As she drew closer to her destination, the car once audible from several yards behind, pulled up alongside her. Nic avoided eye contact until she heard the voice of a young man.
“Hey, why’d you leave without telling anyone?”
It was one of the guys from Aman’s party.
“I know Aman can be a lot, but it’s way too dark out here for you to be walking alone. Let me give you a ride,” he said in an elevated voice from his car as he maintained Nic’s pace.
“Oh, it’s no problem. I’m just going to the gas station right up the street, I’m pretty much as good as there,” Nic replied smiling, slightly perturbed that he had been following her.
“Come on, dude. Anything can happen out here at any moment. It wouldn’t take any time to snatch you off the streets in a place this dark in half a mile. Please, let me help you out. My name is Fred by the way.”
Nic didn’t know a lot about Fred, but from what she learned at Aman’s party, he was an artist — albeit an unsuccessful one. He’d been bartending at a nearby family restaurant and selling his art on the weekends with very few takers — maybe getting one fruitless inquiry twice a year. He seemed to be a nice enough guy, and although unremarkable in his appearance, there was something very inviting about his countenance. Maybe it was how quiet he’d been in comparison to Aman’s more ostentatious personality. Nic figured maybe taking a ride with him the rest of the way wasn’t such a bad idea. After all, it was dark, and she managed to survive her Aman encounter, Fred couldn’t be any worse than that.