Eye Contact

February 4, 2008
By Cassie Pate, Shoreline, WA

How many people do you make eye contact with everyday? How many people do you look at, nod if you are feeling friendly, or turn away from if your not? These were the questions being asked of Cassie Pate as she sat in her Ninth Grade English class. The assignment was to take a neighbor, or someone you don’t know very well ad learn a little more about their life, then write a little article about your interview. While other people were groaning at the fact that one of their teachers was giving them a big assignment for over the break. Cassie was eager to start her assignment.

Every morning when she walked to the bus stop there was an old manin his green jogging suit. They had a little routine going on, that when they passed they would always stop and say good morning and greet each other kindly, and that is what they did. Cassie knew that this was the person she wanted to do her report on. The next morning she left a little bit early for the bus stop. When the old man ran past her she stopped him and asked him if he would like to come over to her house and have dinner with her family and then asked if after dinner she could interview him. Although feeling a little cautious he agreed and she they planned to have dinner at her house on the fifteenth of January.

The date approached quickly and Cassie got her questions and her household together for her guest, after a pleasant meal of spinach lasagna they sat down on the couch and Cassie proceeded to ask the old man a few questions. As silly as it may sound Cassie had not found out the old man’s name yet so this was her first question. There was no pause before his confident answer or Joseph Gemini Howard. After this question proceeded a long list of questions that opened up a number of other topics and interesting things that Cassie had never before known about Joseph. Like the fact that he had moved around a lot of times in his life and had been almost everywhere in the world, she also found out that he had been married twice but both had died and that he had 9 children and 25 grand children. To whom he loved and talked to often.

Cassie found that her and the old man clicked amazingly well considering their age differences. So they were surprised when they looked up at the clock and found that it was already 9:05 and that Joseph really must be leaving for he had to wake up and go jogging tomorrow morning just like always. So Cassie said goodnight and sincerely thanked him for staying and talking to her for so long. Joseph slowly walked back to his house thinking about the events that had passed that day and the words he had spoken to Cassie, she really was a sweet girl and, he hadn’t enjoyed talking to someone like that for a long time, maybe he would invite her over to his house sometime for a meal, that would be nice, he thought, that would be nice.

Cassie ran away from the man’s house as fast as she could as she called the police. “There’s a man after me she hurriedly spoke into the phone and he has a knife and he is threatening to kill me.” She looked back, the old man was still far behind, she still had some time. She made the final sprint to her house and locked all the doors. She felt safer now, there was no way the man could get in and the police would be here in just a few minutes.

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