The Stranger by Sue Baugh
Late one Saturday night, a young man was driving home on a deserted stretch of road. He could hear the rain beating against the roof of his car. His headlights cutthrough a cold mist that clung to the trees on either side of the road. In the flashes of lightning, tree branches seemed like ghostly hands grasping for his car. He could feel the steady drum roll ofthunder. What a night to be out! He shivered and wished he were safe at home.
Suddenly, as he rounded a curve, his headlights lit up a young woman standing by the side of the road. Her hair andwhite dress were soaked from the rain. She looked so alone. He couldn’t just leave her there.
The young man skidded to a stop, then backed up until he could see her face in the window. He leanedover and opened the door.
“Would you like a ride?”
She nodded and he reached out his hand to help her into the car. He shivered at her touch – her hand was so cold!
She smiled at him and said,“Can you take me home? I only live a mile away.”
Now that she was sitting beside him, he could see how beautiful she was. Dark hair framed her face, and her eyes seemed unusually large and sad.“Sure,” he said. “You must be freezing.” He took off his letter jacket and gave it to her.
“I’m always cold,” she said, and held her hands up to the heater.
He drove ahead, and glanced at her.“Why were you walking home?” he asked. “Did you have a fight with your boyfriend?”
She didn’t answer. Instead she gazed out the window as they passed a school and a small church. He turned the corneronto a tree-lined street whose cheerful homes seemed warm and safe in the storm.
She sat up. “There’s my house, the two story one on the corner.”
He stopped the car next to the walk leading up tothe house. He circled around to the passenger side and helped her out. Her hand still felt like ice. He walked her to the front door, wondering what it would be like to kiss her. They...
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