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"Two hours late," she thought, glancing at the time on her watch. With a quick step, Hannah rejoined the route to work she had abandoned earlier that morning.

"There you are!" exclaimed Jenny, her voice betraying relief, as Hannah sat down at her desk. "Mr. Hanley has been asking for you every ten minutes..." Jenny's voice was cut short as the office door beside Hannah's desk, opened. A man glared impatiently at her from the doorway.

"Miss Anderson," he said severely, "I see you have decided to join us, after all." Mr. Hanley ran the back of his right hand over his dry forehead, a habit he practiced often, especially when impatient. "Miss Anderson, did you finish the report? Because, if you did, there is a large room of very busy people, waiting to read it." Mr. Hanley's voice grew louder with every word he spoke.

"I finished typing it last night, Mr. Hanley," she replied calmly, holding out the report, "even though it was not due until Wednesday." Jenny shrank back at Hannah's unintimidated demeanor. Mr. Hanley snatched the four hundred and sixteen page report from Hannah's hand, and walked quickly to the elevator, no doubt, on his way to the large room filled with very busy people. A sigh of relief came from Jenny as the elevator doors closed, leaving them in peace.

"Why doesn't he terrify you, I'll never know," she remarked. Hannah started her computer and immediately went to work. Jenny slowly walked back to her desk on the other side of the room. She knew Hannah hated to talk while working, but her curiosity was building every minute.

"Hannah, why did the police call Mr. Hanley?" Jenny's question startled Hannah from her work.

"I guess, they were checking up on me," she said thoughtfully, more to herself than to Jenny. Upon hearing this, Jenny wheeled her chair from across the room and planted it beside Hannah's desk. Hannah laughed outloud. "There isn't much to tell, Jenny. Someone needed help, so I called the police. I told them who I was, but I guess, they called Mr. Hanley to verify it." Hannah stopped, as if there was nothing more to tell.

"Who needed help?" asked Jenny, curiously.

"There was a panhandler who stood beside the stoplight on the corner of Jefferson and Madison," began Hannah reluctantly. "It appears he was stabbed, or something, so I called the police. When they began to ask me questions, like an idiot, I passed out." Hannah had to admit that it did feel good to talk about it. "Next thing I know," she continued, "I'm in an ambulance with the stoplight panhandler. They said I had to go to the hospital and be examined, and to answer a few questions. Then, half way there, his heart stops!"

"Who's?" asked Jenny, trying to keep up with Hannah's fast paced narration.

"The stoplight panhandler's. The emergency worker got it beating again, but the policeman said it didn't matter." The flood of emotion that had been slowly welling inside Hannah's heart, could no longer be held at bay. She began to cry. Jenny put her arms around her.

"Oh, Jenny! He said 'bums like him die every day!'"

"But, it's not your problem," she comforted. "People like them are on the streets because they refuse to work, or they're alcoholics, or drug addicts." Hannah pushed Jenny's comforting arms away. "Why should it matter to you?" asked Jenny, puzzled by her friend's behavior. "Since when did it matter so much? We pass by people like them on the streets everyday."

"Yes, we do, don't we?" Hannah said in a half-whisper. "Just like the priest and the Levite in the story of the good Samaritan. We look, and pass by on the other side."

"Well, what are we supposed to do?" cried Jenny, growing impatient with Hannah. "People like them are everywhere! We can't very well help all of them!"
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