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A Stranger’s Kindness

I discovered my passion for writing after I quit my day job. So I began to write fiction stories, self-help books, and articles, blogs, etc.

I sat in bed, my knees curled up against my chest. I couldn’t take it anymore. I found myself wishing for a miracle.

Then my phone rang.

I wondered who it was without looking at the number or caller's name and took the call.

I said, “Hello.”

A male voice responded, which echoed, "Hello. Are you in a fix what to do?"

I said, “Yes, kind of.”

He said, “What is your problem? You can share with me.”

I started to cry quietly.

The voice on the other end said patiently, “Yes, what is it?”

I said, “May I know the caller’s name?”

The caller said, “Didn’t you recognize me, Isabella?”

I said, “That's not my name! Whom are you calling?"

He said, “Does it matter now? I know you are in some problem. You could use my help!”

I said, “Really? Who are you?”

Pic: Emma Talking on Phone to the Stranger

Pic: Emma Talking on Phone to the Stranger

He said, “I am Frank Hale, a lawyer. If you need any kind of help, just tell me.”

I said, “That’s interesting. Where do I start?”

Frank said, “Anywhere- since when are you in this problem?”

I said, “About two weeks.”

He said, “What is your problem about?”

I said, “I lost all my money. I broke up with my boyfriend three days ago. I am unable to pay the rent of my home next month. I don’t know what to do.”

He said, "Are you not working in any job?"

I said, “In fact, I lost my job.”

He said, “And the savings you have spent them all as well?”

I said, ”Yes.”

He said, "I could transform you. But you will have to trust me.”

He further said, “Can I have your name?”

Pic: The Stranger Offering Help to Emma

Pic: The Stranger Offering Help to Emma

I said, “This is Emma Amana.”

He said, “Thank you. I will be glad to help you out.”

I said, “How can you help me? Tell me.”

He said, “If you are willing, we can meet somewhere.”

I said, “Okay, can we meet in the Swiss Bakery in Bailey Road?"

"All right, I will. My office is quite close to there. When would you like to meet?"

“Tomorrow at 3 p.m.”

“Okay, very well.”

A wave of comfort enveloped me. I felt cheered up talking to the stranger. I lay my head on the pillow. A creepy doubt wanted to agonize the back of my mind. But I warded it off. He would help me out. He was no jerk- he said he could transform me. I believed in him. I trusted him.

With that last thought, I fell asleep.

Morning arrived. It was sunny outside. I pulled open the curtains of the dining space and sipped in coffee. I couldn't have felt better in ages.

I piled up all my debts and my credit card. I put them neatly in my handbag.

I made my bed and vacuumed the floor. I started to cook. I cooked rice and then chicken curry. I also made a vegetable curry.

I showered. I opened my wardrobe, undecided on what I should wear for the afternoon. I finally chose a violet blouse and dark jeans. I decided on what makeup I should wear.

And then I went ahead to continue my reading one of my favorite Sidney Sheldon’s novels. When it was 2:30 p.m, and I already had my lunch, I started to get ready to venture outside.

Bailey Road was only two streets away from my home. So, I decided to reach there walking.

The sunshine was good for my body and soul.

At 3 p.m exactly, I entered the Swiss Bakery.

Somebody else made entrance too at about the same time, and I wondered if he was Frank Hale.

He approached me and asked, “Emma Amana?”

When I said yes, he happily introduced himself, “I am Frank Hale.”

He asked, “Can you tell me briefly how you started losing all your money.”

I said, "I lost my job, and so naturally, I was spending all my savings until I had none."

He said, "Oh, I see! As simple as that. There was nobody's manipulation in it, such as your boyfriend?"

I said, “No, I don’t think so.”

He said, "Okay, first of all, I can offer you the job of secretary in my office. I bet you have sound computer knowledge. If you do well, I can make your job permanent or reassign you somewhere else."

“Okay.”

“How much have you plied up in your debts?”

“About $1500 including that on my credit card.”

"Ok, I will pay your monthly salary in advance so that you can handle these. Your monthly salary will be $3000, and you will have to work daily 9-5 on the weekdays.

“Okay.”

“Let’s have something to eat now. We are done with the major part of our talking. What would you like to have?”

“Anything you suggest.”

“Okay, chicken patties, pastry and coke. Will that make you happy?”

“Yes, more than happy.”

“Where’s your family? Did you share your problem with them?”

"My family lives in the urban areas. I didn't want to trouble them with my problem."

“I see.”

“After we are done with eating, are you ready to come over and visit my office?”

“Yes, I would like that.”

“Okay, Emma. I will be glad to show you around my office.”

After about six minutes, we were both outside of the Swiss Bakery.

Frank said, “Come on, hop in my car.”

Emma said happily, “Okay.”

Frank was as good as his word. He drove to his office within five minutes through the empty streets. He parked outside of a tall office building and asked me to come out.

I came out and followed him. He pressed 10 on the elevator button. And soon we reached the 10th floor.

He showed me around in the floor but there wasn’t anybody working right now. As he said, “Most of us are on coffee breaks at this time.”

Frank already did have a secretary. He introduced me to her. “Yes, Emma this is my main secretary, Sophia. You will be my assistant secretary. Sophia, meet Emma.”

We both shook hands.

Frank showed me my working space. And he said, “My assistant secretary left only two days ago. So, I am happy to fill you in her place. I am sure you will enjoy your new job. I will email you all the documents you should be sending me to have your job placed. Leave your email with Sophia.”

While I was telling her my email, Frank went to his office. He then called me in. And I went in.

It was a beautiful pale blue office with a spectacular view from his windows.

I seated myself in one of the blue seats in front of him as he ushered me to do so.

He said, “Take a week to familiarize yourself with this place. There is no real pressure at this time. Ask Sophia whatever you need. You will join next Monday if your documents come through all right.”

He finally asked, “Are you happy, Emma?”

I said, “Everything is happening too fast for me. That is why I am slow to respond.”

He said, “You will be happy here, I am sure.”

I said, “I suppose so.”

I left Frank’s office and took a cab to my apartment.

I checked my emails and found Frank’s email asking me to email some documents to finalize my job. I had all the documents ready in a folder on my laptop and sent them immediately and waited in anticipation.

Finally, in the evening, the much-awaited email showed up in my inbox, confirming my job.

I had saved Frank’s number, and it was him calling me in a few minutes.

“Am I able to settle you in your life?”

“Yes, Frank, I thank you from the core of my heart. But there’s something else.”

“What is it, Emma? You can ask me freely.”

“Financially, I am covered. But how to fill up the space of my boyfriend? I don’t know much about the dating world, Frank.”

“That’s okay. I can restore that area. How about a date with me tomorrow evening at the Great Wall Chinese Restaurant, Emma?”

Pic: Great Wall Chinese Restaurant

Pic: Great Wall Chinese Restaurant

“I am gratified at your kindness. I will be delighted to go on a date with you. By the way, are you single?”

“Yes, Emma. I am looking for women as well.”

“Great to know that, Frank.”

I had another fully asleep night.

Poll Time

© 2021 Rosina S Khan

Comments

Rosina S Khan (author) on January 20, 2021:

Thank you, Lora.

Rosina S Khan (author) on January 20, 2021:

Yes, I did get your comment and also replied to it, Lora.

Lora Hollings on January 20, 2021:

You're so welcome, Rosina.

Lora Hollings on January 20, 2021:

Rosina, I did leave a comment for you. You should have received it. Let me know if you did. Best, Lora.

Rosina S Khan (author) on January 20, 2021:

Yes, I agree with you, Lora. It is totally a fictitious character I am trying to plot and therefore, this outcome. I understand totally I have portrayed Emma as too naive and straightforward. It's Emma herself in a hurry to fix everything in her life without being careful and keeping a few things to herself.

Thank you, Lora, for taking the time out to read and make detailed and insightful comments. I really appreciate it.

Lora Hollings on January 19, 2021:

I think Emma was very fortunate to find someone who was so willing to help her. However, even though this relationship may work out very well for her, there are many who take advantage of a girl like Emma and it could have been dangerous for her to just get in the car with a complete stranger. It seems like Emma may be too naive for her own good. I hope that Frank’s intentions are good but I think that she’s taking too many chances and she should be more careful about opening up to him about her boyfriend situation until she knows him much better. I think your story is quite good but the relationship between Emma and Frank needs to slow down a bit and keep the reader guessing about what may happen in the future. I think she’s too forthright for her own good and she needs to hold somethings back a little.

Rosina S Khan (author) on January 18, 2021:

Come on, Denise, Frank, the lawyer is good at heart and means well for Emma. He gave her a job in the position that was vacant in his office. It was Emma who asked him about how to fill the void of his boyfriend. As Frank was single and looking for women, he decided to go on a date with her to keep her happy for the time being. After that she is free to choose her own soul mate which Frank will not object.

Thank you, Denise, for taking the time to read this story and commenting.

Rosina S Khan (author) on January 18, 2021:

Thank you, Dora for reading and your meaningful comments. Yes, it is a glimpse of what good can happen through the kindness of a stranger even if the happiness is temporary. I fully agree with that.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on January 18, 2021:

This stranger is moving way too fast. I don't trust him.

Blessings,

Denise

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 18, 2021:

Surely lots of good feeling in this story. Perhaps someone down on her luck will find some hope here. Even if the happiness in the story is temporary, it's a glimpse of what can happen.

Rosina S Khan (author) on January 18, 2021:

There are both good and bad people in the world. It was just Emma's good fortune to fall into the hands of a good stranger who restored her life after she had a bad roller coaster ride. I guess you had a different expectation from the story. But I wanted to give Emma good times by taking a whole lot of risks in her life.

Thank you, Peggy, for your valuable and insightful comments. I truly appreciate them.

Rosina S Khan (author) on January 18, 2021:

I also hope Emma's newly attained happiness through the caring stranger continues in her life. Thank you so much, Ankita for reading and I appreciate your comments.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on January 18, 2021:

Emma took risks that could have potentially endangered her life. While it appears that everything is looking rosy, it is almost too good to be true. I was expecting another outcome in your story.

Ankita B on January 18, 2021:

Nice and engaging story, Rosina. I am happy that Emma's wishes came true, all because of a caring stranger. I hope this happiness continues in her life.

Rosina S Khan (author) on January 18, 2021:

No, it is a pure coincidence. Frank didn't know Emma before the phone call nor did Emma know Frank. He is a true gentleman, lawyer by profession. He doesn't mean any harm and only wants to help her out and let her be happy. Yes, she gone through enough bad times.

Thank you, Brenda for reading and your insightful comments.

Rosina S Khan (author) on January 18, 2021:

I like your sentiment, Manatita. To tell the truth, my family is so strict from my childhood that I myself would never dare such a thing. But I let my imagination run wild and therefore, came up with this story. Emma is in good hands though but she has taken a lot of risks.

Thank you so much for reading. Your comments are highly appreciated.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on January 18, 2021:

Rosina,

It is great that she found a job from someone calling the wrong number. Co-incidence or a plan?

I worry she is a bit too trusting.

I hope this guy is a true gentleman. She has been devastated enough.

Nice story.

manatita44 from london on January 18, 2021:

Frankly, I would be very worried if my daughter, indeed anyone I knew, exhibited that kind of naivete. Just scary, I'd say. It was an engaging piece, from a writing standpoint, but not one I'd recommend to women. Salaam!

Rosina S Khan (author) on January 18, 2021:

Yes, you are right, Bill. The pandemic season has made many financially unstable and Emma is one of them. Frank is a miracle, for sure and I do not believe he has sinister motives. He wants her to be happy. Thank you, Bill, for your generous and insightful comments.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 18, 2021:

This is a story which very much applies to the pandemic year, so many people suddenly in terrible financial condition. Frank is a miracle, for sure. I hope he doesn't have sinister motives.

Rosina S Khan (author) on January 18, 2021:

I know, Chitrangada but I tried to make it easygoing for Emma as she has been through a terrible experience. Good times follow bad times and joy and sorrow come by turns. The ending of the story is left to the imagination of the reader. Thank you for reading, and I appreciate your comments.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on January 18, 2021:

A feel good story, Rosina!

Sounds good for Emma, and may be both will take the relationship further, or so it seems.

Thank you for sharing!

Rosina S Khan (author) on January 18, 2021:

Hopefully, it will work out as the stranger has been as good as his word so far. I just tried to make it okay for my heroine but I myself in reality would have never proceeded that way. Just trying with my imagination haha. I am glad you are leery. I appreciate your comments, Fran.

fran rooks from Toledo, Ohio on January 18, 2021:

Rosina, I would have been skeptical to go with a stranger. I hope it all works out, but I am leery.

Rosina S Khan (author) on January 18, 2021:

Thank you, Pamela, for calling it a good story. The lawyer called a wrong number by mistake, which reached Emma and that is how the story starts. But there is no second part. I hope you enjoyed this story. Thank you for your comments.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on January 18, 2021:

This is a very good story, Rosina. It does feel like she is moving too fast to me, even though her immediate problems are solved. How did that lawyer know to call her? I hope there is a part two also.

Rosina S Khan (author) on January 18, 2021:

Like you say, Liz, whatever the final outcome, so far it is an uplifting and encouraging plot. Exactly that is what it was meant to be. Thank you for your wise comments.

Liz Westwood from UK on January 18, 2021:

This is a real happy ever after storyline, or will it turn out that way after all? Whatever the final outcome, this is an uplifting and encouraging plot so far.

Rosina S Khan (author) on January 18, 2021:

Thanks, John, for being the first to comment. There is no second part. After a bad roller coaster ride, Emma had a stroke of good fortune, and the stranger turned out to be too good to be true. Thank you for reading and your valuable comments.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on January 18, 2021:

Good story, Rosina, but it all feels too good to be true. I hope there is a second part.