Sitting with another man in the back of a bus, Marcus watched passengers rush toward the front. His immediate impulse was to join them, but he stayed put and looked out the window. Within a background of darkness, he only saw the highway they had been moving along, but now they were stopped. On the asphalt was the reflection of emergency lights flashing. It was a strong reminder about what he had been through in the past.
Many times, the same type of lights had prevented him from moving forward, just like now. This was supposed to be a new start for Marcus, but he was confused about the ultimate decision he'd made. It wasn’t a question of if it was wrong for him, or if it would make him a better person. Those answers were clear. The problem was, would it make any difference? He stood and made his way slowly up the aisle knowing he wouldn't be going much further anytime soon.
Out the blood smeared front window, Marcus saw the mutilated carcass of a whitetail buck quivering in the middle of the illuminated road. He felt the presence of the other man watching from behind him. Judging by the thoughts going through Marcus's head, he probably would have been better off alone; but he had been riding with this man for quite some time, and it seemed appropriate to share at least some of what was on his mind. "Eight years ago, I felt as free as he did eight minutes ago," Marcus said with a shrug. "Luck's a survivor's greatest tool."
The man responded, "Was it luck that saved you?"
Marcus turned away from the window. He watched a bolt of lightning strike from a storm that violently assaulted the cityscape far off in the distance. "Back then, every day was just like that. Rain or shine, the storm never stopped." He rubbed his nose and looked away. Marcus noticed the man looking him over. He's studying me—judging me. He's got an opinion already, over a few words. Well, maybe more than just words. Marcus straightened the cuff of his black shirt and continued to smooth out the arm.
The man asked, "Drugs?"
Marcus started walking back toward his seat. "I was just a courier. What I delivered didn't matter."
Marcus sat down. Now he really wanted to be alone. "I guess I should be saying, forgive me, Father, for I have—, but that would be like pleading guilty before any charges were laid." He smiled at the man who now sat beside him. Marcus looked back out the front window. "You know, all that's in the past anyway. I used to think that when a man finds his path in life—his direction and purpose… Well, everything falls in line after that." He looked out the side window; at the storm. "I don't know…"
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