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Free Write

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Option A: I slowly creaked open the old, wooden door, and with great hesitation, stepped into the building. As my eyes scanned the dimly lit room, I realized that I was standing in what appeared to be an old diner. “Hello” I stuttered, making my way towards the bar, “Is anyone here?” No reply. I sighed to myself and collapsed onto a squeaky barstool. Resting my head in my hands, I realized that I was running out of options. “Of course” I thought, “I always have the worst luck”. At this point, my only choice was to wait until someone on the bus realized that I was missing. Yawning, I looked at my watch and realized it was already 12:00 am. With everything that was going on, I forgot how exhausting of a day this had been. I scanned the room, looking for a booth in which I could rest until I was rescued. Out of the corner of my eye, I suddenly saw the kitchen light flicker on then off. “Hello?” I said in a shaky voice. To my surprise, an elderly man with silvery, grey hair and pale, blue eyes made his way out of the kitchen. “Hello there” he exclaimed with a smile, “can I help you?” I gently nodded my head yes. The man led me to one of the dusty tables. “Here, please take a seat, you look exhausted”. With a look of genuine concern he asked, “Now tell me, how did you end up here alone at this time of night?” The man listen attentively as I told him my story. When I was done, he looked at me, chuckled and said, “Back in the day, I used to be a member of the Hawkeye Marching Band. It was the highlight of my college experience”. “Really?” I asked. “Absolutely” the man replied, “I wouldn’t trade those memories for the world”. I relaxed back into my seat and listened as he dove into story after story of his college experience. By the end of the night I forgot about my bad luck and began to realize how fortunate I am to be apart of such a timeless tradition. “Wow, look at the time, how about I give you a ride home?” the man offered with a smile. As he drove away from my dorm, I thought that this was the last time I would set eyes on this man whom I now considered a friend. I was wrong, for at every home game, I would look in the third row at the 30-yard line, and smile at an old man with silvery grey hair, and pale blue eyes.

Option B: As I looked around the sketchy building with only one light on, I only had two options to either go inside or go back to the gas station. Rationally think about this, I came to a decision that breaking and entering then getting arrested did not sound like the greatest idea or maybe even dying. So I am going to have to turn around and go back to the gas station. Walking back in the dark I realized I need a resolution and I need one fast. I paced a couple times in front of the gas station till I felt the nerves of frustration and loneliness and realized I have become desperate, and desperate times call for desperate measures. I walk back into the gas station; the gas station attendant reading a newspaper in his chair and not giving me the time of day. I walk up and down the isle and notice a Hershey’s bar that had fallen to the floor. My mind immediately went back to the homeless man across the street, illuminated under the glow of a streetlight positioned next to a pay phone. I picked up the bar and feeling the smooth wrapper in my hand, remembered that I had no money after spending the last of it at the other gas station they had stopped at in which I had, ironically, bought a Hershey’s bar. If I gave this chocolate bar to the homeless man across the street, I wagered, I could ask him for some spare change in return to make a call and get picked up by the bus. My own words echoed in my head; “desperate times call for desperate measures”. I slipped the candy bar into my back pocket casually and simultaneously began my slow, deliberate walk towards the exit. I shot a quick glance at the attendant who still was too interested in his newspaper to notice what had happened and opened the door, a bell rattling against its glass panes before closing again and I found myself outside. I looked across the street and saw the homeless man, rummaging through what appeared to be a pile of newspapers and wrinkled clothes. Now walking over, I reached into my pocket and pulled out the candy bar and extended it out to him. I opened my mouth and could see my breath, escaping and evaporating under the dull heat of the streetlight as I asked; “excuse me sir, could you spare any change?”…...

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