A short story inspired by this week's picture at Magpie Tales.
“Not far now” said Beth. Justin pulled her a little closer to him as they walked arm in arm down the rain sodden street. They turned a corner and suddenly the gloom was lifted by the garish lights of shop windows displaying their expensive wares to all who who could afford them and more that couldn't.
Justin stopped as they came to a jewelers.'Please god not this again' thought Beth as she saw the rows of rings temptingly glistening in the window. "I'm thinking of getting one of those" said Justin pointing a display of Rolex watches. Beth sighed with relief.
“Look at that poor soul” said Beth in a hushed voice as she noticed a pathetic figure sitting hunched in the doorway wrapped in a damp blanket. He stared out at nothing at all and seemed to be oblivious to them as they stood just a few feet away, but the scrawny dog curled up beside him slowly lifted its head and gazed at them with doleful eyes.
Beth stood and looked, but Justin tugged on her arm. “No wait Justin let me give him something”.
“Please yourself Beth but I’m cold and wet and want to go home for a glass of something warm in front of the fire”
“Go then” said Beth “But you can forget staying at my place tonight you heartless bastard. This could be you one day”
Justin muttered something scornful under his breath then stomped off into the night.
It was last straw for Beth. Justin’s selfish attitude had long been of concern of her, and her friends and family had begged her to move on rather than become more involved with such this self centred individual who was more considerate to his precious dog than he was to her.
She never contacted him again, nor him she.
A few years passed and one bitterly cold winter’s night she passed a dismal soul cowering in a shop doorway, head bowed and covered in a filthy blanket. He didn’t raise his head but as she came closer his dog stood, looked up at her and started wagging its tale.
“Well at least somebody still loves him” she thought as she walked on by with a satisfied smile on her face.
Picture Manchester by R.A.D. Stainforth