They walk closer. I need to make up my mind. Are they dangerous? Should I wait? See who else comes along this track? Go back and turn my walk into an adventure story? No, no… Now, I want to leave the lie of the Saved. I’ll trust these walkers.
I get up and step towards the track.
‘Who are you?’ says the woman in trousers.
I need to say something. I haven’t prepared a speech. They look at my peejays, my hair, my face. Their eyes go up and down.
‘Please,’ I say. ‘I need you to help me.’
I step closer. The woman in the skirt looks me right in the eyes. She has a kind face.
‘Are you lost?’ she asks.
After a second, I say, ‘Yes.’
Without thinking, I step up to her. She opens her arms, I rush to her and we hug. I feel the warmth of her body, I smell her clothes. I’ve been saved.
Sharif Gemie is a happily retired history lecturer who lives in south Wales, United Kingdom. Fourteen of his short stories and two of his flash fictions have been published. His first novel, The Displaced, will be published later in 2022. It’s about a middle-class British couple who volunteer to work with refugees in Germany at the end of the Second World War. The Saved is his second publication in The Quiet Reader.