His house was dirty. There was one table, strewn with food – mostly empty instant food trays and candy wrappers. There was no other furniture, and there were papers and clothes and more food lying on the floor. Andrew himself was a mess. He had food on his face, his clothes were filthy, and he looked more unhappy than I'd ever seen him. This was the man I was going to abandon. I tried to ease into the part of the conversation where I would be able to tell him I didn't want to help him anymore. He was probably aware of my intentions, since all of his responses swerved to the negative, and also were coated with pessimism and anger.

I was beginning to be a little uncomfortable. He offered to pay me to stay with him longer. I pushed away his offers of money, saying, "Actually, I think I might be too busy to help you much longer. I have to go to school, and study, and it takes up most of my time. I'd like to help you find someone else to help take care of you, who can spend more time with you."

He changed the subject and asked if I would help him take a bath. I said no. Then he asked if I would read to him. I said sure. Andrew slid out of his wheelchair, onto the floor, and sort of crawled, sort of pulled himself to the middle of the room. I had the impression that we were having a fight. He asked me to come over. I sat on the carpet next to him, and he handed me a Bible. He laid his head in my lap, and I read to him from Matthew. Then he touched my leg. I moved his hand off my leg and kept reading. He touched my leg again, and it was time for me to go.



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