General Non-Fiction posted July 8, 2017

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An episode that changed my life

Stranger Danger

by Mame

Time has passed but I remember that first day as if it were yesterday.

His eyes met mine and I knew he was attracted to me. I was young then and used to attention. Yet the affair with that married man had left me feeling lonely and vulnerable.

I had made it a habit to go to the beach every day. The wintry emptiness of the usually crowded beach echoed the loss I felt.
The spray hit my face and I licked the salt that had mixed with my tears.

He was sitting on the sand watching me. As I neared the edge of the jetty he edged towards me.
Help! What if he attacks me! I ran home without looking behind me.

Safely back in my cottage I packed for the cruise.
The holiday did indeed turn out to be better than I expected.
The sunshine and gentle rocking of the Ocean Liner calmed me. Lounging in a deck chair, I stared at the blue Mediteranean sea and longed for my own patch of beach at home in Tasmania.

As soon as I got home I headed for the jetty. Help! He was still there. But I looked closer and he seemed lonely too. Thin, almost emaciated, I puzzled his predicament.

As I approached him, he started and sat up. I smiled and held out my hand but he turned away shunning any attempts at friendliness.

It was getting dark as I headed home and I looked behind me. "Stalking me, surely not!"

I quickened my pace but he drew close. "I'll lose him at the next corner."
I raced inside and banged the door tight. I heaved a sigh of relief and put the kettle on.

It must have been almost three hours later when I peered between the curtains. To my horror, there he was, propped up on the old sofa on the verandah.

Should I phone someone? I heard nothing more so I tried to put him out of my mind and exhausted, went to bed and slept soundly.

No! I couldn't believe it! I looked out and he was still there - a damp emaciated lost soul. Compassion overcame my fears.

"Hi", I ventured. I opened the door a fraction but he pushed past me to make himself at home by the kitchen table.

He was ravenous. He ate everything I put in front of him without stopping.
"Well now- looks like we're sharing breakfast. Okay, but you'll have to leave then."

He made no move to depart. The day went on and he sat watching me. Lunch then dinner and he stretched out in front of the television making no sound at all.

"Sort of peaceful," I muttered to myself.
I went to bed and left him in front of the television set.

Dozing off there was a thud, a panting and I couldn't breathe because of the huge weight on top of me.

"No, no. Get off me. Help!"
"Get out of here," I screamed.
Obediently, he disappeared behind the door with his tail wagging after him.

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