The Boy I Met at Starbucks

Originally published Tuesday, 01 May 2012.


It was Tuesday morning and I did the same thing I always do on Tuesdays. 
I woke up at 5 a.m., slammed my snooze button, dragged myself out of my warm sheets and got started with my normal-every-Tuesday-morning-routine. I drove to Starbucks, swapped the typical weather jokes with my favorite barista, ordered my grande coffee and bagel, and walked out the freshly decorated glass door.
What wasn't routine was the scraggly teenage boy I ran into on my way to the truck. He was asking for something and though I didn't clearly hear him, I assumed it was money. I said sorry, I didn't have any, and continued on toward the truck. 
He didn't ask again and he didn't pester. But something in my head did. Did he ask for money or food? I quickly spun around and asked, "Do you need food?" His reply was so innocent and affirmative so I held out my goodie bag and said, "Here ya go, a toasted bagel with cream cheese made just for you." He smiled so big, I thought his lip ring was gonna pop out. 
I didn't think anything of it until I got in the truck and started pulling away. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the boy peeling open the cream cheese, so carefully and joyfully, like it was freaking Christmas morning. I drove to the office, weeping like a broken hearted mother. 
I didn't know this boy. I had no idea what kind of trouble or circumstances got him to the streets, but I do know that he is someone's son. And if my son were out on the streets, asking for food at 6:30 in the morning, I know I'd want that busy-looking girl to stop and give him her bagel. ~

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