Neeko and Trotter
Dumpster diving and begging for change is not for everyone. It’s a tough life where success hangs on a half eaten burger still in the paper wrapping or from someone gracious enough to toss a bill into the hat instead of the useless pennies that no one wants.
Neeko and Trotter are homeless. They are not brothers by blood but by necessity.
Neeko cannot hear.
Trotter cannot speak.
Both children of bad circumstances.
Left to fend for themselves on the harsh city streets of reality.
They need each other, And have had a strange bond since the day the pastor introduced them to each other at the soup kitchen.
Neeko is a wiry boy that stands over 6 feet tall and weighs maybe 129 pounds….if he is soaking wet with all his clothes on, which happens quite often when you live in a home made of cardboard. Deaf since birth. He was abandoned by whoever his parents were.
Trotter stands at 5foot 5 inches and has a much more shapely physique than his counterpart. He is pushing 300 pounds. His possessions are always with him inside the tattered backpack that was found behind the sporting goods store. He has not spoken since his grandparents passed away. They cared for him. Now he cares for himself.
The pastor looks up from behind the serving line to make sure everyone is behaving. He notices that today’s lunch crowd is unusually smaller than normal.
“Must be the warm weather.” He thinks as he hands the homeless lady her tray.
She thanked him and moved down the line grumbling something under her breath.
He surveys the room and notices on one end of the room sits Neeko, the deaf boy who never misses a meal.
“That boy could eat a horse and not gain a pound.” He chucked and thinks to himself.
On the other end of the room sits Trotter, the quiet boy with the suspicious eyes darting back and forth.
He looks at one. And then back at the other, and wonders how long either of them will make it by themselves. He knows their stories well.
One alone since birth. The other alone from death.
Maybe together they might have a chance.
He figures his best bet is to talk to Trotter first.
“Trotter, my son, how are you today? Have you gotten enough to eat?” He asks as he places his gentle hand on his shoulder.
Trotter looks over his shoulder, gives the priest the “ok” symbol with his thumb and forefinger, then pats his belly and smiles.
“I would like to introduce you to someone today, Trotter. I think you will like him and will give you someone to hang out with.”
Trotter puts his spoon down.
He sighs. And then begins with hand gestures.
-points to himself
-then shakes his index finger back and forth
-then puts a hand on his heart
-then point to everyone in the room.
“I know you don’t like anyone in here. But you need a friend. Will you just trust me?”
He stares at the priest for a minute. Then nods his head in approval.
Neeko is finished with his meal. He sits in forever silence and enjoys this peaceful time. He feels the hair on his neck stand up. That can only mean one thing….someone is coming up behind him.
He jumps up from his chair, picks it up from the backrest and spins around to meet his attackers.
The leg of the chair is stopped in mid air by a big hand. He stands, eyes wide open, looking at the pastor, who had his two hands covering his mouth.
He looks around and down from the chair he is wielding, and sees a smiling fat kid holding the leg of the chair. The fat kid moves his eyebrows up and down and continues to smile.
Neeko brings the chair down to the ground and starts to laugh.
The pastor looks up to the heavens and says,
“Thank you, Lord.” To no one in particular, then motions Trotter and Neeko to sit.
He sits in front of them both. He speaks to Trotter, he uses sign language for Neeko and says,
“I would like you boys to watch out for each other. Being alone in this city is dangerous. You would stand a better chance together….what do you say?”
Trotter looks at Neeko…..
Neeko looks at Trotter….they both look at the pastor….
And burped loudly in unison.
And laughed some more.
The pastor closed his eyes, sighed, said a small prayer, opened his eyes, smiled, and got up and walked away.
After the boys finished laughing,
Trotter pulled out a pen and paper from his backpack and wrote his name on the paper with the pen.
He pointed at the name and then at himself and nodded. Then handed the pen to Neeko.
Neeko wrote his name, turned the paper toward Trotter, pointed at it, then at himself, smiled and stuck out his hand.
Trotter grabbed his hand and shook.
They sat for a minute to gauge the newly found friendship.
Then Neeko got up and motioned for Trotter to follow.
The pastor looked up from greeting other patrons just in time to see the 2 boys leaving together. He smiled as he watched their shadows fade out into the sunlight.
To continue to Part 2 click > here <