O.K. here it is. I've cut it to 956 words, and I'm not sure that this version is as good as the incomplete lost draft.
Betrayal is a terrible thing. You come into the world trusting, but everything is a lie. Santa Clause, the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny. I trusted my parents, I believed them and in them. What a fool I was. I can still remember the other children laughing at me. I thought they loved me. They told me that they would always be there for me, but that wasn't true either. Just as I was getting ready to go off to college, they died.
At the funeral everyone was so mournful, but that was a lie as well. None of those people knew my parents, really knew them. They didn't hear the fights over money, or Momma's "little drinking" problem. The night they died, they fought. Fought and went off on a rainy night to kill themselves in some stupid automobile accident. As their friends came up to me to offer condolences, I could see the hypocrisy in their faces. They didn't care a bit. All of my friends went off to school, but I couldn't afford it.
Daddy left a little insurance policy, and I sold the house. It turned out that it wasn't even really our house. After paying the mortgages there wasn't even ten thousand dollars left. I came to the City hoping that I might find someone to trust out of the hundreds of thousands. My money quickly ran out, but I found a job as a clerk in a bookstore. The pay was terrible, but the owner was nice and I enjoyed helping people who came looking for books. The work wasn't hard and in a month I could tell that the owner was pleased with me. That meant a lot, because I wasn't finding any more friends in the City than I had in our little old town. I got up in the morning and took the bus to work, had lunch in a little café around the corner, and came home on the bus. It wasn't much of a life, but it pleased me that I was needed.
There was Sandra, who lived across the hall from me. Sandra was beautiful, but couldn't seem to hold a job. We met on the stairs, and over a few weeks we became friends. We went shopping together, and on one weekend spent an entire day at the City Art Museum looking at pictures. Sandra liked to go out in the evening and tried to get me to go with her, but I'm too much a homebody. I had her over for dinner, and she really seemed to like it. Sandra was, I thought, a true friend and companion. She was someone that I could trust and depend on.
A couple of months ago, Mrs. Olson who worked as a cashier at The Book Ends didn't show up for work. The owner became worried, that's the kind of guy he is, so he had her landlady check to see if she was all right. They found her sitting in an easy chair with the latest Daniel Steele novel open on her lap. She was dead. She was a nice lady. The owner promoted me to the cashier's position and I got a fifty cent an hour raise in pay. I caught on fast, and never once made a mistake in making change. Mr. Brown was pleased; I could see it in his eyes.
When Sandra learned of my good fortune she asked if anyone had applied for my old job. No one had, so like any friend might do, I recommended her to Mr. Brown. Sandra came to work, and for a few days really tried to learn how the shelves were arranged. Soon however, she was taking too many cigarette breaks and I began to worry that Mr. Brown would blame me for her lack of effort. I told Sandra at lunch that she needed to take the job more seriously, but she just laughed and said that I was being silly. A few days later I saw Sandra flirting with Mr. Brown, and he seemed a little embarrassed. After all, he was a married man. Sandra began taking even longer breaks, but Mr. Brown said nothing.
Then I saw them in the convex mirror that we use to prevent people from stealing books from the shelves in the back of the store. They were standing close, too close. I could see the exchange of tender glances. At the end of the day, Mr. Brown asked to talk with me after closing. After what I'd seen, I knew he wouldn't blame me for Sandra's poor work habits. What I hoped for was a consolation prize, a word of appreciation for the way I was handling the cashier's job, maybe even a small raise. What I got instead was the sack. Mr. Brown told me that business wasn't doing so well and that he had to let me go. What a crock! He wanted me out of the way so that he could give my job to Sandra. Sandra! My so-called friend had been angling for my job, and Mr. Brown.
"Come on inside where we can talk about this. You know it isn't easy hanging out a window to talk with you out on that ledge. I know it seems terrible to you now, but in the morning things will look different. No matter what has gone wrong in the past, you have a long life ahead where wonderful things can happen. Nothing bad is going to happen to you; trust me."
She looked beyond the outstretched hand to the fireman's broad open face. She looked deep into his clear blue eyes and saw the lie, the coming betrayal.