was powerful and mighty could be quietened so easily by a single look from me.

"When I turned sixteen, my parents kicked me out of the house. I lived on the streets. At seventeen, I'd lost everything I'd had from gambling. I betted because it was all I could do to try to get cash fast. I slept in a cardboard box. When I was eighteen, things were looking up. I had a boyfriend whose apartment I stayed in. He told me he loved me and we were happy. By the time I was nineteen though, he'd left me. I was working on minimum wage with a baby on the way. No-one wanted anything to do with me.

"Now, I am twenty-five with a respectable job and a happy and loved daughter who I can look after well. Dulcy means the world to me. I changed for her after all. She changed my life. Do you have any idea how hard I have fought for her, to get where I am now?"

He was looking over my shoulder now; he couldn't look me in the eye. They never could, they were always too ashamed I guess, still I was a long way from finished yet.

"Do you know the worst thing? There are people out there in this world going through or have been through worse. That's why I give every spare penny I have to charity. That's why I go to places which need help and do everything I can to help. That's why I seek out every person with money, power or influence and try to get them to help. That's why I came to you. To try to make you see the mistakes you have made and try to put them right, do you understand?"

There was a long silence and I thought I wouldn't get a response. But finally he replied, "I know that I've been doing things wrong. I'll do all I can to change and make up for my past. But you're not so perfect either, you know? Your lifestyle has flaws as well, do you not see them?"

"I see them; every day I see them. Every time I spot a new one, I try to fix it. But no-one can get rid of all of their flaws and mistakes. I never claimed to be perfect, I'm not even sure I believe in the word. But I try to be the best I can be and that is all I ask of you and everyone else I speak to."

He nodded and finally met my eyes, he held out his hand.

I smiled in response and shook his hand, feeling like I'd made up for one more of my many past mistakes and current flaws.

Thanks for reading.

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Elle F x