Over the next week, I would often wake up to Sarah leaning over me with a cup of hot coffee. Granted I didn't really like coffee, but it was a nice sentiment.
She'd buy me breakfast, and then some snacks to get me through the rest of the day. Sometimes she'd stay with me for the entire day, and we'd just go to a bench in the park and talk, and sometimes she'd have a busy day planned and she'd have to leave me to my own devices, which I was perfectly used to by now.
I told her all about my past, dwelling on the negativity, because it was nice to get it all off my chest and have somebody talk to me about their problems, so I'd know I wasn't all alone.
I often insisted that I was fine by myself, and that she didn't have to spend this much time looking after me, but I think she felt indebted to me after my heroic deed.
'I'm glad I met you,' she told me one evening as we sat in the alley. 'I'm glad I've been able to help you get through this.'
'I'm thankful towards you,' I told her, but then insisted, 'but it's not necessary. As much as I appreciate it, you don't need to spend so much time looking after me and spend money on me. I've lasted the last year just fine, so this really isn't necessary. I'm happy just to be your friend.'
Sarah displayed a look of confusion on her face. 'Do you mean... Do you mean you don't need me?'
'No, no! That's not at all-'
Her eyes began to well up and a tear trickled down her cheeck as she raised her voice. 'I just wanted to help you! I thought I was doing something nice for you!'
My jaw dropped. I felt so bad suddenly. I hadn't meant it like that at all.
'I'm sorry! You misunderstood! I do appreciate it, but I was just concerned for you!' I put my arm around her and shushed her until she calmed down.
'I have to go,' she said when the tears had subsided.
'Okay. See you tomorrow?'
'Yeah, I guess.'
She got to her feet and without a backward glance, walked out of the alley and home.
I mentally kicked myself. How could I say something so stupid. I did appreciate it. Of course I did.
And as bad as I felt as I drifted off to sleep, the more I thought to myself: It really isn't necessary.