It's Important

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Attitude is everything. Zachary told himself as he finished grabbing his meal for the day, an apple. It wasn't much, but he had to be careful with his money. Since he'd eaten some chicken yesterday, today was going to be fruit. Licking his lips, his eyes glanced sideways toward a head of broccoli and he felt his stomach constrict with need.

No. You can't have it. A vegetable is tomorrow. Today is a cheap fruit.

He stared down at the red apple in his dirty hand and forced a smile. It wasn't ideal, and he would have loved to be able to afford the broccoli as well, but he knew saving his money was more important than being full. He'd live with just the apple. Nodding to himself, Zachary turned and strode past the vegetables and walked up to the '10 items or less' line. The person working the register smiled and greeted him. She was an older woman who had worked there for as long as he could remember, so they knew each other somewhat well.

"How has your day been, Zachary?" She asked as she rung up the apple and he handed over the forty-nine cents it cost.

"Good Mrs. Besby. Going job hunting again after breakfast."

The woman nodded and smiled as she handed the apple back over to him.

"Best of luck, young one. I know you can do it."

Zachary grinned and winked. "I've got it, today for sure."

The woman nodded again and made a funny cheering gesture with her wrinkled fist. "Go get em, tiger."

With a slight skip to his step, Zachary headed outside and immediately began eating his breakfast. While the apple wasn't much, it definitely soothed his aching stomach, allowing him to start thinking more clearly. He'd noticed a few places north of where he lived that had Help Wanted signs in their windows so he figured he could try those first. Of course, with his ratty clothing and dirty appearance, he wasn't sure how well he'd manage first appearances, but he knew he was an asset if anyone would just give him a chance.

His feet stopped outside of a nightclub about two streets away from his alley home. The building was silent and loomed over its neighbors, boasting three stories were most of the buildings around only had two, or just one. One of his good friends, though the man likely didn't think so, was the bouncer at the club. Zachary had literally run into him one night while trying to maneuver through a crowd he hadn't realized was just waiting to get into the club.

Maybe I'll finally make him smile tonight.

The man was always stone-faced, even when dealing with drunken patrons.

I'm gonna crack that frown!

Grinning to himself, Zachary felt the need to run well up in his chest, so he obliged and bounded down the slowly busying streets. People were coming and going, most heading to work while those from the night shifts trudged home sleepily. Living in an alley, Zachary didn't sleep much. He got just enough to keep himself going, though last night he did manage to get a few extra hours in preparation for today's job hunt.

His attitude remained positive, even as he began to rack up rejections. He almost wished he had a phone so that they could at least give him some kind of hope by telling him that they'd call tomorrow instead of just saying that they had more qualified candidates that had already applied, though he didn't know how someone could be more qualified to stock food or fold clothing. Grumbling to himself, Zachary finally turned into his alley and sat down against the wall by the entrance, his eyes staring down at the dirty ground between his legs.

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