The Kindness of Strangers

Prompt: a gentleman can have it all

Ezra slipped through the crowd. It seemed to roll and pulse around him. Occasionally, it would spit him out and he’d have a few moments to catch his breath. He had found the food vendors. His mouth watered as the smells wafted over to him.

He sighed softly. He wanted so much to just find something he could eat. However, he had no money. He knew what his mother would tell him. He was a gentleman. He shouldn’t have to worry about money. People should simply give him food, because he asked about it. His charming smile should be enough to get him a free meal.

Things never seemed to work out that way. He frowned and then his eyes widened. He knew how to get something to eat. He pretended to collapse. As he sank to the ground, the crowd spit out a woman.

“Are you all right?” she asked, kneeling beside him.

He gave her a weak smile. “I’ll be fine,” he said. It wasn’t hard to sound tired. He hadn’t eaten anything in a day or so and he hadn’t slept well at the hostel. “I’m just a bit…” he stopped, as his stomach growled. “…thirsty,” he finished lamely.

“Hungry too,” she said, chuckling. She helped him stand and said, “Let’s get you settled in the shade and have some lunch.”

“Oh, but, I…” he started, shaking his head.

She laughed and patted his hand. “My treat,” she said. Sometimes, his mother’s advice actually came in handy.

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