I glanced around at the group. Benny, smoking a cigarette. Trish, picking at the blood red nail polish on her fingers. Oz, glowering out the window. And Peter, quiet Peter, chewing on his already tormented thumbnail.

"S'gonna kill ya, Benny," I sighed lazily. I don't know why I even bothered. He'd heard it a thousand times, no, make that a thousand and one.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah." He waved me off and glanced over at the café workers. Legally, he wasn't allowed to be smoking inside, but Benny is one of those people who can get away with anything.

"Interns," warned Oz. Oz hated interns.

A bell clicked and a group of five slipped through the door. Each had on attire that made it clear they were someone important, someone to be respected. A couple were chuckling at a joke another had made as they took down their umbrellas and swiped the rainwater off their shoes. A girl glared at Benny, wrinkling her nose at his cigarette. Benny didn't seem to notice.

"Hmph." Trish didn't even bother to look up.

I buried my face in a nearby newspaper. Yes, I admit it. I was ashamed to be seen with them. It wasn't any new revelation that we looked like a bunch of burnouts. Torn jeans, washed-out T-shirts, shoes with enough holes and tape to be considered an abstract piece of art, yeah, we looked the part. Ah heck, we didn't just look like a bunch of burnouts, we were a bunch of burnouts, dead-ended, no-good, chain-smoking burnouts. So excuse me if I wasn't exactly singing to the world the crowd I was running with.

"What a bunch of losers, right Ren?" snorted Benny, taking a long drag.

"Yeah," I agreed, "probably going nine to five, thirty minute lunch break, the works. What a bore."

The interns gave no sign that they had heard our judgment, instead more focused on what they were ordering. Each of them was laden with a messenger bag seeming to be filled with dozens of books. Maybe they weren't interns. Law students?

"Let's get outta here. I've gotta work late t'night."

"It's raining, Trish. Let's just stay a little longer," I replied. I took an offered cigarette from Benny. Hypocrisy: one of my many crimes.

"Yeah, I agree with Ren. Let's wait for the rain to let up," Benny nodded.

Ben just wanted to finish his cigarette. I wanted to watch the students for a little longer. Watch them joke and laugh, exchange stories and opinions. Because maybe if I watched, I wouldn't be just a burnout, I'd become one of them. Someone with a future and not a past.

"Can we just get out of here?" Trish complained.

"Yeah, let's beat it," sighed Oz, snapping the blinds shut.

"Yeah, okay," Benny agreed, smothering his cigarette into the wood of the table.

He stood up and exposed a gun from under his sweatshirt.

"Everybody down!"

Peter approached the front counter with a bag as I revealed the gun hidden behind my jacket. The group of students huddled in the back, terrified.

What was I doing? I didn't want to be part of this. Why couldn't I just go, get out of here, find some new friends? But where would I go? Who would take me in? One of the students slid a phone out from under his bag. I pointed a gun to him. This was the only life I was ever destined to live, street bum. No one else would ever be seen with the likes of me. So I guess the old saying stands.

"Beggars can't be choosers."