The Life and Death of a Total Stranger

Sarah Spencer looks up to see the boy's rifle is now aimed at her. Across from her in the booth, Gabby is lying face down in a pool of blood and coffee. As the gunman's finger slowly tighten around the trigger, Sarah is absolutely certain that she is about to die. There is a crack of gunfire and Sarah is thrown hard against the back of the booth.

Faintly aware of the silence that follows, Sarah eventually opens her eyes. She sees that several students have wrestled the gunman to the ground. She hears several other victims pleading for help. Gabby is among them. Sarah becomes aware of a warm stickiness oozing out between her fingers. She looks down at her wound. The blood is not her own.

Lying across her lap is a young man who at the last possible instant, stepped in front of Sarah and took the bullet meant for her. He now lies dieing in her arms and to Sarah he is a total stranger.

Sarah is a fourth year philosophy major. A thinker and a seeker of knowledge, she has always chosen to live in her head and rarely reveals or expresses any emotion.

She is now obsessed with needing to understand why a total stranger would sacrifice his life to save hers. As she seeks to find some kind of logic to his actions, the stranger becomes more and more of an anomaly. Everyone Sarah talks to has a varying and contradictory interpretation of who he was. His father, mother, roommate, girlfriend and teacher each impart to Sarah a very different perspective on who he was and why he did what he did. Sarah is eventually forced to accept that some answers are not found through reason and intellect alone.

The journey Sarah embarks on takes her into the unfamiliar world of emotional turmoil. It is an awakening that will challenge her basic core beliefs and very nearly destroy her.

For the only thing that Sarah Jane Spencer knows for sure is that consciously or unconsciously, a young man gave up his life to save a woman he had never met.

Why he did so is Sarah's journey and the answer will either be her eventual redemption or her ultimate damnation.