Written by Omaira Duque and Indra Sayago
Mike always came back home tired, after doing long routes across cities and small towns, all of them separated by isolated long old roads. Mike had to earn enough money in order to sustain his family. He was the only person who covered all the expenses they had. He sold drapery making delivery service, it was a difficult work for him, but he had to do it because his family depended on him. His two children, Peter and Carla, went to school; his wife, Johanna, did the household jobs and took care of her sick mother. Everybody loved Mike, who in spite of working hard always arrived home with a sweet smile. It was a Saturday evening; Mike was on the way home through the lonely road, with his wagon full of drapery, when he saw A man who asked him for a lift. Mike loved helping people, he was a kind man with fellow feelings, so he decided to stop his wagon in order to pick up that man. Mike was thinking about his thoughts, his family, and everything he had to do; being unaware that the man he picked up scarcely had little space to sit down because the wagon was full of drapery. As soon as he reached a stopping place, he decided to drink a coffee because he felt sleepy; so he decided to invite his partner. In fact, Mike was sure that he would accept the invitation. Nevertheless, when Mike turned over his head, he noticed that the man had disappeared. Mike filled with fear, his legs trembled, his heart got jumpy and a terrible cold went through his body. What was that? What was going on? He could not believe it. It was the first time that something strange happened to him. Although, he had a lot of courage, he felt scared. Hence, he decided to go home because the fright he felt did not let him to get off the wagon. By the time Mike arrived home, he could not speak. His wife Johanna was astonished when she looked at him and could see the paleness in his face. The silence covered the house completely. It was heard that barely some dogs barked and the whistling air rising through the window. “What happened to you?” asked Johanna. Mike scarcely could breath and could not pronounce any word. Some hours had elapsed and Mike did not speak yet; until he started to tell his wife what had happened; however, his fear did not let him to leave his home, take up again his job nor get back those lonely roads. Food started to be insufficient at Mike’s home. When he saw this situation, he decided to deliver the drapery he still put into storage. Although he felt frightened, he started to go through the roads again. He was afraid of running into that man to whom he considered as a phantom. When Mike went along that same place, almost at the same moment, he utterly terrified saw again that strange image. He noticed that it was the same face he saw some days ago. He knew he had no escape, because he had to get ahead of him, so he decided to gather up his courage and stopped his wagon without caring whatever could happen. Again, that man asked him for a lift.Mike trembled once more, as if it were that day and his heart seemed to explode. However, he decided to ask that strange man, “What do you want from me?” Therefore, the man felt surprised and replied, “I’m John, the same man who asked you for a lift some evening ago. I just want to know if you could take me to the nearest town, where my wife and .” Mike felt a bit confused; in fact, he did not know what to say. The man continued, “Remember that the former evening I asked you for a lift. Indeed, you stopped but you hastened your wagon very fast that I did not have any time to set myself up.” Mike laughed loud and he could not believe it; he had to suffer many things due to a mistake. Mike apologized to him for having been unobservant and peacefully opened the door. This time Mike made sure of that man sat himself up.After Mike arrived home, he told his wife and children what had happened and everybody laughed out loud.