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Riches To Shambles
(Natasha Mcfarlane)




One cold winter night I was walking home from work and a man approched me and asked me if I could spare some change. I said sorry but I do not have any change on me. He said thank you and started to walk away. I said hold on a minute, How about I buy you a cooffee I am going to get one for myself. He said thank you that would be great. He walked with me to TimHortons. I opend the door and he just stood there. I asked if he was going to come in. He said that he could not go in unless he was a customer. I said that was silly because I am going to buy him a drink. He finally agreed to come in out of the cold and sit to have a coffee. We walked in together and while standing in line I asked him for his name. He replied"my name is Doug". I said to him would you like something to eat as well? Yes please he said. I got to the front of the line and ordered two coffees and some food. The person behinde the counter looks at Doug and says you have to leave sir you are not welcome here. I stopped the man and said he is with me. The man says oh well I see he is bumming money off you. I said no I offered him something to drink and eat. Doug said,"It is ok I know that people do not like my type because we have no homes" I told him not to mind what people think because it is not important what some one thinks of him. I just said some people are rude and have no feelings. We got our food and sat down. I told Doug my name and said that it was nice to meet him. We talked for a while and than ate. After eating Doug asked me why I was so nice to him. I said that it is a cold night and that no one should be outside in this weather, evan if they have no where to go. He asked me what I did for work and if I was from the city. I told him that I had came from a small town in BC and I work as a security guard. Doug looked really suprized when I said I worked security. I asked what was wrong. He said that he had never met a security guard that was nice to people that lived on the streets. I asked why. I noticed that he had a scar on his face and many scars on his arms. I asked him what his storey was. He said that it was a long storey and that he did not want to bother me with his problems. I said that it is not a problem and I have plenty of time. Here is the storey of how Doug had become homeless in the city.



In 1987 Doug moved from Cranbrook BC to Calgary Alberta looking for a good job. Doug moved to Calgary in hopes of getting a job with an Oil company, Instead he started working as a dishwasher. Doug washed dishes from 7 am to 6pm Monday to Friday. He made five dollars and hour. He worked a second job as a janitor for 8 dollars an hour. He worked both jobs just so he could pay his rent and buy food. Doug eventually found a job doing construction. The company hired him at twelve dollars to start and in six months he would start his benifits. Doug had thought he finally found a good job that would keep him going for a while. day after Day Doug would go into work and go home. He worked until his fingers were raw with blisters and his hands had calises. In 1992 Doug met a girl and started to date her. They went out with eachother for about a year and than they moved in with eachother. Everything was going well. Doug''s Girlfriend was a waiteress at a bar and made some pretty good tips while working on the weekends. She was a beautiful young girl and had the blueist eyes you had ever seen. She had long brown hair and a small build. Doug on the other had looked like a man that had work really hard all his life. He had rough hands and a sturdy posture about him. He rarely smiled but when he did it seemned that the whole world smiled with him and everything seemned alright again no matter what was going on. Doug finally decided that his girlfriend (Linda) and him should get married in 1994. It was July and he met up with Linda at a restarunt fdinner. While they were waitting for their food to arrive he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. Linda was so supprized and said yes as the tears welled in her eyes. She was so happy that her and Doug were going to get married. They set a date and planned the wedding for December of 1994. Doug and Linda started to look at houses to buy. They found a house on the out skirts of the city. The yard was big enough for children to play in when they had some. The house it''s self was white with brown trim. It had 4 bed rooms and 2 bathrooms with a fully finished basement. It was a dream come true for Doug and Linda both. Linda went back to school to get a degree in nursing. Doug got a raise and became the forman for the company he worked for. Doug and Linda both worked hard and saved their money up for the home they were buying. Linda went to school and continued to waitress. As their wedding day drew closer Linda went out to seek the perfict wedding dress. She went to all the stores she could find that sold wedding dresses. Linda was walking by a store and this beautiful dress cought her eye. It was white with lace and beads embrodied on it with a tasel that was long and flowing. Linda went in to the store and had it fitted and than bought it.

December 1994 two days before the wedding Linda was making sure that the final touches were perfict for the big day. Doug had taken the 4 days from work to give her a hand with all the seating arrangments and the final touches on the decorating of the hall. All their family members had shown up and were getting situated in their hotels. Doug''s mom and dad were so proud of him. His dad said that he thought that this day would never come and that he is happy it finally has. He said that Doug did well and that his wife to be is one of the most beautiful woman he has ever seen aside from his own wife. Linda''s dad was happy that his little girl had finally found the man of her dreams. December 21 1994 Linda and Doug were on the opposit sides of the city getting ready for their wedding. Linda was with her sister and aunt getting her hair and makeup done. Linda got her dress on and her aunt was astonished about how beautiful she looked. Finally it was time for them to get to the hall. 6pm Linda started walking down the isle. Doug turned to look at his bride. He told me that she was so beautiful it took his breath away and there were no words that could describe what he saw that day except that, she looked like an angel. Her hair was as soft as a feather, her eyes sparkeled with happiness, her smile just took his breath away. The way her dress made her look like she was gliding accross the floor. She was his angel. Linda got beside Doug and he smiled as the JP started to talk. When the JP had finished talking Doug and Linda said their vows, Until death do us part he said. Doug seemned to drift out for a few minutes and I asked him if he was ok. He said that he has never told this to anyone before that actually wanted to know what had happend to him. He said that he could not describe the feeling of letting go. I asked what he ment by that and he simply said " until now I could not let go". I did not really understand what he ment, but than he begain to speak again. My love for her was never ending and I will never forget how happy she was and how she smelled. I will never forget he said.

For a moment there was a silence. I looked at the time and asked him if he had anywhere to stay for the night out of the cold and he said no. I offered him a place to stay for the night because I did not have to work for two days. I know that seems a little strange because I do not know this person and all but I felt like I could trust him some how. He said that is fine but would not want to intrude. I said it was no problem. Doug finally agreed he would stay one night. I called my room mate to let him know what I had offered and he had no problems with it at all. He said that it was really

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