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I managed to vault for the ditch just as the truck's driver spotted me. To his credit, he gave it all he had in an effort to avoid hitting me. Unfortunately, this landed his vehicle in the opposite ditch.
It took us both a minute to come to terms with our situation. By this point, I was sweating like crazy. I watched as the man in the truck got out and looked around, as if in a daze.
"Are you all right?" he asked as he crossed the road to my ditch.
"I'm fine. Sorry about the near miss. It doesn't look as if anything's hurt, though." I glanced at the black monstrosity he drove. Not that uncommon for this part of Texas.
He ignored my observation. "Did you have car trouble down the road?" I could almost feel him fighting the urge to look me over. My face was shiny with sweat, and he was staring at my hair. My hand went up to it automatically. For the life of me, I couldn't remember if I'd brushed it today or not. Or for that matter, this week.
"I'm fine. Thank you for stopping." I turned to continue going wherever I was going before the run-in, and he stopped me.
"Wait! Can I take you somewhere?" He looked around the slightly deserted area in confusion. "Do you live around here?"
Now there was the sixty-five-dollar-question I'd been avoiding since I'd arrived in Down two weeks earlier.
"Um, sort of." I could tell my answer only served to pique his curiosity. Maybe he was imagining me as the neighborhood burglar, or the town's only homeless woman.
He reached for his wallet before awkwardly asking, "Do you need some money?"