Story Description

What will you do if a series of unfortunate events hammer you all in one night? Copywriter Ruth Ignacio chooses to run away, but she drives straight into more misfortune. She then finds comfort in the company of a stranger, who lends her a listening ear. Ruth is beyond broken, but as she tries to recover, something unexpected comes along. Can Ruth pause to give it time and attention?

The Stranger I Met is a story about losing almost everything, moving on, and bouncing back—with a sweet, little surprise on the side.

Read the first 10 chapters below for free!

Episode 1 (Bad Day) - *New!*

We all have bad days, but for copywriter Ruth Ignacio, to say that her day is bad is an understatement. She finds out that she has been two-timed by Mac, the guy she is seeing; her teammate Wendy has called her a whore; and her boss has taken Wendy’s side. This leads Ruth to do something drastic. Read it here.


Episode 2 (The Breakdown) - *New!*

In a rush to leave the scene, Ruth drives with rage, is accosted by cops who turn out to be robbers, and almost hits a man crossing the street. With tension mounting inside her, she screams at the man she almost hit and bursts into tears at the same time. Then, the man does something unexpected. Read it here.


Episode 3 (Problems and Pizzas) - *New!*


Ruth unloads her burden to Robert, the man she almost hit. She tells him about how her teammates and boss have treated her, how her heart got broken, and how she quit her job. Through it all, Robert listens intently. Ruth feels at ease, but aside from that, something about Robert is making Ruth feel something else. Read it here.


Episode 4 (A Mess in the Midst of Order) - *New!*

Ruth cannot help but compare her life to that of Gianna’s, her twin sister. Gianna has her own business and has a stable relationship with her boyfriend, while she has just become unemployed. As Ruth goes back to bed to sleep some more, she finds something on her night stand that makes her feel worse about her situation. Read it here.


Episode 5 (Musings and Mistakes) - *New!*

Ruth recalls how she met Mac. She looks back on the time they have spent together drinking, talking, or dancing at the bar where Mac works. She tries to piece everything together and realizes how Mac was able to do what he did. Ruth tells Gianna everything, but she thinks she would feel better talking to someone else. Read it here.


Episode 6 (When Despair Hits) - *New!*

Ruth sends her application to every company she sees that needs her skills set. This has become her daily routine, but there are times when she feels overwhelmed and weighed down by her current situation. What should a girl like her do? Read it here.


Episode 7 (A Breath of Fresh Air) - *New!*

After a week of being holed up at home sending applications here and there, Ruth decides to go out. She visits her alma mater and goes to her favorite spot to have some quiet time to think and reflect. Then, all of a sudden, someone taps her, and Ruth gets the surprise of her life when she turns to see who it is. Read it here.


Episode 8 (Love [and Loss] Stories) - *New!*

Ruth finds out that she and Robert have a couple of things in common: they both graduated from the same university and they both had a painful romantic past. Once again, Ruth feels at ease with Robert. At the end of the conversation, Robert offers something that Ruth cannot refuse. Read it here.


Episode 9 (The Ride Home) - *New!*

Robert accompanies Ruth as she drives home that afternoon, and the two of them have a great time exchanging stories in the car. When they get to Ruth’s house in Pasig, Ruth lets him in for a glass of water. The two sit in front of the TV, but they end up doing something else.  Read it here.


Episode 10 (How Close Can We Get?) - *New!*

As Robert massages Ruth’s shoulders, the growing chemistry between them becomes undeniable. The massage turns into a warm--even sensual--touch, electrifying both of them. Soon, Ruth and Robert make love on the sofa, and Robert stays for an unplanned sleepover. Read it here.



Get the book!


About Katherine Lopez

Katherine is a BA Journalism graduate from the University of the Philippines Diliman. When she's not writing, she sings and plays the guitar, watches gymnastics videos on YouTube, or reads novels by her favorite authors. She is happily engaged and is getting married in December.


Thank you for supporting this book! Share it online and include #BeforeIDoSeries and #YAI2017 This short story was published first online in Manila, Philippines in July 2017 under the You Are Cordially Invited writing program.

Author: Katherine Lopez

Line Editor: Katherine C. Eustaquio-Derla

Copy Editor: Paula Bianca Abiog

Online Publishers: Katherine C. Eustaquio-Derla and Jester Lyee C. Derla (under PaperKatBooks)

The Stranger I Met

Philippine Copyright © 2017 by Katherine Lopez

Disclaimer: This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination and are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, places or persons, living or dead is entirely coincidental. Image from

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any written, electronic, recording, or photocopying without written permission of the publisher or author. The exception would be in the case of brief quotations embodied in articles or reviews and pages where permission is specifically granted by the publisher or author.

Know more about #YAI2017 (click the image below).

Love it? Share it!