no strings attached: the way home

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9

“I’ll need the keys to the car back as well, do you want me to call you a cab?”

“No John, that’s fine. I’ll find my way home,” replies Harry as he puts the box down and starts to rub his hands on his forehead. “Ummm… can you hold on to this shit for me?”

“You sure?”

“Yeah, uh, in fact, keep it.”

“Whoa, dude, some of this shit is expensive.”

“Yeah, I know. Ebay it,” says Harry, as he starts to walk away.

“Well, I’ll split it with ya!”

Harry didn’t want to head home immediately. He started to walk on the snow along side of the sidewalk, this is where the grass would have been. You walk on directly on the snow and you slip less, he thinks to himself.

This is not the one of the larger malls. As Harry approaches the entrance a homeless person opens the door for him, holding out a coffee cup. Harry takes a deep breath, reaches into his pocket and empties out the coins into the cup. The homeless man smiles, the shape of his teeth resemble that of a crumbling mountain range. Harry nods, avoids eye contact and walks into the mall.

The tree is fake, the Santa is fake and that beard is fake, thinks Harry. He walks into the major retail store and spots what he’s looking for. Sitting on a shelf, a Nintendo Wii. He approaches it, grabs it and heads towards the counter.

“Hey mister!” says a child in his early teens, “That’s mine!”

“Hey kid, I found it on the shelf. First come, first serve.”

“I put it there and was standing right next to it, I was waiting for my dad,” the teen slowly starts to tear up.

“Hey buddy, give that back,” says the father of the teen.

“Don’t call me buddy, I don’t know you,” says Harry.

“Listen pal, we had the Wii and we were buying it. It’s ours.”

“Hah, listen ‘buddy’, it was on the shelf and I took it. Tough luck.”

The teen starts to cry and more shoppers gather around to see the commotion.

“Will somebody shut the kid up!” says Harry.

The father of the teen, visibly angry, walks towards Harry and gives him a shove.

“Guys, please don’t fight, it’s Christmas time!” says the cashier as he calls both, the manager and security, on the phone.

Harry shoves the father back. The father swings a punch at Harry. Harry dodges the punch and in the same motion pushes the father down to the ground.

“Hah, take the damn thing,” says Harry, his palm on his forehead. “Merry fucking Christmas, kid,” he puts the Wii in front of the father’s face and walks away.

It has been forever since Harry has taken the street car. No longer having exact change, he inserts a five dollar bill into the box. He finds a place to sit and the phone rings.

“Hey Harry, I’m afraid I don’t have good news,” it’s Harry’s financial adviser. “Both your portfolios are down, I really think you should sell.”

“Hey Sameer. I got fired today.”

“Geez man, that’s awful. What are you going to do?”

“I don’t know. Sameer, listen. I… uh… I need you to do me a favour. I need you to find me a Wii.”

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