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"I'll need your help, Mikey," said Hannah, making a makeshift bandage to apply pressure to Daniel's wound. Hannah slowly sat Daniel up, and placed his arm around her neck. Mikey followed her example, and gingerly stood Daniel up on his feet. By the weight that she had to support, Hannah could tell Daniel was very weak. The three slowly made their way through the crowd, and away from the underpass.

"Where are we going?" asked Mikey. Hannah had been wondering that herself. Mikey's question made up her mind.

"To my apartment. I'm afraid if I take him back to the hospital, they'll discharge him again," replied Hannah. The sky was quickly growing black, and Daniel's steps were becoming smaller and smaller.

"Hold on, Daniel, we're almost there," encouraged Hannah, momentarily forgetting that he was deaf.

After what seemed to Hannah, an eternity, they reached their destination. Hannah unlocked the door and turned on a light. Mikey helped Daniel inside.

"Close the door!" he warned. Hannah quickly obeyed. "Where do you want him?" he grunted, buckling under the weight of supporting Daniel all by himself.

"Over there, in the bedroom," directed Hannah. Daniel collapsed on the bed, and immediately passed out. Mikey sat down on the bed beside Daniel, trying to recover his breath. Hannah went into the bathroom, and opened the medicine cabinet. Mikey stuck his head in.

"I'm going," he said. As he turned to leave, Hannah caught hold of his arm.

"Don't you want off the streets, too?" she asked. Mikey wrenched his arm free.

"I choose to live the way I do. On the street, I'm free!" Mikey's face was sincere.

"Perhaps," thought Hannah, "because he hasn't known anything else." The boy looked at Daniel. "He is such a fool. Look what happens when you care!" Before Hannah could stop him, Mikey disappeared angrily through the door, and back to the streets he called home. The boy had left the door open, swaying in the night air. Hannah shut it, and made sure the locks worked. She could not help remembering what she had heard Mr. Hanley say that very morning, in an interview. "The only difference between a hero and a fool, is success. A fool takes a chance, and fails. While the hero takes a chance, and succeeds." Hannah shook her head in disagreement. "A hero is a hero becuse he cared enough to try," she reasoned. "After all, 'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.'"

Hannah returned to the bedroom, and found Daniel still unconscious. Whether he was sleeping or not, she could not tell. Hannah grabbed the first aid book her mother had given to her, upon learning that Hannah was going to work in the city. She could her her mother saying, "I told you so," as she opened the heavy volume. Since a doctor had already treated the wound, the only thing she could find to do was to keep him warm. Hannah picked up a warm blanket, and covered Daniel up.

She felt uncomfortable about being left alone with a stranger. Especially one bigger than she was. After some thought, she decided to sleep over at Mrs. Weinberg's apartment, one door down the corridor from her own. From there, she could come and check up on Daniel every hour or so and make sure he was all right. With that settled in her mind, Hannah picked up the telephone and called Mrs. Weinberg. She asked her if she could sleep over that night, without explaining the reason why, for it was not her intention to scare the elderly woman by the events of the day. Mrs. Weinberg was happy for the company, and insisted that she stay as long as she wanted.

There are people in this world that I refer to as tender-hearts. Mrs. Weinberg was one such person. She had experienced the joy of a newlywed, only to experience the sadness of a widow, three weeks after her wedding. She never remarried. Now, at the age of sixty-two, she made her living by baby-sitting other people's children while they worked.

Hannah checked Daniel one more time, and then left her apartment, making sure the door was locked. Before Hannah fell asleep, she petitioned God to help all the people who had aided her that day.

"Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy."
~ Matthew 5:7 ~

end of chapter
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