The Stranger

How far would you go for a stranger, emotionally?

Alex had always loved a cold shower after a long exhausting day. He put on a red tee shirt and a pair of shorts after shower. After fifteen minutes, he waved goodbye to the security guard patrolling the community centre and walked back to his home. It was almost like a routine for Alex. He spent every Wednesdays and Fridays at the community hall, coaching the children and teenagers basketball games. During weekends, the energetic young bloke would catch up with his friends either going for barbecue in the park or driving out of the town to fish some fish. Apart from basketball, fishing is Alex’s other favourite pastime. He always loved the quiet, peaceful and tranquil country life. He could sit under a tree and wait for a catch for the entire day. He often went fishing with his mates from high school. The joy of fishing to Alex was definitely some quiet and peaceful time for himself, drinking some beers with his mates and cooking the catch after the day. In fact, his life had not had much change ever since he graduated. It had always been all work on weekdays, basketball coaching on Wednesdays and Fridays afternoon, fishing with mates on Saturdays, going to the church on Sunday mornings and nap time during Sunday afternoons. Alex also had never pondered about a change in his routines as he was contented and satisfied with his current lifestyle.

Suddenly it started to pour on Alex’s way home. “Oh man! Seriously of all the time now it decides to pour?” he grumbled as he tried to reach his hoodie inside his backpack. The rain began to become even more torrential. The strong wind made it even more difficult for him to walk in the rain. Then off a sudden, a bright white thunder flashed in front of his eyes and at that very instant, he felt as if he was blinded by the thunder and the next thing he knew, he heard a tree fell and a loud crash sound followed.

Fortunately there were still some road lights that allowed Alex to look around his surroundings. He instantly caught sight of a car being crashed by the tree. He immediately ran across the street and found a young driver was trapped inside. She was conscious but in a complete state of shock. The lady left the window opened. It was only about 3 inches wide and Alex was trying very hard to reach for the locker. After a few minutes, he failed to unlock the door so he had decided to break the window from the other side. He found a brick by the roadside, grabbed it and smashed the car window and tried to help her out. In the dark, Alex tried to unbuckle her belt and that was when he realised that her forehead was bleeding. Panicked, he immediately evacuated her from the car and called the ambulance.

Having some basic knowledge of first aid, he checked for her heart impulse and breathing. She was still too shocked to speak and he tried to control her bleeding. Under pressure and he could not find anything but his own clothes, Alex took off his hoodie and pressed it firmly on her forehead to control the bleeding. It was a small town but then it was not that remote that the ambulance and the paramedics would take a long time to reach that. Nevertheless, Alex was never that impatient before. He kept on shouting at the young lady to ask her to stay strong and hold on while help was on the way. Under the dark, the young lady appeared to be a stranger as he had never seen her before. She had long brunette hair and wore a pink dress that went well with her white blazer. Shocked and scared, the victim had fainted and he was just in time to grab hold of her.

Feeling helpless and hopeless, all Alex could do then was to scream for help and pray the ambulance would arrive. It was pouring cats and dogs with loud thunderstorm making his coarse voice unheard.

“Hold on! Help is on its way,” he yelled at her over and over again. Occasionally she opened her eyes but the eye lids fell after two or three seconds. Somehow, her green eyes that complemented her brunette hair captured his heart. For one split second, Alex thought that he had fallen in love with a stranger although she was bleeding and semiconscious in his arms. Deep inside his heart, he thought she was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. However, he shook that off his mind and told himself he needs to save this stranger immediately.

Ten minutes later, the ambulance had arrived. The paramedics had helped her onto the stretcher and lifted her into the ambulance and also helped Alex into the ambulance. One of the paramedics handed Alex a towel for the others were trying to perform first aid to rescue her. Alex had never felt so anxious and scared in his life before. He looked at her and he did not realise he was grabbing her hand in his and said, “Hang on there! You’ll make it!” And those magical words somehow made her compelled her eyes opened and in a weak voice she replied, “I will.” For the whole journey, Alex held her right hand firmly and never let it go. At that moment, he also did not feel like letting her hand off until they arrived at the hospital and the medical teams had to push her to the emergency room. He stared at her from a distance helplessly and a drop of tear fell off from his eye and hit the ground, for the first time.

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