"You shouldn't smoke, mister. Mama says that it's bad for you. You get cancer and then you die!"
He ignored the child's warning, merely tilting his head back and letting the smoke slide out of his mouth and flared nostrils.
"Hey, mister! Did you hear what I said? Smoking is bad for you!"
The little boy that Hillel had rescued weeks ago had now become like a second shadow to him; always following him around and asking him questions a mile a minute and without stopping. From what Hillel could see, the boy's mother was always working and so she was forced to just leave him and come back later to pick him up again, using Hillel as a kind of free babysitter.
The boy was an endless fountain of information about his life and he in fact lifted his shirt up once to show Hillel a thin scar that ran down his stomach.
"My daddy gave this to me. He got mad and hit me and mama a lot."
Hillel had a mental flash of the boy's father coming to the park to cause troubles for them all and if he could; the man would have shuddered.
As he slipped the cigarette back into his mouth, he suddenly heard the boy whimpering, and with an arched eyebrow, Hillel looked down and found him nearly in tears.
"I don't want you to die!" the boy wept and with an inward sigh, Hillel took the cigarette out and flicked it away. He then took out his pack and he crushed it in one hand before holding it over the rubbish bin, pausing before looking back at the boy.
When he smiled and nodded, Hillel let it go and merely folded his hands in his lap and went back to staring at the children playing on the play set.
The boy hugged him around his middle and Hillel took his eyes off of the other children as he looked down at him in surprise, raising his eyebrows.
"I love you, mister!"
Hillel was not sure what emotion he was feeling in his chest, but if he could speak, he would have said it was love for the little boy that reminded him of his own long dead son.
But he could not speak and so the feeling went unnamed.