Today's Parable - 2017 - 08 - 21 - The Friend Unchosen

It appears Parable won out, so here you go!

The Friend Unchosen
(c) 2017
Haylee V

"God, I hate these damn crippled bums!" James exhaled, as he stumbled drunkenly down the alley. "All they ever do is beg for handouts. They're just a burden on society and good for nothing. They should all just be rounded up and put out of their miserable existence."

He was drunk as a skunk, but he didn't care. He was a made man now, having just signed a $75 million, 5 year, iron-clad contract with the Detroit Lions. As of 9 AM tomorrow, he would be the go-to quarterback for the team, now that Matthew Stafford had officially announced his retirement.

The party had lasted a little longer than he had expected, and his girlfriend had left when it had just begun to get rowdy, claiming an early work shift tomorrow and a slight headache. In truth, though, she just didn't want to see him drunk off his gourd yet again.

"Excuse me, Sir," yet another vagrant accosted. "Can you spare a dollar for a cup of coffee?"

James rolled his eyes in disgust at the legless bum.

"Here's a ten," he sneered, throwing the bill o n the ground at his feet. "Now why don't you just crawl into a sewer grate somewhere and drown? You're killing my buzz."

Laughing maniacally, he stepped off the curb, never once bothering to notice the flashing signal. He never saw the swerving truck as it plowed into him.

---o0O0o---

James lay in the hospital bed, clinging to life. The operation had been successful, but he had lost a lot of blood- both after the accident (and in transit to the trauma unit) and during surgery. His left leg, unfortunately, had to be amputated shortly below the knee, and his right leg had been completely lost. He would never again walk unassisted. Finally, the doctors felt he was stable enough to wake from his medically induced coma.

The first thing James saw as he opened his eyes was the legless bum, strapped to a gurney beside him.

"How do you feel, friend?"

"Why do you care? And just who the Hell are you, anyway?"

"I'm the rat you told to crawl in the sewer and drown. When I heard the screeching tires, I just had to see what happened. You lost a lot of blood. You almost died, in fact."

"I wish I had. My life's over."

"No, it's just begun. You're young, and you'll adapt. I'd hate to think that I wasted 2 pints of my own blood on someone who's just going to give up."

"But why save me, of all people? I was so mean to you..."

"I couldn't just sit there and let you die."

Moral:

We don't often get to choose our friends. Sometimes, they choose us instead.

Always strive to treat everyone as if your life depended on their friendship, because one day, it just might.



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This story is 492 words long.