November Sorrows
Lara, Age 12, Holmdel, NJ
The chilled wind whistled through the holes in his clothing that hung loosely on his emaciated frame. For Jonathan, this was a regular November day in New York City. As millions of tourists wrestled to squeeze around each other in order to get somewhere important, Jonathan slowly shuffled to get to the street corner he called home.

When he arrived, he stared at the cardboard box that had held him and his few belongings for the past week. He stared at it miserably almost as if he were hoping it would just vanish before him. After all, that is what happened to his last box: it was taken by a garbage truck. He slugged over to his box and crouched down; he huddled into it, preparing for another night of restless sleep.

Just as he was dozing off, the usual crowd of workers started to stare at him as they passed him by on their way to somewhere warm. The occasional old useless coin would get tossed at him and sometimes, if he was lucky, a morsel of food. Tonight though he heard something different. “John….Jonathan??”

“What?!” Jonathan said looking around confused.

“Hi, Jonathan, do you remember me…” the man said. “We went to High School together. It is me….Charles!”

The memories slowly started to flow back to Jonathan. He knew this man; they used to be close friends. At least until Charles went to college and Jonathan didn’t. Jonathan took a moment and just looked at his old high school friend. “Wow,” he said “It looks like you’re doing well.”

“College can change a person,” Charles said looking sympathetically at his friend. “Why don’t you stay at my place tonight and we can catch up.”

“Really!” Jonathan exclaimed with gratitude in his eyes. “Would you do that for me?”

“Of course, let’s go warm you up.”

The old friends walked a few blocks until they came to a beautiful brownstone house on the corner of Park Place. Charles walked right in, while Jonathan stood on the steps in awe for a moment. When Jonathan walked in he was welcomed by a glowing toasty fire accompanied by the sweet smell of turkey and potatoes for dinner. Just a he was settling in, Charles was jumped on by his two kids, and his wife gave him a kiss.

This setting made Jonathan think about all of the decisions he had made in the past. If he had gone to college, would his life be like this? This very thought was stirring through his mind all night, through dinner and family time. After the kids went to bed the old friends caught up on each other’s lives. Charles had become a successful lawyer, and Jonathan had not been able to obtain a job without a college degree so he ran out of money. The conversation went on and Jonathan realized what a big mistake his life has been because of his decisions in the past. He saw what a great life Charles had and realized that he wanted to be like that. The night went on and Jonathan was telling Charles how he wished he could re-do everything.

That's when Charles had a brilliant idea. "Why don’t you borrow money from the bank so you can go to college, and you can stay with my family until you get back on your feet.” They both looked at each other and realized this was a great idea.
For the next few weeks, Charles helped Jonathan fill out loans and college applications. The next few years were a big struggle, but in the end Jonathan fulfilled his dream and was able to purchase his own beautiful house; he even ended up being neighbors with his best friend, Charles.
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