short story

Once upon a time there was a young woman who was beautiful, but very shy.  She lived in a small house outside of a very small town.  She lived there alone, but never felt lonely because she had many pretend friends and even a pretend brother.  The house had belonged to her parents, who had left it to her in their will.  For you see, her family had died several years earlier in a car crash, leaving her the house and a rather large fortune.  She did not have knowledge of this, however.  She simply came and went as she pleased, spending money where she needed to, never thinking of where it came from, or how much was left.Some of the people in the town knew of the girl and her predicament.  They knew her not only for her beauty and her simplicity, but the sadness in her eyes and on her face.  She didn't come into town often, but when she did, the people who came in contact with her were left heartbroken.  There were some people who tried to help her at first, but it never seemed to do any good.  She would not open the door to any visitors, nor speak to anyone in town who approached her.  Eventually, she was left alone, even though her sadness continued, and spread through the hearts of the people in the town. One day, a young man was passing through the small town.  He was very fair and pleasing to see and had laughter in his eyes.  He had no money, but was such a flatterer that he could talk his way into anything.  And he knew he had that talent and took full advantage.  People loved to be around him and women longed to be close to him, but he never opened up to them.  He entertained, laughed, played, and teased, but no one ever knew more about him.  He stayed in that town for a while, on everyone else's dime, but eventually took his leave.  He said goodbye to no one as he drove away. As luck (or some higher power) would have it, he hit a nail in the road and his tire deflated on the spot.  He knew if he walked back to town, he could convince someone there to change it for him.  But before he headed back, he noticed a small house that he hadn't seen before.  Something about it beckoned to him and he could not refuse to obey.  As he approached he heard laughter and singing and then someone calling to him.  It was a beautiful voice and his heart lifted to hear it call his name, but he did not dare answer for fear of breaking the spell it had on him. Suddenly an angel, no, it appeared to be an angel at first, but then he realized it was a young woman, looked through the side window.  When she saw him, her face changed and he was afraid he had startled her.  But then she smiled and called to him again.  With that, he knew he was welcome and he soon found himself in her kitchen.  She was talking to him as if she knew him and had been waiting for him.  And when he looked in her eyes, he did not see sadness, but saw laughter and cheer. She knew he was out there and had indeed been waiting for him, and when she looked in his eyes, she saw depth and a very familiar sadness. And at that moment, he knew.