A group of us sat in the dimly lighted restaurant with watering mouths anxiously waiting for our supper to be brought out to us. I loved Italian food and was really looking forward to devouring the four cheese ravioli I ordered. Everything was as good as it looked and a few of us lucky ones with leftovers got the pleasure of taking the extra back to the hotel with us. We left the restaurant and stepped into the warm Colorado air. We started towards the hotel, but had to stop at a few stores to shop on the way back. We were in Denver for the International Youth Convention and being from a small town, we were taking every opportunity possible to shop, sight see, and just explore.
â–º QUARTER FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
Our group broke up and went into many different stores while a couple people stood outside waiting on us. I was standing in a store when I first saw him. He approached my friend outside and stood there talking to her. I figured that he was just a homeless guy asking for money so I did what most people would have; I hid in the store until he left. When he did leave, I went outside and found my friend crying. I immediately thought he said mean or hurtful things, but I was wrong. You see the boy that talked to my friend was probably around the same age as us. He didn’t ask for money, but instead for food. He didn’t ask that we go and by him a huge meal, but asked my friend if she could spare her leftovers. He hadn’t eaten since that morning and was starving. He said it was hard for him to come up and ask, but he was that hungry. She gave him her leftovers, but he left her and everyone else in our group with an eye opening experience. As soon as the boy left us a police officer approached him and told him he needed to leave the streets. As he walked past us looking for a fork before going to wherever he was heading, he couldn’t seem to say thank you enough.
When I look back on that day, I can’t get over the fact that the police officer saw the boy as a nuisance bothering people on the street because of his homeless status. Then I realized I was just as bad as that officer. I stayed in the stored because I didn’t want to get involved. That one moment has really changed my way of looking at life. We are so blessed and shouldn’t take anything for granted. That boy and all homeless people have stories that could really change us, but no one seems to want to hear them. Their stories are waiting to be told, if we would only listen.
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