“Irina, I have a birthday gift for you.” Jared said, his Serbian well practiced.
“Is it a pony?” the young girl asks excitedly.
“No, it is not a pony. It’s a bear.” he says, setting the tissue paper wrapped parcel on the floor between them. Irina’s eyes light up and she tackles the package, tearing at the wrapping. soon she has the bear free from the tissue paper and is hugging it.
“It is a very lovely bear Jared.” she says, running from the room, “Momma, momma, Jared has brought me a fine bear.”
“You are so very good to her”, Slavka Atanasijević said from behind Jared. “You have lost family of your own, have you not?”
Jared stood up and turned to face the man with a smile, “Haven’t we all?” he asked, touching the other man’s shoulder before walking back to the garage next door where he lived and worked.
Slavka nodded, saying softly to himself, “We have indeed.”