Story Starter: “They met by the love bench . . .”

They met by the love bench near the entrance of the park. Panic overtook her the minute he sat down beside her. Who would know if something bad happened? No one knew she was here. She should have called someone and told them she was meeting up with a stranger. But is he really a stranger. They had been texting for months. She felt so comfortable and confident around him online, but now . . . no, not now. He seemed taller, more muscular, and frightening.

“Are you okay?” he finally asks.

Okay? I don’t know. Should I be considered? But her mouth whispers, “Yes, I’m fine.”

He looks around before asking, “Why are we whispering?”

She laughs, “Just checking your hearing.”

He cocks his head and a hint of grin can be seen beneath his twinkling eyes. She knows he doesn’t believe her, but how does she even begin to explain her fear to him, a total stranger. It’s now she realizes the disadvantage of the convenience of “getting to know someone” in the safety and comfort of your own home.

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