There is no way I am ever going back. I have to get as far away from here as possible.
The girl was running through the rain. Her long sleeve shirt was sticking to her as she ran but she didn’t care. She had no idea where she was going. She ran blindly through the downtown streets as the rain pounded harder.
I wonder if he has noticed I am gone yet? He is going to be looking for me soon. I have got to get out of here as soon as possible. That jerk.
That was the last thought she had before she heard the honking horn and the screeching of tires. She looked to her left and saw headlights heading straight for her.
“NO”, she screamed putting her arms up to her face.
All of a sudden she felt strong arms wrap around her waist and pull her to safety.
“You all right?”
Watching as the car kept going, she was too shaky to turn around to see who it was that had just saved her life. The person turned her around to face him. He saw the look on her face. She looked like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car. Her face was streaked with water. He didn’t know if it was from tears or the rain
“Miss, I asked are you all right?” he said again.
She broke down in tears and buried her head in his shoulder. “Thank you sir. You saved my life,” she said.
Her voice was muffled as she spoke. His heart went out to her so he wrapped his arms around her and held on as she cried.
He hugged her a little tighter and she gasped and backed away from him. “I thank you kindly sir, but I need to be going,” she said as she turned to walk away.
He stood there. Confused by her reaction. He started after her. “Wait a minute. I save your life and you just walk away. I don’t even get a name,” he said.
She stopped and turned to face him. His dark eyes were piercing right through to her soul. She opened her mouth to speak but no words came out. The rain was pouring around both them. She noticed how his wet t-shirt clung to his muscles. She saw how big his arms are. The arms that were just around her. She looked up at his face. His hair was sticking to his cheeks making it look like he had on a pair of black rimmed glasses and she let out a little giggle.
“What?” he asked.
She reached up and moved the hair back. “My name is Alyson Hart,” she said.
“Now was that so hard. I’m Matt Wallace,” he said looking around. “Come on. We need to get out of this rain. We are going to catch a cold standing out here like a couple of idiots.”
He took her hand and they ran across the road to a cafe.
Inside the waitress behind the counter looked at them, “Oh dear,” she said running up to them. “You poor dears. Getting caught out in this weather. Come on, sit down at the counter. Let me get you some towels." She ran to the back and returned with two towels. She handed each of them one.
“Thank you ma’am,” Alyson said as she wiped some of the water off of her.
“Here now. Have some coffee. On me,” she said pouring the coffee in the mugs she had sat down for them.
“Thanks Aunt Nancy,” Matt told the waitress.
Alyson looked at Matt then back at the waitress seeing the resemblance.
Alyson took the mug the lady handed her and felt the warm liquid slide down to her stomach as she sipped her coffee.
“Feeling better hun?” the elderly waitress asked.
“Yes, much. Thank you,” she said.
“You’re welcome,” Nancy told her.
Matt got up and said,“Let’s sit over there.”
Alyson looked in the direction he was pointing. It was to a booth in the back of the cafe. What do I have to lose she thought. I mean he did just save my life.
She got off her stool and walked to the booth and sat down. He slid into the seat across from her. She looked at him over her coffee cup. He was staring at her.
“What?” she asked putting her cup down on the table.
“I am waiting for you to tell me why you were walking in the middle of the street in a storm like that out there?” he asked.
All of the events that happened earlier came flooding back to her. She shuddered.
“Are you alright? Is it too cold in here for you?” Matt asked.
She was shocked by his genuine care for her. “No. No. It is just fine. I was....” she stopped and looked at his eyes. She felt the tears stinging in her own eyes. Stop it. Just tell him you’re lost. “I. Uh. My car broke down a few miles from here and you see I was walking to find someone to help me,” she said taking another sip of coffee.
His eyebrow arched.
Oh no. He isn’t buying this.
“Really?” he asked.
She couldn’t look back up at him. She couldn’t bare to see his eyes. She shook her head yes. “Why do you care anyway? I am just a stranger. Someone who was just going to move through town. I don’t even matter,” she said.
After sitting there for a moment in silence she finally looked at him. She saw his eyes and the hurt she had caused him.
He leaned towards her. “That is not true. You matter. Besides, I care because you looked like you were in so much pain. Like something or someone had hurt you. To me it seemed like you were running from someone,” he said.
Her eyes widened. “You know?” she asked him.
“No. That is why I am trying to get you to tell me the truth. So I can somehow help,” he said.
“So you didn’t buy the car story?” she asked.
He shook his head no.
“You are one of those people that lets nothing go until you have fixed it, aren’t you?” she said looking at him.
He smiled. “It’s not my fault. It’s in my nature,” he said drinking his coffee.
She felt safe with him. Something she has not felt for a long time. She looked down at her coffee mug. The brown mug was empty. “Do you think I can get a refill?” she asked him.
He took her cup. “Sure. Besides I need one myself. I’ll be back.” He walked over to the counter for the refills.
Alyson looked nervously around the cafe. From where she was sitting she could see everything. Including the door. So she could see if anyone was to come in without being surprised. She slid over a little more towards the wall.
Matt was walking back towards the table with the coffee. He sat down. “So tell me where you are from? Since you said you were a stranger and all,” he said.
Alyson sipped her coffee. This time it was too warm. She put her cup down.
“Well, I am from Florida,” she said trying not to volunteer too much information.
“Really? What part? I have friends that live in Florida,” he said.
“Um. Ft. Lauderdale,” she said.
“Nope. My friends live in Tampa,” he said. “Ft. Lauderdale? That’s like around Miami right?”
“Yeah something like that,” she added.
“That is kind of far from Boone, North Carolina. How did you get here?” he asked as his curiosity grew stronger.
“By car," she said.
“Would this happen to be the one that supposedly broke down a few miles from here?”
She looked around trying to think of another topic to talk about. Coming up blank she said, “Kind of.”
She had this strong feeling that she should tell him the truth. But what would happen after that. She didn’t have time to think of the consequences. The words were already coming out of her mouth.
“Well, see what happened was before you saved my life I was running from my...”
The cafe door opened. In walked a lady. It startled Alyson. She was so frightened that she turned over her coffee on Matt. “I’m so sorry!”
Matt quickly grabbed the towel and thanked his lucky stars the coffee had cooled down. “Don’t worry about this,” he said.
The lady kept walking closer to Alyson and Matt.
“Hey honey, what happened?” The lady asked as she glared at Matt.
“Oh hi,” Matt said as his face grew bright red.
“Well, aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend?” The lady asked.
“Oh, yes!" He looked from Alyson to Krystal. "Krystal, this is my friend Alyson. Alyson this is my friend, I mean fiancee, Krystal.”
Alyson almost fell out of the booth. “Oh, hi Krystal, it is nice to meet you,” she replied. “Well, Matt, I must be going now,” she said getting up to leave.
“Wait Alyson, don’t go yet, you have not finished telling me your story,” Matt said.
“Oh that’s alright, you look like you are busy,” Alyson said as neared the door. She didn't want to waste anymore time here. She needed to be going.
“Where are you going to go, how will you get there, do you need anything from me?” Matt said frantically.
“No thank you. But thanks again for all of your help and tell your aunt I said thank you.”
Alyson looked outside the door, her hand on the handle. It's time to start running again. In the time I have been sitting here has he found out I have left? Where can I turn to for help?