Who Can It Be Now?

Who could that be at this hour?

I jumped when the phone rang and managed to knock the cork board off of the wall. I am not a fan of late-night or early-morning telephone calls because they rarely offer good news.

“I am in trouble and I need your help. They’re back.”

It took a moment for me to realize I wasn’t dreaming and a moment longer to grunt in reply.

There was an awkward silence followed by a plea for my help and reminders of promises I made. I said I would do what I could and hung up the phone.

Lay down in the dark and stared at the ceiling and made a mental note about what supplies to pick up and where to get them. I figured I had about two days to get it together before they found me.

Public transportation was out. There wouldn’t be any planes or trains on this trip and I probably wasn’t going to be able to get any help from any of the old crew.

We had all gone our separate ways years before and intentionally not shared the details of where we were going. We did it for safety reasons. No one was invisible but we figured if things went to hell it might give the others time to prepare.

I didn’t have time to worry about the others. If I found a way I would send word to them and if not, well they were all capable people.

Right now I had two days worth of work and a three-day drive to prepare for.

The clock on the desk read 2:49 AM.

Might as well close my eyes again and try to get another two hours of sleep because once I start moving sleep is going to be scarce.

Closed my eyes and tried to sleep and then the other memories hit me like a torrent of water and I remember why I had to walk away from her…and them.

****

My mind said it took morning twice as long to arrive as normal but the alarm I set the night before made it clear the laws of physics hadn’t been broken.

The day was still 24 hours long and the drive would take just as long as it always had but this time it would be harder.

Not just because of age, time or any of the feelings I was trying to set aside but because the world was more connected than ever.

The digital revolution and prevalence of smartphones and a hundred social media platforms would make it easier than ever to be found.

He thought about ignoring the call and promises once made but didn’t waste time thinking about how to do it because he was never going to be able to do so.

Some bonds never release you from their grip no matter how hard you try or what tools you use to free you from their fetters.

In a moment it would be time to walk away from the one and run towards the other.

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