I felt like writing a little short-story today for your reading pleasure. We can be too trusting of people, especially people we don't know. Life happens! Be careful and follow your first thought. That gut feeling is our protection. Don't ignore it.
I didn't provide many details about the characters in the story because I wanted the message to be the focal point of the story. With my daughter going off to college, this story was inspired by that.
“Jenni in the City”
Jenni looked around. She pulled her scarf closer to her neck trying to fight the harsh New York weather. She was a country girl not accustomed to the snow and other inconveniences that came along with it. Although winter in the city was beautiful, after a few days of slipping and sliding on the slick sidewalks, Jenni was over it. Her gut told her to stay in tonight, but she was lonely. She wanted to be around people. Missing her family and friends got the best of her on nights like this.
“Hello, gorgeous.” Jenni remembered the stranger saying to her as she ordered a drink from the crowded bar. She’d heard some locals talking about the place during lunch, and decided she would check it out. It was amazing. Jenni came to that conclusion after taking two steps inside the place. “I can get use to this,” she whispered to herself.
The guy at the bar was cute in a rugged kind of way like Christian Slater. His eyes looked dishonest, so she smiled without maintaining too much eye contact. She waited for her apple martini then politely excused herself from his gravitational pull. Being near him didn’t feel right. There was just something about him that Jenni couldn’t put her finger on, but deep down; she knew he was not the type of person she could trust.
After a few drinks, Jenni began to unwind. The same guy didn’t seem so bad anymore. In fact, she found him to be quite charming. He made her laugh. She leaned into him, softly touching his chest. She flirted without realizing she was flirting. She blushed without realizing she was blushing. They danced, talked, and had a fun time. Jenni didn’t feel so lonely being away from home.
As the night went on and the two got better acquainted, Jenni’s head started to feel dizzy. She knew she should stop drinking and go home, but didn’t want to. She was having the time of her young life. Fighting hard to stay alert, Jenni knew things weren’t getting any better for her sudden condition. She told the guy she had to leave, apologizing for interrupting their night. Thinking back on it now, he hadn’t seemed surprised.
Jenni focused to keep from falling in the dirty snow. Her stomach felt nauseous. What was happening to her? Moving along the sidewalk, Jenni held her cell phone in her gloved left hand inside her coat pocket. Her dad taught her the gesture in case she needed to make an emergency call without anyone knowing. She missed her family. Being so far away from home was hard. Jenni knew in order to follow her dream of becoming a fashion designer New York was the place to be.
Footsteps behind her caught her attention. Only one more block she told herself mentally. One more block and she would be home. Jenni moved swiftly. She peered over her shoulder and saw the dark figure approaching her. She didn’t want to panic, but she also didn’t want to become the headline of the ten o’clock news.
Jenni moved faster. Almost there she kept telling herself. As she reached the front of her apartment building, she felt someone tug her from behind. She fought as best she could, but it was too late. Her attacker overpowered her in her dazed state. The streets were dark and empty. No one heard her cry for help as she was pulled to the dark colored van waiting in the alley.
“Never trust a stranger to buy you a drink,” was the last thing Jenni heard before she fell into complete darkness. No one would ever see her beautiful face again. No one would ever see the young girl from the county who came to the city to pursue her dream.
Until next time, Be inspired, Be encouraged, & BE YOU!