A short story about a chance encounter between a young man and and a girl, joined together by the death of the girl’s mother. A chance encounter that leads them to discover something that had been lost and with the discovery a chance for new beginnings in life.
The Night He Walked Her Home
The crash of breaking dishes and the harsh voice of his mother’s jealousy drove him out of the house into the cool autumn night.
He pulled on his jacket and headed east along the side of the road, turned right a block away from his house and headed south on the curved sidewalk he had walked and ridden his bicycle on a thousand times while growing up.
He felt a cool northern breeze against the back of his neck. He pulled his collar up, thankful that he brought his jacket. The smell of burning leaves was a sure sign that winter was on its way.
He looked up at the pin points of light against the blue, black sky. It was a perfectly clear autumn night. A three quarter moon lit his way toward the big curve at the bottom of the inclined sidewalk.
She walked on the same sidewalk approaching the big curve in the opposite direction her head down, arms wrapped around herself huddled against the cool autumn air feeling alone, overwhelmed with grief, perplexed and fearful about a future without her mother.
A hedge wrapped around the bottom of the curve separated them from sight. He didn’t see her coming until it was too late. They looked up at the same time they collided.
“Oh, jeez … I’m sorry,” he said, embarrassed. Then, “ Oh hi,” when he realized who she was.
She mumbled something. He saw a quick smile pass over her face. She looked down for a moment then back up at him.