Friday, January 20, 2012

Stranger in a Gas Station

Years ago, my parents, sister and I were on our way to Virginia for my aunt's wedding. We got off the highway in some semi-rural town and stopped at a gas station. I saw a man with dark hair and a very distinct face wearing a ratty tee-shirt and blue jeans get out of a pick-up truck and begin pumping gas. There was a tear in the shoulder of the tee-shirt, which was a washed out pale green color.

Soon we left the gas station and about 20 minutes later pulled into a convenience store parking lot. (I think we were lost). As we were waiting for my dad to come out of the store, I saw the same man from the gas station. He was leaning on a car, a blue car, not the pick-up truck he had at the gas station. His hair ruffled in the wind, and he seemed like he wasn't really on his way to anywhere. I quickly looked for the tear in his shirt to make sure it was really him, and there it was. Just as we pulled away, he turned and looked right at me.

I saw him for the third and last time at an intersection down the road. He was at the corner to our right in the pick-up again, driving. He pulled away from the four-way stop without a sideways glance. By this time I was a little freaked out. I never saw him again.

Who was he? Was it really the same guy? Was he real? I will admit I had a very active imagination as a kid, but I have to believe that I wasn't making things up. I am a very visual person and remember almost every picture I've ever seen. I'm very good with faces. I had forgotten all about this stranger in a gas station until I read a story that triggered the memory. Could he have been a figment of my imagination? Was he a criminal, or was he a guardian angel of some sort? Who knows. Maybe I'm just crazy.

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