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First Date

Like other men Betsy knew from marketing, Jeff presented himself well. Good looking and well dressed, he chose a stylish Palo Alto restaurant for dinner, told funny stories, and ordered a pricey Zinfandel. She could hear her mother whispering, "Grab him while you can."

Afterwards, Jeff suggested a short walk. And, at the first corner, a street woman stepped in front of them. "Please," she said, "anything you can spare."

Instantly, Jeff pushed the woman away. "Get the hell away," he yelled.

The woman backed up another step, her eyes turned downward.

"Beat it," Jeff screamed.

Betsy took a twenty from her wallet and held it folded in her palm. Did she dare give it to the woman? But Jeff was yelling again. At last the woman turned away and left, her eyes never leaving the pavement.

Walking back, Jeff apologized for the woman, saying she didn't have any right to step in their way. Then he said, "I hate the poor."

Betsy felt the twenty still in her palm. She wanted to cry, but not in front of him.

Story by:

David Meuel

submitted at 1:50am

25 April 2011