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  • A man stood alone in the center of a park of a city. The trees sprinkled in the wind as it swayed back and forth. Squirrels had the need to find food for the necessity to sustain life. The birds sang a sweet song wondering if everyone heard them or just shrugged away their song. But the birds just sang anyway. The man was a lonely man who had suffered life, but always noticed the squirrels and the birds and the trees in the park. He believed that these things were the essence of life. His gray hair swayed back and forth with the trees because the wind howled and weathered his rough skin on his face. This man had worn rags for clothes that just hung on his mal-nutritious body. But he held a bag with a note within its center. The bag bellowed deeply, it was so empty, so useless. And the man didn’t have anything to put within his bag, only the note. And this bag and note were his only possession. He had loved the only thing he had owned, this bag, in this dreadful whole world. He stood alone with his heart was bellowing. His heart and his bag were so empty and so useless. And his love dwindled for there was nothing useful in this bag, only the note. A tear ran down his cheek, because he had wished and wished to give him nourishment and hope. He wanted to love the world like he had loved his bag. And the note he had put inside the bag was his only hope. The tear didn’t fall without reason in his eyes. And his heart bellowed deeply. And the reason for that tear was his hope. As he stood he let the tear fall and his heart hardened for he knew the reality of life, and life was no more. The man dropped his bag and slowly walked away and he didn’t look back. He disappeared into the city’s congested mouth, full and unknown.

    People saw the man in the park, and found that he had something that they didn’t have, a tear, something that he cherished so much, something so pure, and something so real. And he had let go and just walked away. They had seen this and were touched by his sacrifice. The people around had gotten closer to the bag. The bag was so mysterious and pure that they were compelled to look into the bag. And they opened the bag where it revealed a note. They had read the note.

    The note said:

    I have no hope in this world. The only thing that I love is this bag. I have nothing to put in this bag, and have no other possessions. It has helped me to survive this hard life. It has helped so much that I am grateful to have this bag. And the only hope is that one day it will be filled with hope, with something that gives people faith. And maybe that day I will be happy, to know that people can see that giving away something to someone who truly needs it can give them hope.

    A man near, who read the note, felt his own guilt. A woman saw the truth. And another felt his heart. They all began to dig into their pockets to find something meaningful to put into this beautiful bag. Although, the bag didn’t look beautiful, it was ragged and torn but what they saw was the true meaning of such a bag. Whatever they had available inside their pockets, they put inside that bag, and a unity was felt between them. They wrote another note and started to walk away. And as they walked away, they knew that the man had given them hope, a pure sense of themselves, their true selves. So they walked off like the mysterious man and disappeared into the city’s mysterious valley.

    A boy saw the bag an hour later and asked his mother what was in the bag. She shushed her child and they both walked away.

    A dog and her owner were walking in the same park that afternoon. The dog saw the bag right away and started pulling his owner towards it. The woman couldn’t control her dog, so both of them stood in front of the bag. The dog was sniffing the bag and was wagging his tail. The bag was ragged and torn but something was so mysterious about the bag, that the woman was drawn to its worn saddened appearance. It just laid there without any owner and the dog nudged her, and then, the saddened bag. The woman finally got the hint from her dog and opened it. Two notes were inside the bag with other miscellaneous things. One of the notes was the original and then the other.

    The other note read:

    We have found that the true owner of this bag touched our hearts. His love for something so useless reminded us that maybe we are looking in the wrong places of ourselves. Maybe that what we think is so unimportant is actually important for we overlook something that isn’t worthy to us. Because we don’t see love anymore but rather a superficial necessity, that it may hurt, but it may be unbelievable, and it is definitely true. And this man has held the pain, and believed, and is to be a true man. And maybe we are the useless ones, for this man, man of mystery, moved us deeply, to believe in something that we have all forgotten, and that is love, hope, and ourselves.

    The woman looked into the bag, after reading the notes, to find money, gum, and a ball. She looked at her dog and smiled at him, for she saw the ball and knew that that’s what the dog wanted. But she knew she had to put something in the bag to replace this mysterious man’s hope. So she looked into her own bag and found a pen and a small blank of paper.

    She didn’t write anything on the paper and just said, “There’s nothing else to be said.”
    And she gently put the paper and pen in to the bag with an understanding that brought peace within her. And she walked off into the park, with her dog, and found that her childhood happiness and was refreshed.

    The boy and his mother, as before, were walking back from their destination and had seen the women and her dog. They both had seen the woman put something inside the bag and walk away full of joy. Pleading his mother, he asked to see what was inside the bag, again. The mother, as stern as she was, decided to go there just to keep her son contained. She stood in front of the bag and opened it. She read the notes and found all the things that the other people that other people left. There were some gum she noticed, and the boy was excited just to see something that he wanted. But the mother put the gum back.

    She smiled at her son and said, “Let the people who haven’t tasted something sweet in a long time have the gum. I’ll buy you an ice cream cone.” The boy was elated and both the mother and the child laughed and walked away to get some ice cream.

    A florist held some flowers as he walked. He was bringing some flowers home from his work to his wife that he loved dearly. Every day after work he would bring the most beautiful flowers of all different colors to her, for she loved them dearly. And as he walked in the park, the florist saw how the mother looked at her son and saw how meaningful it was. All he could see after, when they walked away laughing, was the compelling bag. His curiosity motivated him to move closer to the point he was hovering over it like a blanket that gave warmth to a child. He opened the bag to see all its contents. The two notes tingled his senses in his heart. He had understood every bit of its message and his heart bled for a moment to see himself losing his one love. He reached inside the bag and picked up the blank piece of paper and pen and replaced it with his flowers. He sat down on a bench and began to write. It was to his wife who he had all his life and he realized they both took their love for granted.

    The note read:

    My love, my wife, I have been waiting for this day that everything might fall apart. I see a new side to myself. Have we not realized the frailty of our love? As of today, I have. But even with its frailty it has given me such strength. I love you so much that that’s why it’s so frail. I see how empowering it is, and its strength weakens me. And I am grateful, only because what we have is so special that most people don’t have it. And we should appreciate what we have, like how you appreciate my flowers. We could lose it one day! Because flowers wilt but can be replaced. And that’s what our love is, these white and red roses and those purple tulips, we need to see how beautiful the things we have. And we will appreciate the fact I did this, to see the trueness of love. I have left your flowers for someone else, hoping that love will come their way.”

    The florist took a deep breath and sighed. He got up and left to give his wife something more valuable than the flowers to his wife.

    The day was slowly coming to end. Lights in the park were lit. The sun was starting to go to sleep as the moon was just beginning to be noticed. Stars weren’t shining for the sky wasn’t opened yet. But there was something in the air, something stirring, something mystifying, and something exciting. And it was this young man who had decided to go for a walk in the park. He had lived alone, and he had wondered what he wanted in life. He was a single man, he was alone, and he was, well, plain. And he was shy as well. So he walked and he was self-conscious. Being so, he looked to the ground. He just walked and walked, further and further into the park, as he had his head down to the ground. He couldn’t see the young woman hunched over a bag, a bag that was torn and worn. The bag was near the center of the sidewalk. And as he tripped over her, the sun fell asleep, the moon revealed itself fully, and the stars made a wish. The star’s wish was coming true that night. The young woman yelped in surprise. The young man also yelped. They both got up and apologized to each other as they brushed themselves off. And the stars made a wish, and that wish came true. The young woman and young man looked at each other and saw something special in each other, something genuine, and something real, and something connected the stars to themselves. Then there was confusion between them. And then everything made sense. They were in awe as electricity flowed through out their bodies. Flowers were scattered all over the ground. But the impact of their collision was nothing compared to their chemistry between them. And the man smiled. And the woman smiled back. They both laughed.

    “What’s your name,” she asked?

    “Andy. And yours?” he replied.

    “I’ll tell you if you take me out for a cup of coffee.” she responded. Andy laughed and told her he would. She picked up one of the flowers and admired the smell and the texture and its color. They both walked away. And they both remembered that night for the rest of their lives to this day.

    That night when the two youths went off into their lives, the bag had disappeared from the place where it was. A man silently walked away. A smile was on his lips, and a secret so deep sparkled in his eyes. He emptied out the contents of the bag and kept his bag and his note, the original note. He hummed a tune as he traveled on forward to a destiny to wherever it brought him. And as the night moved on, he thought about that day, and he thought about where it brought him in his life. And that day had given this mysterious man love for the world.

    -pic-google images "ragged back pack"
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