Friday, April 17, 2015

Microstory 40: Take a Hike

Yesterday, I was in the middle of my four-hour walk when a girl suddenly came down a hill and sidled up next to me to ask what I was doing. Not really something you do in a civilized society. People tend to leave me alone during my hikes. When I told her what I was doing, she asked if she could walk with me. I reluctantly agreed, ya know, in case she too had a knife. I politely answered her questions, and asked her a few of my own; which is against my nature. It felt less like a conversation, and more like an interview. Nearly a half hour later, I tried to turn to the left, but she stopped me and asked where I was going. I was heading toward an industrial area, and she was clearly perturbed by it. But that was my plan. I’ll go out for an hour, maybe two, with no idea where I’m going. But I map out my longer hikes since I may have to make sure I get to a road that safely goes under a highway, or over a stream. And we were past the point of no return. If I took any other route, it would be too long before I reached home. She said that there weren’t any restaurants in that area, and she was hoping we would grab a bite to eat. I cautiously asked her if she was homeless. She nodded and hung her head. “If you needed money, you could have just asked. You didn’t have to walk all this way with me.”

“I was hoping to pretend like it was a date, and you would pay for a meal anyway,” she answered. I considered my options for a few moments. I explained to her that she would be risking coming home with me, but that I would be risking letting her into my house, and that I could either give her twenty bucks and walk away, or we could risk it together. She hesitantly agreed. I woke up today half-expecting my television and computer to be gone, but everything was fine, so I guess I just have a roommate now.

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