“Too many folks use these cups for begging,” she mutters. “Just because you’re down, living on the street, doesn’t mean you just get a handout. Sure, some people have hard times, but begging? Kills your pride, that’s what. Me? I sell my paintings. Nobody can say Esmeralda doesn’t earn her keep! And when I get paid, I don’t mind sharing. Even with the pigeons,” she exclaims, flinging her arms out wide and scaring two perched on a nearby lamp post. She points at Maxzyne, her voice serious.
“But, girl, you’ve got a home. Makes no sense you growing up fast like me. You take your time; let the years come to you. They’ll find you, those years will. Oh, yes . . . they’ll find you . . .”
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