Cement

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Cement

He had grown used to the cement long ago. Each day the sun pressed down on the stone, heating it past the temperature of the surrounding air. Every night his bed cooled down, the only thing warming it his own body. He had lost track of the number of days since his accident long ago. But the cold always lingered in his leg.

The toll of the bell began, and the man tilted his head and began counting. Nine times the noise bellowed from the church. On its last ring, he stood and brushed himself off. Picking up his backpack and walking towards a nearby water fountain. His morning ritual of cleaning and hydrating lasted 5 minutes and then he was on his way again. This time, behind some bushes to change out of his sleepwear.

Uniform on, he began limping down the street. The convenience store slowly rocking back and forth in his sight, growing closer and closer as he struggled forward. Putting his best smile on, the man pushed open the door and waved to his co-worker. Her upper lip curled slightly as she took notice of the door tone and him, but she waved nonetheless. His routine continued into the bathroom, washing his face again and applying deodorant from his bag. Preparation done, the only stop before the counter was to drop off his meager belongings in the break room, the desk chairs and plastic table were lit by an unhealthy yellow glow. Dimly coloured grey shelves provided a space for his belongings and the tattered rug looked more comfortable than his usual bed.

With a sigh, he limped from the room and joined the girl at the counter. Their idle chit chat passing the morning hours slowly. For his lunch, a sandwich purchased from the store sufficed. And for the afternoon, a change of co-worker prompted more conversations. After buying his dinner, he slowly walked back to the park. Its benches providing support for his leg and the sunset bringing a smile to his face. It wasn't long before he had wandered back to his lot and setup his newspaper on the ground behind the dumpster. Another day would come soon enough.

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