Ordinary World Soap Opera
An Online Soap Opera

Episode 599: If I Die Young

He looked up, cursed the dark dreary sky and earned a face full of rain in the process. He studied the sidewalk again as he continued to make his way through the miserable weather.

He wrapped one arm around himself to hold in whatever body heat he had left. His other hand went to his head, holding his hood in place as the icy wet winds whipped at him. Just a few days before it had seemed like an early, welcome spring had arrived; now here he was, trudging through another wave of winter.

It was no use. Even when he kept moving, kept trying to get his blood circulating, he felt that much closer to literally catching his death.

Not that he cared.

But she would when she heard. And he cared about her. So, heíd decided to give in.

He went inside. For weeks, heíd stayed away from the shelter, and there, of course, stood the reason why.

With her fatherís nod of permission, and eagle eyes watching her, the kid rushed over, flinging a blanket at him. "Youíve got to get warm," she said, "itís a bad, bad storm so we brought a couple blankets we donít hardly use at home, cuz I was worried about you."

"Thank you," he replied. "Iím fine." Though he didnít waste a second swaddling himself in that blanket.

"I was really worried."

It showed on her sweet little face, so he looked away. "Iím not your responsibility. Iím a grown up, I can take care of myself."

"Everybody needs help. I wanted to help." Tansy sniffled.

He shook his head. Any minute the kid would be sobbing if he didnít find some way to stop her. "You have helped. You gave me this blanket. First time Iíve been warm all day."

"But Iím worried. I want to help more. I wanted you to have a good job with my dad. Heís a nice man."

"Yeah, I know." He made the mistake of looking at her just as a tear squiggled down her cheek. What was he supposed to do? Pretend he couldnít see how truly concerned she was? That she cried for him? How could he not do whatever it would take to reassure her? Even put himself back out in the world.

Episode 600: Black Ice

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