Bailey’s Home is small, no more than ten rooms, but it has satisfied and happy people there. I manage the place and even though I don’t stay there, it’s like a second home to me. It’s a home, where those once on the streets, now stay in harmony. It is owned by Don Bailey, a wealthy entrepreneur, who doesn’t really care for the building also. I manage it happily, and he lets me do my job without hindering.
Every day, as I come through the adjoining park, I feel happy when I see fewer people there now. It used to have many, sleeping under trees and on benches. Now, in the chilly winter season, it has but a few. I’ve asked them to Bailey’s before, but they don’t want to. I bring them food and clothes. Not many help these poor souls.
The people at Bailey’s call me son. It feels nice when I hear that. My parents are settled in Dubai and I do miss them. I’ll be visiting them after spending Christmas at Bailey’s. With the help of the people, I got the place decorated. The doorbell rang.
Rising from my chair, I went to answer it. To my surprise, it was Don. His chauffeur had a bag of gifts, which he handed to me. I smiled, and took Don inside. The spirit of Christmas has got to him too, I thought.
All the gifts were placed under the Christmas tree. He told me it’d be useful for them to open the gifts at midnight itself, and since the weather was cold, I agreed. After singing carols at midnight, I handed them out to the many people there. There was enough for all, and they were warm blankets. Every one came and thanked Don for his thoughtfulness. My flight to Dubai was to leave Newark at noon, and I had packing to do, so I wished all and went on my way. Even on my flight, I was thinking only of them.
Yesterday, I returned to New York after a month at my parents’ place. After unpacking, armed with three packets of chocolates, I started on my walk to Bailey’s. As I walked through the park, to my dismay, I saw more people on the benches. I saw Louis, who used to be at Bailey’s. I went to him. Seeing me, he broke into tears.
As I listened, he told me that 2 days after I left, Bailey had come and thrown all of them out of the house. With me conveniently out of the way, no one could fight him. Bailey’s was demolished and a new ten storey apartment was going to be built there. The gifts on Christmas had been a ruse to show his love, try and bribe them out. When they didn’t accept, he forcefully threw them out.
Love had been conquered by money. I could do nothing for them now. In his quest for wealth, Don betrayed me, betrayed them, their happiness.
Word Count: 499