Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?
by Joyce Carol Oates
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Summary
How It All Goes Down
It's summer, and 15-year-old Connie spends much of her time lounging around the house, going out with friends, and meeting boys. One night a strange guy makes a threatening gesture to her in the parking lot of a local drive-in restaurant. She thinks nothing of it until one Sunday afternoon, when the rest of her family attends a barbecue at an aunt's house, leaving her home alone.
The strange guy pulls up in her driveway in a gold-colored car, accompanied by a friend. The driver introduces himself as Arnold Friend and asks Connie to join him for a ride. During the course of their conversation, Connie realizes that Arnold is a threat. Arnold's language becomes more sexually explicit and violent, and he threatens to harm her family if she calls the police. Connie makes a last-ditch effort to call the police, but panics and is unable to make the call. In the end, she leaves the house and joins Arnold.