NCR Fiction: Part 2 (still untitled)

Continued from part 1…

He walked down the sidewalk of his new street, hands in his pocket, and music playing through is headphones. His eyes were pealed open, taking in the sites. He tried hard not to look like a tourist. The thought actually crossed his mind to make sure to look like he belonged there. He had seen in a movie once that you should act like you own the place; this apparently gives the illusion that you are confident and you know where you are going. So he was confident and looked like he knew where he was going. But really, he was going nowhere. He was taking note of the restaurants and shops along the street in case he would need them.

He walked several blocks and noted a couple homeless people sitting against the buildings on the street. He tried to not notice them. He looked at his phone, pretended he saw something on the other side of the street, anything he could to not have to make eye contact with them. They disgusted him actually. He had grown up poor, but never was around homeless people much. He figured he had worked hard to get to where he was, and hard work was the answer. If these people didn’t bother to lift a finger to try to change their situation, then he had no time for them, or sympathy.

He wandered into a deli and checked it out. He made eye contact with the man working behind the counter and smiled, then walked back on to the street, still wearing his headphones. He walked back towards his apartment. There was a small Christian church on the corner. He wondered why the homeless guys weren’t hanging out there instead. They’d be sure to get some free food or something. He held on to the thought for a moment, then it slipped away as the next song began playing. For a moment, between songs, he heard music playing in the church, and people singing along. He kept walking.

He stopped in a family owned restaurant for some lunch. He ate alone, still listening to music, and ignoring the people around him. He wasn’t very interested in these people. They weren’t rich. They didn’t look very educated. They were just normal people there to serve him. Truth be known, he thought himself above them. He was a college graduate with a MBA. He was about to start his first job making close to $50 thousand a year. He had goals. He had ambition. These people either ran a diner, or were customers there. There was really nothing he could learn from them. There was no reason to even go through the motions of trying to be nice.

Just as he was finishing up his food, a group of teenagers walked into the diner. From the looks of them, they were either in high school or underclassman in college. A few of them were laughing and pushing each other back and forth. Another one was singing a song to herself that made it obvious they had just come from the church down the street. Plus, a couple of them were carrying Bibles. That would have been a good first clue. There was nothing noteworthy about the way they dressed. One of the girls was kind of cute and even smiled when she looked his way, but he ignored her, dropped a few dollars on the table, and walked out.

He went back to his apartment. He walked around in circles for a bit, not quite sure of what to do. He took out his work clothes for the next day and made sure they were ready to go. He ironed them, again, and thumbed through his half dozen ties to make sure he had the perfect one picked out for his first day of work. He ignored a call from his mom. He watched some TV on his laptop, starred at his empty kitchen looking for food that wasn’t there, and ordered a pizza for dinner that night. He got his coffee pot ready for the morning, looked at his suit one last time, straightened up around the apartment, set two alarms on his phone, and laid down for bed nice and early. He fell asleep watching an old Kun Fu movie on the internet.

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