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The Stranger

The Stranger


Description : The Stranger
The stranger didn’t shatter Adam’s world all at once.

That was what Adam Price would tell himself later, but that was a lie. Adam somehow knew right away, right from the very first sentence, that the life he had known as a content suburban married father of two was forever gone. It was a simple sentence on the face of it, but there was something in the tone, something knowing and even caring, that let Adam know that nothing would ever be the same.

“You didn’t have to stay with her,” the stranger said.

They were in the American Legion Hall in Cedarfield, New Jersey. Cedarfield was a town loaded up with wealthy hedge fund managers and bankers and other financial masters-of-the-universe types. They liked to drink beer in the American Legion Hall because it wasfortable slumming, a way to pretend that they were salt-of-the-earth good ol’ boys, like something in a Dodge Rammercial, when they were anything but.

Adam stood by the sticky bar. There was a dartboard behind him. Neon signs advertised Miller Lite, but Adam had a bottle of Budweiser in his right hand. He turned to the man, who had just sidled up to him, and even though Adam already knew the answer, he asked the man, “Are you talking to me?”

The guy was younger than most of the fathers, thinner, almost gaunt, with big, piercing blue eyes. His arms were white and reedy with a hint of a tattoo showing beneath one of the short sleeves. He was wearing a baseball cap. He wasn’t quite a hipster, but there was something of a wonk attitudeing off him, like some guy who ran a tech department and never saw the sun.

The piercing blue eyes held Adam’s with an earnestness that made him want to turn away. “She told you she was pregnant, right?”

Adam felt his grip on the bottle tighten.

“That’s...
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