Silver Linings

This is a short story I wrote going on two years ago now about an estate agent and a homeless person


1. Silver Linings

  I always start my day at work by kicking the tramp in the doorway, and telling him to move. This is pointless, as I have been doing this for the past three years. He moves, but only occasionally to beg. He always leaves old smelly tins and old bits of food behind, and I kick them away, afraid that it might lose customers to my estate agent’s, Correct Move. It was a snowy day, when I felt sorry for him, up as close as he could get to the door. I kicked him, told him to move, and then I did an unbelievable thing. I brought him out a cup of tea.

  As he gratefully slurped his tea, I decided to ask him a few questions.

“What’s your name, then?” I asked

“What’s the sudden interest? You’ve been kicking me every morning for three years!” he replied. I shrugged my shoulders, and kept silent.

“Bekithemba.” He said. “But call me Bek.”

“I’m Norman.” I replied. “But call me Norman” We both laughed, and conversation started. I found out that he’s from Zambia, in Africa. He was divorced, and had two kids. He came to England when he was twenty. Then he lost his job, his house, and his family. He’d owned the house for thirty years.

Being an estate agent, I knew all about houses, and if he’d owned the house for that long, he would’ve got a profit once the house was sold, called equity. If Bek wnt to his solicitor's  to claim it, he might get back on his feet again, and be able to return to Zambia. So I did my homework. It turned out that Bek was owed £3,000-not enough to be a millionaire, but enough to start a new life. Two days later, I told Bek what I’d found out.

“So, if I meet up with my solicitor, I will get money?” He asked, after I explained.

“Yes, he is holding on to it.”

“So I can go home to Zambia?”

“Yes, and you can stay at my place until your flight.”

“Thank you for all of your help. You’ve been so kind, Norman.” He replied. I just shrugged.

So in a week Bek was due to fly back to Zambia. He stayed at my flat in for the rest of his time in England. Being in my mid-thirties and single, I had the room. When it was time to say goodbye at the airport, I actually felt like I was going to miss him. What is the world coming to? Enjoyed having a tramp to stay-I must be mad!

Three months later, I was back to my normal regime, with the exception of kicking Bek! I was surprised to receive a letter from Bek.

“To Norman”, it read.

“I’d like to thank you for all your help. Enclosed is £200 for all of your hospitality and help. It turned out that I didn't really need the money that you helped me get back. Because when I arrived back to my tribe, I found out I’m King.”

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