Hawkins always start off earlier and close later than most shops on 5th avenue. He genuinely cared about the people and knows that his early morning and late night shifts have saved a lot of people from unnecessary embarrassment – those who have an appointment to catch up with and the likes.
He turned his arm and gazed at his gold chain wristwatch – a gift from his father which had been passed down from his grandfather – it was 6am. He brush off the dust from the window pane and frame and moved on to the front door to jimmy the lock. He turned around the sign on the door declaring the shop opened for business for the day.
A gentleman, who seems to have been waiting on that to happen walked in, in his mid 40s, all suited up, Hawkins particularly admired his well polished black shoes. A clean cut will get him ready for the day, Hawkins thought to himself.
He flung the barber’s cape across the gentleman’s shoulder and clipped it at the neck. Just as he began working his hair, he stared out through the glass door and watched the rising sun brighten the street. A bum walked across the front of the shop, he looked so wretched and tired as he dragged his feet making irritable noise as a result of the friction. His clothes were torn and the his hair was in locks due to days without bath.
Hawkins shook his head and commented:
“There is no God.”
“Why do you say that?” Asked the gentleman.
“If there is a God… He will take care of this bum.” Hawkins replied
The gentleman kept quiet and allowed Hawkins get through with his hair.
He got up and checked himself out in the mirror after Hawkins removed the cape and told him he was through. He smiled at Hawkins and paid him.
“You know what?” He hesitated to get Hawkins attention. He continued when he was sure he had it. “There are no barbers!”
A perplexed Hawkins, seeing he just barbed the gentleman’s hair asked, “why will you say such a thing?”
“Because if there were barbers, atleast one of them would have given this bum a cut.”
Hawkins smiled. “There are barbers, I am one and I could have given this bum a cut if he came inside.”
“Exactly!” The gentleman replied, “There is a God too, we just don’t go to Him.”
The gentleman smiled at a speechless Hawkins and went his way.
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