Meeting Lizbeth - Chapter Four

Source

The Homeless Man

The man sitting near the bridge, homeless, with no money. Lizbeth talked to her best friend Suzie about her him. She had started thinking of him as her homeless man. She felt possessive because she found him, even though she hadn't met him yet. Suzie wasn't enthusiastic about this project.

“Lizbeth, he could be dangerous,” Suzie warned. “You don't know anything about him and going there alone isn't such a good idea.”

Lizbeth knew that, but now more than the money was involved. Seeing that poor, dirty man sitting there day after day got into her head and heart. She couldn't just ignore him and she couldn't let him sit there alone anymore.

She acted before she even made a decision. She went to the deli and bought a roast beef sub and a large, regular coffee. She drove to the homeless man and parked her car across the street. She sat watching him for a few minutes. Then, she got up her courage, took a deep breath before getting out of the car, and walked the food over to the homeless man. He looked up at her quizzically, but said nothing. She handed him the sub and coffee with a shaking hand, and walked away. When she got back in her car she held on to the steering wheel with both hands and looked over at him. He was sitting there holding the sandwich and drinking the coffee.

Source

Food for the Homeless Man

Two days later she returned with a turkey sub and large coffee. She had decided not to come every day for fear of making herself look too anxious or like an intruder. Again she walked up to him, handed him the food and coffee and walked away. This time her hands didn't shake. Two days later she brought him two cheeseburgers and a coke and this time she didn't walk away. She stood there quietly.

"What do you want?” he asked without looking at her.

“Nothing really. I would just like to get to know you.” She was a little taken aback by the sound of his voice. Not altogether unpleasant.

He turned his head away. When he looked back he said,

“You are a wealthy young lady and I'm a homeless man. Do you see the incongruity here?”

She smiled and replied,

“I don't want to marry you, I just want to get to know you. Why don't you tell me what you would like me to bring you to eat?”

Smiling but not looking at her, he replied, “pizza”.

She smiled and left. Why hadn't she thought of pizza? What man doesn't like pizza?

He sat there wondering what this rich young lady was all about and why she had decided to befriend him. What ever made her decide to take on a homeless man?

Two days later she returned with a large pizza and liter bottle of Pepsi. She also had plates and cups and this time she not only stayed, she sat down and ate with him. After his second piece of pizza he looked directly at her and asked,

“Why me?”

She replied, “why not?”

She could see her flippant answer wouldn't do by the look on his face.

“Well, when I was riding around town I noticed you sitting in the same spot every day. You didn't look any better or any worse, just sitting in the same spot.”

“That's what I do” was all he said.

Without any further explanations she smile and asked,

“Same time tomorrow?”

He smiled back and nodded yes. This time she noticed his smile was a warm one. She realized it was the first time she saw his teeth! Though they needed a good cleaning, they were all there. That was a good sign, but a better sign was the smile itself. Maybe he was beginning to like her and maybe he wasn't a hopeless case.

Source

Doug

After several weeks of eating together every two days, she asked him if he would like Chinese food.

“Why yes little rich girl, I'd love that. You've awakened my long hidden tastes buds. I'm actually beginning to enjoy food again. What ever shall I do when you stop?”

“I won't,” she said, and left.

With the chow mein she brought tea, fortune cookies, a tablecloth and a small vase with one chrysanthemum. She thought it would be a nice little celebration after all their little meals together. She had to admit to herself that she was starting to enjoy their time together.

“Are you plying me with food to loosen my tongue?” Secretly he was enjoying his time with her and not just the food. She was a lovely little thing with those blonde curls and her inquiring mind.

“Whatever do you mean kind sir,” she replied with laughter in her voice.

She saw a little twinkle in his eye and for the first time noticed his eyes were blue. He had always remained sitting so she wasn't sure of his height, but thought he must be close to six foot tall. It was hard to judge his weight with all the clothes he wore. It must have been his entire wardrobe since there was nowhere else to keep it. It was also obvious none of it had seen a washing machine in a very long time. Yet, he didn't seem to fit in with the dirt and grime. What kind of man was he and why did he wind up on the street homeless? He wasn't old, she was sure of that. She was beginning to care about this man and it scared her a little, but she couldn't stop now, she had said she wouldn't. Besides, it was no longer about the money or her quest to answer questions about her grandmother's obsession with money, it was about this particular man.

While they were eating he said,

“My name's Doug. What's yours?”

“Lizbeth Sanders. Yes, Sanders and yes, I am rich.”

He smiled and nodded, showing he had known all along.

“It's no surprise Lizbeth. It's written all over you. This isn't a good place for you to be. I am alone most of the time, but not all of the time.”

“Do you want me to stay away?”

“That is not the issue. The issue is your safety and I must admit I've grown fond of you and your food.”

“So now the truth comes out. You've been after my food all along.”

They both laughed, but again he grew concerned and said,

“I worry about you here Lizbeth. This is no place for any lady, young or old. It is dangerous business being homeless. People do things they would never have dreamed of, just to stay alive. Some lose all sense of decency and think only of food or booze. Murder is not unheard of among the homeless or those who risk being with the homeless.”

“What if I could find you a place to live? Would you come?”

“Whoa, you're moving a little too fast little rich girl. You know nothing about me. I could be a serial killer luring you into my confidence or a rapist waiting for the right moment.”

“Your eyes say different Doug. Your eyes say you are a kind and generous man who fell into a hole he can't get out of on his own. They say you were once a very brave man who cared about the world”

“So you can tell all that from my eyes? You may or may not be right, but it is a big chance you are taking.”

Memories tried to seep back into his mind but he wouldn't let them, he had closed them out a long time ago.

“Let me see what I can do, I'm willing to take the chance.”

“Talk to Daddy?”

“Yes, but what's the harm? I promise there will be no strings attached. I'll even have my father put it in writing if that's what you want.”

“I don't know little rich girl. That's a lot to ask Daddy. What are you going to say, I found this homeless man on the street and I want you to support him? I'm not a puppy you know.”

She smiled at the thought of comparing him to a puppy with big warm eyes, and replied as she walked away,

“Let's wait and see what happens.”

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

Do you think the title "Meeting Lizbeth" needs to be changed?

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24 comments

pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 20 months ago from sunny Florida

Lizbeth is quite a gal.

Of course I cannot wait to see what is next....

Voted up+++ and shared

Have lovely afternoon...it is gorgeous here in north Florida today. Angels are on the way ps


annart profile image

annart 20 months ago from SW England

Another dimension! The plot thickens..... and your characters, always credible, become deeper.

You continue to intrigue, Mary!

Ann


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 20 months ago from Central Florida

Mary, I'm curious to see what plans Lizbeth has in store for Doug and whether or not Daddy will support her mission.

As for the title, I'm not sure if it needs to be changed or not. I think not only we are "meeting Lizbeth", but so is she - and her mother. For now, I think it's a very appropriate title.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 20 months ago from New York Author

Thanks Patricia, there is so much more to come. It is windy and freezing here in good old NY. Feels like January. Hugs and blessings.

Oh Ann, you make my day. My characters are living in my head and growing daily. Thanks so much.

One never knows what will happen next. Thanks for the insight on the title. What you say makes a lot of sense.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

Lizbeth is a special girl with a heart. I like this episode. I hope something wonderful comes out of her meeting Doug. I have a feeling he's very intelligent and has a lot to share. I like the title. I love the story! See ya soon..


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 20 months ago from New York Author

Thank you Ruby. It means so much to me that you like the story. More to come....


billybuc profile image

billybuc 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

Does the title need to be changed? In the end, only you can answer that. Does it say what you want it to say? Does it serve the purpose you want it to serve? If you say yes to both of those questions then there you go. :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 20 months ago from New York Author

Do you always have the right answers Bill? Your questions are certainly food for my thought. Thank you.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 20 months ago from Shelton

Now Tillsontitan... I trust your ready for some criticism? In the first paragragh I felt beaten over the head with the word homeless ( man ). I got the point but you kept pushing it into my face.. That's it.. the rest was poured over me like syrup on pancakes... Lizbeth is genuine.. I feel Doug is gonna find that out.hmm can't wait until your next installment :) bless you


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 20 months ago from New York Author

Frank I NEED constructive criticism and truly appreciate it. I'm going to see what I can do about the word "homeless man". So glad you enjoyed the rest! Blessings to you too dear friend.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 20 months ago from England

I am loving this story! you are drawing me write into the page, what a great writer! now for the next bit, ......come on hurry up! LOL!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 20 months ago from New York Author

Thanks so much Nell. I always loved big thick books that told you about every family member. The next one is ready but I've been trying to post mid-week, one at a time....I don't want to over saturate my readers!


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 20 months ago from California

Ok--so why I managed to pick up the story here I am not sure, but now back to the beginning I think


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 20 months ago from New York Author

Hope you enjoy Audrey!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 20 months ago from South Africa

I am curious to know who this homeless man is, and why Lizbeth feels attracted to him. Could he be her biological father? On my way to the next chapter :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 20 months ago from New York Author

Martie I am leading you down a twisted road that goes up and down unsuspectingly (is that a word). I want to keep everyone interested and anxious for the next chapter.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 20 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Mary,

I am enjoying a holiday 'catch up' with one of my favorite authors...

Like Martie, I'm feeling a sense of connection and familiarity between Lizbeth and Doug.

...and anxious to keep going - so you are accomplishing your goals in that regard...!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 20 months ago from New York Author

Maria, I'm so glad I can entertain you and even more glad you are enjoying! We'll see what happens with Lizbeth and Doug.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 20 months ago from Stillwater, OK

This is definitely right up my alley, and it actually sounds like something that I would delve into, as well...


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 20 months ago from New York Author

Hope you'll keep following Deborah. I think we all wish we could help a homeless person.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 20 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

“Yet, he didn't seem to fit in with the dirt and grime.” I had this same feeling, Mary, as I was reading your story. Lizbeth is such a kind and generous girl...she is genuine. But Doug is quite right in that areas of the homeless can be quite dangerous. This story is riveting, and I look forward to reading the next chapter with relish. :-)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 20 months ago from New York Author

Genna, so glad you're meeting Lizbeth! Doug will, hopefully, turn out to be a very interesting character as well.


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 19 months ago from Massachusetts

Very interesting Mary. I'm curious about Doug and what his story is. great job, on to the next chapter.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 19 months ago from New York Author

Thanks so much for hanging in Bill.

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