I Regret by Sailor O, Corning-Painted Post High School, Fiction.

It was a cold afternoon. Gray clouds covered the sky and they cast a gloomy feeling over the city. Despite the cold, there were still plenty of people in the market place. Suzan stood outside the shop where her husband worked; he should be coming out soon, and then they could go home. The chilly weather bit through her shawl and she tugged it tighter around her. In spite of the miserable weather, she enjoyed watching the marketplace. There was always that hum of the people as they went about their errands, accompanied by the sound and sights of wares trading hands and animals making noises.
And there was that one small girl, huddled next to the bakery. She had copper colored hair that was covered with an oily rag. Her little shawl and shift were nothing but rags and her face was covered in grime. As people walked by her, she held out her thin hands, in hope of receiving something from them. Some people put a coin or two into her hands, and others gave her crumb of bread or other, while others walked by without a second glance.
Suzan had given the girl a small piece of bread the other day. She wished that she could do something more to help the girl, but as matters were, she and Marcus could hardly support themselves. Suzan wondered if she was actually helping the girl. Was it worth it to eat something that would keep you alive for one more miserable day?
She was startled out of her reverie by her husband. “Are you ready to go?” Marcus had a had appeared and was pulling on his woolen gloves. Suzan nodded. He shivered. “I could really go for some hot soup tonight,” he said looking at her. “There’s nothing like warm soup on a cold day.” “That could be arranged,” Suzan replied with a smile. Her smile faded as she took one last glance at the girl and then followed Marcus back home.

“Suzan dear, did you hear what happened?” Suzan turned to face Mrs. Grady, their elderly neighbor. “No, what happened?” she replied as she hung up the last of the wash on their small balcony; Mrs. Grady leaned on the railing of her own balcony. “A small girl was found in front of the bakery. Looked like she was trying to warm herself next to the grates, but the chill was too much. Froze right through, the poor thing.” Suzan paused. “What did she look like?” “According to Mr. Allen across the hall, she had copper hair and was about 8 years of age.” Suzan stopped hearing Mrs. Grady. It must’ve been that little girl she had seen so often. I will never be able to help her, never be able to give her a better life. I had the power to do so and didn’t use it. She sighed. She could feel the guilt resting upon her. I regret…

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