The world was blue as I trudged through the slushy snow in the falling twilight. Walking down the narrow street, I looked up to see a man coming towards me and I realized that no one else was around. I tried not to show any of the rising panic inside me but pulled out my phone, touching the number pad on my screen– 911 was only three taps away.
He seemed to be my age, about 19, but he was much taller than me and had skin the color of chocolate.
“Excuse me miss.”
He’s so polite, half of me said, but the other half of me was sending off warning bells. I like to trust people but being naive could end very badly too.
“Yes?” I had to force it out. It rang oddly mean and cold in my ears.
“I haven’t eaten in three days,” his voice shook a little, “could you give me some money?”
I was really frightened in the dark with a tall stranger beside me but I think my heart was pounding because I felt so bad for him to. With shaking hands I felt my pockets. I told him I would check my car. He waited a little ways off while my cold hands fumbled to find the paper envelope in the car that held the money I had just cashed. I started the car and held the money out the window.
He came up to take it.
“$5?” He sounded disappointed. My heart ached but I needed the rest for gas money…
“Yup.” I sounded lame. But I really hoped he wasn’t just pretending to be hungry take some of my hard earned money. People wouldn’t do that would they? Just pretend to be starving so that I give them easy money out of pity?
‘Thank you miss.” I think it was genuine, and I wished I had more to give.
I watched him vanish into the street which was now black with shadows. I turned on the heater in my car and was shaking from cold, fear, and some other emotion that I think was like sadness. I was going home to catch up on some homework…but did he have a place to go?