The world wore Ron down. He was tired, exhausted and broken. Life had been unkind to Ron at every turn. People used him for their personal means and then discarded him like a piece of used bathroom tissue. Ron’s kind heart is what started him down the slippery slope. He never knew he was being used at first. By the time he figured it out it was too late. Later, when he grew wise to the machinations of people, he lacked the strength to fight back.
Ron finally gave up and walked away. He is seen walking the streets by day and sleeping under an overpass at night, warming his hands around a fire barrel of smoldering garbage. He ate whatever he could scrounge. He stopped accepting gifts from people knowing most gifts came with strings attached. He preferred dumpster diving over a sandwich from a kind passer-by. The handout seemed more like a loan.
The mental scars accumulated. He warmed his hands with the fire from the barrel and contemplated his final exit. His mind and body were numb. All feelings were gone. He looked up and watched the cars driving the highway above. Soon he would walk up there and jump to his death. He would die where he spent so many years of his life, here on this very spot.
Other homeless people shared his bridge. He rarely talked with anyone, but he wasn’t really alone. The final straw was when his supper was taken by other homeless people under the bridge. He didn’t begrudge them; he understood. It’s just that there was no real reason to continue anymore.
A new girl showed up under the bridge a few nights ago. She also keeps to herself with one exception: she stays close to Ron. Ron didn’t care. Whoever she is, she will have to find her way on her own.
Ron started his last journey to the roadway above. The new girl followed, but Ron didn’t notice. At the top Ron found a small ledge where he could step out. He closed his eyes and leaned forward to meet his end; he was ready. Nothing happened. He opened his eyes and found himself back under the bridge near the fire barrel, the new girl in front of him smiling. He felt cold. He looked down and saw he was wearing a dress!
“You have much to give, Crystal,” the girl said. “Yes, that is your name now. A pretty name for a pretty girl. A name fitting someone so fragile. I see the look on your face. I am a witch. I help those in need. I saw where you were headed and gave you a new life. Let me help you discover a whole new world.” The girl took Crystal by the arm and led her to the world above where she lived for the first time in her life.