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March 26, 2019

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The dark stranger who was not so strange

IN the dark, Emma is walking home alone. The light at her home is still broken and it is close to the due day of her final essay, that’s why she comes back from the library so late.

“Another person is missing?”

“It is already the third this month!!” The discussion of Emma’s classmates is wandering in her mind, she wraps up her coat tight. To be honest, Emma is pretty charming, big eyes, brown hair and long legs. If she had more confidence, she could have won a lot of respect from her schoolmates. While she is thinking, she walks faster and faster. These days, Emma sometimes feels a pair of eyes staring at her in the darkness, and feels very scared. Tonight, the eyes appear again.

She has tried to run away from this pair of eyes, two days ago, when she was walking back home, as usual, the weird person was following. She felt very uncomfortable and wanted to cry out. She turned around, but didn’t see anyone. She faced the dark and yelled, “Who are you? What is your purpose?” No response. The she had an idea; why not follow him back?

“Emma, can you describe the man that follows you for us? It might help the other students.” Emma is at a meeting of the student union, not only because she has been followed, but to see Edward, the leader of the union. She feels happy just by looking at Ed. In her eyes, he is an idol. He is perfect in every area. His appearance, his ability, his voice, everything. Everything about him catches Emma’s heart. She doesn’t have the courage to go to him and express her opinion. She doesn’t think she is a good match for him.

After the meeting, Emma is on her way back home.

“Are you going home?” Emma turns around, it’s Edward. Emma feels very strong heartbeat in her body.

“Yes, I live on Third Street, not so far.”

“Really? I live there too.” Edward looks at her. She is happy to hear that.

She suggests quietly, “Can we go together?”

While they are walking, a phone ring breaks the silence. “Yes? What? He is arrested. Nice!!” Edward puts down the phone, he grabs Emma’s shoulders and says, “That man is caught, we don’t have to worry now!”

That night Emma sleeps very well because of this unexpected encounter with Edward.

The next night, everyone thinks the problem is solved. Emma stays in the library until midnight, when she is walking home, she still feels someone is looking at her.

Emma decides to take action. Right after she enters her apartment, she grabs a flashlight and a knife. She hides behind a wall and turns off all the lights in her room. She sneaks out and looks at the direction where the man is. She walks slowly, closer and closer. Due to her curiosity, Emma just wants to see the clear face of the man. She walks closer to him without looking down at her feet. Unfortunately, she steps on a stick and it makes a loud noise. The man notices that and runs away.

The next day, Emma feels so regretful about what she did last night. The whole day, she is distracted by this stranger, she can’t focus on her class. She has thought about it and she thinks this time she will definitely catch him.

The next day, she tells her best friend Lucy what has happened. When Lucy hears about it, she is suspicious. Why is there still someone following Emma? This is very suspicious but on the other hand so ridiculous. “Oh my god! That’s horrible. What do you think about it? What can I do for you?” Emma tells Lucy to meet her in the student center after lunch.

At one o’clock, in the student center, Emma puts on her glasses and opens her notebook. “So tonight, your job is to pretend to be me. You will leave the library at midnight. And I will leave campus later, behind you. You just keep walking. When you are ready, give me a signal, like a clap or snap of finger. You will turn around and try to catch him. When he turns around, I will be right in his face.” Lucy says, “Nice plan, I will see you tonight.”

That night is chilly, a bit cold. Trees are almost bald, leaves are all over the ground. The cloud is heavy, the moon is covered. It’s very dark. Lucy shows up at the library in the evening, dressed up like a nerd, a pair of jeans and a big coat, also with a hat so the stranger can’t recognize her easily. Emma is there long time ago, she is happy to see Lucy in the right clothes, “Perfect Lucy, this is what I was thinking about. Looks like you are prepared, I think we should get ready for it now.”

In the next half an hour, Lucy waits in the library for an order. Later, Emma sends Lucy a text, “Start the mission.” Lucy leaves the library and starts to walk. In her mind she still thinks it might be Emma’s imagination. The road is a little bit wet because this morning, it rained. The water on the ground reflects the building upside down. However, while Lucy is walking, she sees a black shadow appears in the water behind her. A blow of wind runs through the street, leaves get blown up. Lucy’s body is shaking, she feels like something is stopping her from looking back.

It is him, Emma is not lying, it is the stranger. I am not prepared for this, he is following me. Lucy’s back is cold and drenched. A drop of cold sweat slowly slides down her forehead and reaches her temple. Lucy can’t feel her shaky leg, she stays there, unmoved. A sound is calling her in the mind, “Now, do it. Now!” Lucy needs a risk, she needs to try something to get out of this situation. She wants to give Emma a signal, but she is too nervous so that she can’t control her hands or say a word. Emma is right after the man, she already can’t wait to finish this mission and unmask the man’s face. She has been waiting for this moment for too long. This time the man doesn’t turn around, he stands there. Then, surprisingly, he takes off his hoodie. Emma sees his face, it is Edward. Why is he here, why is he following her? What has he done? Why? Why? Why? So many questions hit Emma’s brain at once. Edward takes a deep breath, yells, “Emma! After this month, I feel how important you are for me! How much I worried about you! I have never experienced things like that before. These days are not easy for me, but I am happy with that because I like you. To me you are perfect. Can you be my girlfriend?”

Lucy turns around, shows a shock on her face. She doesn’t know what to say. Edward looks up and when he sees she isn’t Emma, his heart suddenly freezes, he feels like he has used all of his braveness in his life. He can’t believe he has done such a stupid thing. Edward is very upset, walks on the street dispiritedly and thinking, why? What have I done? Why would I do this? How stupid I am!!

When Edward arrives at the front door of his home, he finds someone standing over there. It’s Emma! He can’t believe his eyes. Emma runs to him, but Edward doesn’t know what to do, he doesn’t feel able to say it all over again. “Don’t you have anything to tell me?” Emma asks. “I ..., I ... I don’t know.” Edward answers. “So it was you that followed me in the past month, right?” Edward says, “Yes …”

“Why?”

“I didn’t mean to follow you and scare you. I was worried if you walk back home by yourself, would that be too dangerous.”

Emma pauses for a while and smiles, “Can I be your girlfriend?”




 

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