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It's no wonder Hannah was so surprised. Without his long brown beard, and the dirty smell she had grown so accustomed to, Daniel looked nothing like the streetlight panhandler she had pitied every day for five months. She observed, however, that the expression in his eyes and his reaction to her remained unchanged. His aversion to her eyes was making it very difficult to communicate. "I feel like an internet connection," she laughed outloud, knowing Daniel could not see her. "We're always communicating at an unknown rate!" Hannah shook her head, "I know-- lame joke," she muttered, but smiling nonetheless.

Suddenly, Hannah remembered the time, and looked at her watch. It was a little after eleven.

"Come on, Daniel," she said, taking him by the arm. She helped him outside to the car, and opened the door to the backseat, motioning for him to get in. Daniel carefully did as he was told. He soon made use of the pillow and blanket she had placed there. Next, Hannah returned to her apartment and locked the door. Then, she went next door to Mrs. Weinberg's apartment and said goodbye. Daniel waited in the car, feeling very much like a dependent, helpless baby. It was near the truth, however, for he was still very weak. When Hannah returned, she started the car and followed Jenny's advice by staying on the main highway.

While Daniel slept in the back seat, Hannah tried to imagine what her parents' reaction would be when they saw her passenger. She knew she had to tell them the truth, but how was she to go about it, without frightening her parents? The closer they came to her home, the more uncomfortable Hannah became.

"At least he cleaned up nicely," she consoled herself. Her parents would not have to see Daniel looking like the streetlight panhandler. As she drove, Hannah tried to imagine the questions that would undoubtedly follow her unexpected arrival. "Please, God," she prayed, "HELP!"

"The heart of the righteous studieth to answer."
~ Proverbs 15:28 ~

end of chapter
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