The Purple Horizon: A Short Story about Dying
When they called me I started crying instantly. There was no stopping it. It was like being told my only son was being held in the county jail for murder, all over again. It was a feeling I could never have braced myself for. That my only child, the one I nursed and spoke to as a small man about life and death, God and nature, and played “Let It Be” on an old record player on rainy afternoons, may have possibly committed an act that people in dark blue suits with pinstripes and maroon wingtips might be able to take him from me forever. And they did, that’s how it felt—like cinder blocks in my stomach. 472 months, and the stomp of a gavel, and they told me to be happy he didn’t get life. And now, with another phone call, that feeling, the cinder blocks and the stomp, was back.
It came from one of those vastly impersonal, semi-administrative voices, a voice meant to sound serious and sincere, but really couldn’t help being anything but.
“Yes, what’s this? What’s happened?” I knew the voice, not personally, but generally. Generally it was the voice of a cop or a caseworker, a prosecutor or a judge, a defense attorney, or a boss getting ready to tell you you’re being fired or laid off, It was the voice of someone telling you you’ve paid too much for nothing. They come with a smile you can’t see or feel because you’re too shell-shocked after you hear them to understand completely that you’ve been swindled; out of information, your money, your job, or your son’s freedom.
“Yes, Mrs. DeAngelo I’m _______, from the United States Marshall Service. Umm, Ma’am have you seen the news yet?”
“No.” I hadn’t, but knew I should have, should’ve been prepared for this, whatever it was.
“We cover prison escapes in state and federal correctional facilities. There’s been an escape at the facility your son was being housed. Have you by any chance heard from Elijah in the last 24 hours?”
“Ma’am, are you sure? It could help us a great deal, and it would help your son. We don’t think he understands the sort of predicament he now finds himself in. It could mean a great deal of inconvenience for you and your family as well if in fact you have any information we may need and you withhold it from us. This was a very selfish thing your son did, not taking into consideration what it would put you all through.”
They couldn’t even let me catch my breath yet, and already there was the voice; with the threats, the vicious ultimatums, the insinuations of some sort of guilt by association with all the unfair workings of the universe. I’ve never been in jail before, I’ve paid all of my taxes, even when I thought I shouldn’t have to when I was broke and laid off from Dayton’s. Who the hell was this guy to assume I knew something and that he was entitled to it if I did. He was a taker; they take people and things from your life. If there was something for me to know, it was mine and I would protect it. Of course all of this came to me after I hung up. All I could stand to do during the brief conversation was to push back the awful force of fear and trembling, and the disruption, back in my life again.
“No I haven’t heard from him, and no I haven’t seen the news. What are you telling me? Are you telling me Elijah escaped?”
“Yes Ma’am, that’s what I’m telling you. Ma’am, is there a way we could come up there and speak with you? We’re right outside.”
I looked out of the now crinkled tan window blinds that were once brand new, out of the box from Target, that our old neighbor Barb, who’s dead now, told me made the house seem fresh, and new. I looked out at the wet road, rain still falling softly as it had almost all day, the clouds still dark and stormy, and there were two men sitting in a black vehicle right out in front of my house in the spot my husband usually parks. One of them had a phone in his hand, and gave me a short and slight little wave.
“Yeah I guess, for a few minutes.”
I let them come in, just long enough to let them tell me what I needed to know. One of them was a little pushy, the other one a little nicer—more polite. An old trick even I knew. I didn’t offer them anything; no coffee, no nothing. They didn’t deserve anything; these kinds of people have been stealing hospitality from people like me, forever.
They asked me about the last time I spoke to the fugitive, that’s what they referred to him as. Not as Elijah, not as my son, just as the fugitive. They also asked if he had given me any prior information regarding the event. Again I told the men no, and that I still didn’t know exactly what was going on. They told me then that Elijah, or rather that inmate DeAngelo and two other men had found a way to breach the wall of the maximum security correctional facility he was being housed in. And that one of the men had been caught a few blocks away, but that Eli and the other inmate hadn’t been seen in several hours. That’s all they told me, except for a small bundle of thinly wrapped threats and expectations about aiding fugitives, and the pushy one said he’d put me in jail, and the polite one acted like my friend. The whole time they peeked around corners, sized rooms and dimensions, almost expecting Eli to jump out at them like “Surprise!” When I realized that was all of the information I was going to get from them, and all that I was going to provide for them, and my space started to feel manipulated, I told the two men, neither of which had even taken their sunglasses off when they came into my house, that I thought “I’m going to need to speak to a lawyer” before I could talk to them any more.
The two men nodded and went to the door, adding a suffix to the visit by saying:
“There’ll be a car here watching the house, and we’ll be watching and listening until we get him. Don’t try to do anything motherly like try to hide Eli, you can’t save him anymore. The best thing would be to help us send him back to where he’s been the last 12 years.” Had it been 12 years already? Thinking about it just sent shudders through me.
When they left I turned the TV on, and it was on every local channel, it was even on CNN. That was when the cinder blocks collapsed, again. I knew things would never be normal again. I picked the phone up to call my husband David at work, but just as I began to dial, I heard David’s voice on the other side, trying to reach me. It was maybe one of those dueling coincidences that flower during crises. One of those spooky moments when the phone doesn’t ring and you pick it up and the person you were going to call is already there. One of those moments you would note as remarkable any other time, but this time is passed over as insignificant because of the urgency of the moment.
“David, David do you have any idea what is going on? The U.S. Marshals…and Eli…over a wall!” I tried frantically to explain, but it didn’t matter, David knew already. They had stopped by his job at the little airport where he welded airplane hangars.
“I’m coming home right now, if Eli calls tell him you can’t talk. We’ll figure this out.”
Yeah, the time I would need to talk to Eli the most, when it was most critical, I couldn’t. I knew what David meant. He meant it would mean capture, it might mean death. But I didn’t want to think about that as an option. And I knew it would be dumb to try to steal a few moments for myself because there would be a federal task force waiting to snatch him. But I would sneak an “I love you,” or perhaps a “Run! Why are you calling me when you should be running!”
After I hung up with David, the phone calls came and overflowed like running water from a bathtub. We got calls from family in Ohio whom we hadn’t heard from since Eli was 15. Some of them didn’t even know he was in prison. We got calls from neighbors and friends, all watching it on TV at the same time I was. After I hung up with an old grade school teacher of Eli’s named Judy who used to talk about how chubby his cheeks were when he was five years old, the news channels started calling—ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, people from USA Today and the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press. And not much later after I declined to talk to them, cars and news vans all started showing up at the house. I didn’t even answer the door, I just kept worrying about Eli, and where he was. For some reason I had this vision of him hiding underneath a porch, shivering in the rain, waiting to get caught, trying not to though, just needing a little help.
When David got home, he had to fight his way through the wet jungle of news people and cameramen, neighbors and general onlookers who had caught a glimpse of our house on TV. When he finally got inside the house, he just looked at me, and I looked at him, probably the same look the two of us shared that one other time, when things got to be this desperate.
The men in the dark car, who never took their sunglasses off when they went into people’s houses, went into a lot of people’s houses. Pretty much anybody Eli had been in contact with in the last 15 years, old friends and friends he met in prison, friends and family of friends, or anybody they could find in the network. They came with sheets of paper with generic demands. If they were refused entry, they came in with battering rams! They even broke the door down at Sandy’s house, one of Eli’s old girlfriends. The one who told him she couldn’t wait for him, had to have babies now, her body was telling her to. It had been years since they were even on speaking terms. She had a new husband and new babies, but she too got the battering rams at two in the morning, with babies screaming with peace upon them. It was a cyclone, and everyone who ever knew him expected it to blow into their world eventually.
In the following days the hysteria started to fade. The news trucks left, they found a better story to chase down, one about a couple on the run from a convenience store robbery, with a recovered suicide pact signed by the both of them. They were running across the country in a stolen Toyota. It was pure hoopla, and America was enthralled, just enough so that the onlookers all left. But the dark car, with a different dynamic duo sipping coffee in its comfort every day, switching off every eight hours, never left. It sat there without moving—morning, noon, and night. It became a fixture, just like the clicking on the phone when someone would call to ask how we’re getting by.
“As well as we can, under the circumstances.” Or, “Just waiting to see what happens next.” Or a handful of other plain answers meant to fend off telling how I was really feeling about the people in the black Park Avenue across the street, and the clicking on the phone, and all the times I had to see that old mug shot of Eli with boldfaced letters titled: “Escaped Murder” beneath it. I really hadn’t been given any of my own time to figure out how I really felt. Whether I felt abandoned or beat down by the person I had given my life up for. Or if I felt proud that my son had beaten these people—outsmarted the monsters who still thought it was alright to keep human beings in cages. To feel like something natural inside of him was fighting against the false conventions of our society. It was really just a stream of thoughts that came as new stimuli were introduced, which for a while, was constantly.
David internalized it all. He always did that during crisis. He never cried when Eli was going through trial. He didn’t even cry when his own brother died of liver cancer when they were both still in their twenties. It was a part of him that made him seem sturdy and reliable. But sometimes that bothered me, made him seem too passive. But one of us had to be steady, not erupt or implode like I felt I was on the verge of every day.
And so I waited. I thought I would get a call from Eli. I knew he knew better, knew all about the risks, but I thought he would send a message disguised in some clever way to let me know he was going to be alright, and that he loved us, loved me. It was the least he could offer his tortured mother; he knew what burdens this would create. He had a plan to get out; he should’ve had a plan to ease some of the pressure he left behind as well. It made the days long, waiting, the elasticity of time and how it stretches itself across the universe, and shows us its depths when we try to understand it.
I thought he was being hidden by one of the obscure associates he had made over the years whose names and faces had blurred as they passed through. I was hoping one of them would stop me at the mall, or stop by the house and whisper in my ear: “I know where he is,” or “He’s alright, he’s gonna be happy.” I think in my mind, my irrational mind, that I was expecting he would send one of those associates, telling me he was in the Caribbean or South America somewhere, and that he was sending for us. But I knew that’s only the kind of mysticism we create in these kinds of circumstances.
It was excruciating though. I was used to a phone call and a visit every week, so did his grandma. She sent a letter for every day he was locked up. They were the ways we dealt with the time and with his absence, and the reality of our own old age. We always just wanted him to come home, even though we knew it was a long ways away. So to compensate, we did whatever it took to make him, and ourselves, feel like a family, connected. We even blew a bunch of money on an empty appeal that just disappeared into the paper ocean of the justice system.
I remember when he was in the county jail, how everything was so frantic and rushed. Everything was set in terms of if this happens we’ll live, but if that happens we’ll all die. He even talked about taking his own life, how he wasn’t sure if he could do the rest, or most of the rest of his life in a cage. The previous year he had spent in jail had taken so much out of him and out of all of us. One day we’d get news that seemed like he would come home, another day something would arrive that would steal all hope. Sitting in there with rows of men with different angles and different destinies, he sometimes couldn’t tell what to expect.
He was pretty open about it. He had decided if the terms of the sentence weren’t within a certain plausible extent, he would find a way and end it. After all the court dates, and housing movements, and spooky environments, I understood. It must seem crazy to hear a mother say she understood the idea of her only child talking to her about taking his life. But I knew that after a lifetime of fighting my own deep depressions through some of the coldest winters, and passing this depression down to my child; knowing the depths he would see, that he might collapse into the earth where climbing out may never be possible. I was clobbered by it, paralyzed. I knew that if a prison sentence were enough to take my son’s will to live, then it could take mine too.
I told him I understood, and that I sort of expected it. And I told him I wasn’t sure how much longer it would be before I did the same thing. It was something that held me captive, the realization that our time was almost over. The 12 months he spent in the county jail had been this cleansing experience where we were as a family able to clean out our closets and revisit all the great moments, and the rough ones too. Those times when we thought he might get out, it seemed like Eli was able to dream again, talk about who he really wanted to be, to transform. It had at one point felt like a chance for him to be reborn, for him and for us.
For David and me it became a thread through which we were able to get past the differences that had created our separation. A separation where he would go to live with a friend of his for almost a year, he wanted things to stay the same, and I just couldn’t accept that I was getting older and that certain dreams just weren’t going to be attainable. So this time offered a feeling that healing was happening, and we believed Eli would be free. There would be some sort of cosmic justice that would take hold and our family could be whole again. But I guess that’s not nature. Nature is a violent and unforgiving thing, where we can only prepare ourselves and hope it offers us something we can endure.
So one night, before he expected to be brought to the penitentiary, Eli sat in the bathroom with a sheet tied in knots, tightened to a reinforced steel beam in a shower stall and attempted to make a noose. He went through the ritual life and death deliberations one usually goes through; depositing images and strips of language somebody said once: to their face, or in a song, in hopes it can be taken to where they are going.
He would have been successful had he put his head between the threading and let himself hang, but he didn’t. Something changed in him, something that kept him from taking his own life. It was the same life that had been stolen by bizarre circumstances and by the state. Instead of giving in, allowing something he didn’t know, an invisible power in the unforeseeable future to force him to give up, instead he chose life, in one of its diminished expressions. It showed he understood a concrete aspect of the physical world, and didn’t so much trust the ethereal unknown of dying, he just knew the fear—it was probably one of the greatest triumphs of his life. And so I was given a reprieve also.
When he went to prison we encouraged him to learn everything he could, and he did. He went to school and learned how to weld. He was a tutor for a while, a clerk, a construction worker, even a gardener. He played softball and basketball like when he was a kid, and it created some real joy sometimes. But there were winters that came at all times of the year, dark bitter winters that made him seem old, created lines in his face that stole some of that joy and his boyish exuberance. Through it though he found life, found friends, became a better friend, and a better person.
And we came, because we knew it was the only way we would get his time. It was our time to be with our son, light from out of a dark place. We could imagine what it was like. He would tell us about the bells and the counts, the head-trips, and all of the things they were taking from them. They took the zipper flaps from their pants and fed them like children. He said sometimes they would bring guards in monkey suits and bean bag guns to shake them down. But we still couldn’t completely picture his new world. We came anyways, because that was our son.
When he graduated and received his degree through one of those programs they had, we were so proud to be able to go to the ceremony. Even some of the people who were involved in the program came up to me to tell me about how hard he worked, and some even mentioned how ‘good’ of a person he had become. It seemed hard for some of them to acknowledge that, almost like they didn’t really trust it. It didn’t matter to us though; he seemed alive again, rejuvenated, ready to beat his time. We felt like he was becoming the son we always expected, only he was in a cage against his will. We just knew he would become something that transcended it.
Now we’re back to the beginning again, back to him being called a monster and a murderer. I guess that’s what he needs—not the actual person, but a psychological representation of him. They even put him on America’s Most Wanted. The idiot on that show talked about him like a mongrel, like he hadn’t changed his life, hadn’t made himself better, like we knew he had. People have been calling me, asking me to go on television and plead to Eli to turn himself in. Why would I do that? He already broke out of hell. I’m not going to help to send him back. I want my son to be free, without bars or razor wires, where he can start over and fall in love if he wants to, be alive. I wanted to tell all of those assholes: “Fuck You! Fuck You! I’m proud my son escaped, tricked you assholes and broke out of all that oppression and death you’ve been slinging at him. Maybe he can be free as someone else, from a different family, with a different past.” But it hurts. It hurts to say goodbye to those visits. Those small windows to see into the universe he was living in. It hurts like the end of the world as we know it, and I feel obliterated by it, exasperated.
I’ve been having these dreams, dreams where I have Eli hidden in my basement, and everyday I bring him food and sometimes some beer, and we talk about what he’s going to do, what his next move is going to be. He sits there, smoking pot, laughing, says he’s going to Brazil, gonna try to find a beautiful brown-skinned woman and live. I want to go too, but I’m conflicted, knowing I can’t be his mother if I stay here, but I’m too old to go to Brazil. And he’s too old to bring his mother.
We also talk about when he was little and he would get beat up at school or in the neighborhood because he was so small, so slight. There was the time when those kids jumped on him and some of his friends, when they stomped on his head while one of the boys hit him with a pipe. I always thought that was the beginning, when he started running around in the neighborhood, because he was never violent, actually kind of gentle really. That’s the way he was when I talked to him in my dreams, eating his dad’s spaghetti, and drinking Leinenkugel’s. He would smile, like I remembered before prison, but he would say, “Mom, pretty soon I’m going to have to go. This’ll be it.” I would ask him if he was going to call or write from any secret pseudonyms, but we both knew he couldn’t do that. Then I would wakeup and the tears would come. David would hold me but it didn’t help. Waking only offered me what I already knew I had—a world without my son.
Time is a nasty thing. It goes by and tries to trick you into thinking that all of that stuff from before, that hurt so bad and crippled you, would go away. Instead, years just pass by and leave layers that are supposed to insulate all that feeling. But the texture doesn’t change, and if you feel for it you know it’s always there. The first Christmas after the escape was hard. David’s mother came over and we had a small dinner. It wasn’t like before. Even when Elijah was in prison he would always call on holidays. We would pass the phone around and everyone would get a chance to talk to him. Now his grandma doesn’t say a word; the woman who had written him every day he was gone didn’t write to anyone anymore. She kind of got frazzled having the F.B.I. at her house so many times. Her health got bad; she just got older. It’s the way life is, but now she didn’t have a grandson anymore, only pictures on the television and men in black suits on her front porch looking through her mail.
At Christmas, the men in dark suits were the only ones who called, from across the street. I just told them again they could call my lawyer, and hung up the phone. As years passed holidays just became regular days; no special meals or family, no phone calls. After a couple of years like this, me and David just stopped talking to each other. I don’t know when or what exactly it was; we just figured we didn’t have anything to say to each other. We worked, we ate, and we went to bed, and this sequence played itself out everyday, fading into the forever of our lives.
After everyday started to feel like a Monday, David looked at me across the little oak table, with the colonial finish and the bear claw legs that he made for us in the ’70s, and he said: “I’m gonna stay at my mom’s for a little bit. I need a little space, and I think you do too.” Just like that, I was alone; all by myself with my dreams of unrealistic endings, and a whole cache of “what-if”s and “I should’ve”s.
I knew we should have moved Eli out of the city. Its spores found him and enveloped him with all those notions of fame and notoriety that is always so large and robust to poor kids. But I didn’t feel like we were poor, and I knew he was so much better than that world that was trying to steal him. I remember me and David found a single piece of crack in the cushion of one of our chairs; Eli told us it was a friend’s. Our biggest fear was that he was using hard drugs, so we asked him if he was smoking crack. He adamantly denied it, said it was against the rules or something, that it was looked down upon by the people he came up with. I didn’t even know what any of that even meant. He said that some of his friends sold crack, oh but not him though; and we believed him. Until soon after he got caught in a sting trying to sell to an informant, and called us from the Hennepin County jail. He didn’t ask any of those friends he spent all that time with to bail him out, he came to us. And even though it crushed our world, we spent the money to get him out of jail.
We had no idea what was next: a prison stint, drug addiction, or, heaven forbid, death. I felt like we had lost control of our home, of our life. And Eli wanted to play around with those boys who hustled just to stay alive. He wasn’t one of those people, I thought. Later, when things started getting worse, he actually became one of those people.
Somebody from the police department called, said they had a corpse, thought it was him, and wanted us to identify him. This sensation just punched me between my eyes and chest. My equilibrium was shattered. I thought he’d be in Brazil by now, not in a drainage ditch in southern Minnesota. I called David; we hadn’t spoken in several months, he said he would come too, that he had to.
David drove, but we didn’t speak; everything we needed to say was spoken in that secret language of glances and nods, ticks and facial expressions. They brought us into a room that was so cold. I’ll never forget how cold it was in that room. I’ve always been sensitive to chilly environments. I used to get goose bumps in the visiting room when I used to go see Eli. It felt like that, only quite a bit worse, like the last visit on earth. I felt like I might go home after this and put the gun I had under my mattress in my mouth to see how it felt. And if it felt right, I might do what it’s there to do.
They brought us to a table with a sheet laid loosely over what was surely a body; it couldn’t be anything else. They removed the sheet from over the dead, decaying corpse of a man the coroner said had to be in his early 30s just like Eli was. It was long, immensely pale and water-logged from sitting in a make-shift grave in the drainage ditch they found him in. Maybe he was hiding, maybe he was too tired of running and not getting anywhere. Maybe his friend, another great choice of companions, killed him and left him there; it wouldn’t have surprised me. That would be our son laying there naked. It was his build, his shape, even a tattoo on his left arm, obscured, but maybe it was the same; it could be him, we knew that. Then we saw his face; puffed up and deranged, its spirit truly departed, leaving just this rotten shell as a last reminder before he passed into invisibility.
But even with all the structural damage to its face, and the days, maybe weeks of decay, I knew, undoubtedly, that this was not my son. And the bags of grief I was carrying loosed themselves and fell onto the floor around me, where I left them to be picked up by someone else who might stand in my place soon. I looked at David and we turned and walked away. There would be other DNA tests to follow they said, but I knew Eli was too smart to still be so close. He was long gone now, over the purple horizon by now. His death from now on would be without us. He would have to deal with it, in whatever new world he would be able to construct. Nevertheless, I knew the morgue was there now, with the chill and the impersonal rows of corpse drawers—I knew that phone call could come, but it wouldn’t be this time.
I saw on the news the people at the prison were taking credit for their ‘heroic’ handling of the whole issue. They were obviously trying to turn it into positive P.R., lobbying for more federal money, playing the angle that the prison was changing, growing more dangerous. The local news stations were eating it up. They put a spokesman on to take credit for catching one of the “escapees” right away, and for their vigorous attempts with the U.S. Marshall service to apprehend the other two. They never found Eli though, or the other guy. They stood in front of cameras in cheap suits and said the two would turn up, fall back into their criminal patterns. But they didn’t know Eli. I did; I knew his ability to transform. I knew he was already aware of what the cops and the Feds expected of him. They showed his episode of America’s Most Wanted again, with the reenactment where some strange-looking guy plays Eli as if he was a total sociopath, and not the regular person who got tired of withering away in captivity like a zoo animal, that out-smarted and escaped his slavery. Instead, these fuckers chose to sell a different angle. How about this angle: what if an American citizen was locked up in a prison in North Korea, or Cuba, and he escaped; would these people track him and return him to those abominable conditions? Probably not; it’s the same game, from a different angle.
I really don’t understand how I got here, in a lonely place where things I spent my life trying to protect seem to have vanished. I’m not trying to be self-pitying or anything, it’s just that I couldn’t have ever imagined where I would end up; the path, the destination, or the mysteries. I tried to be a great person and a great mom. I grew up in an environment where the male figures in our lives thought that men were more important than women. My father always believed my brother to be more deserving of the family praise; he was the first son, who will carry the family name. This was despite his shitty grades, and despite the straight A’s I brought home every single time. I went to college, he didn’t; I graduated with honors, he mulled around like a bum. But my father always favored him, even though he never had any kids, never passed along the family name. I knew how hard it was going to be being a woman trying to earn along the same lines as men, but I worked hard—sacrificed. I thought I deserved a place outside of the place I came from. I wanted my child to live beyond it as well. We wanted Eli to be cultured and well-rounded, to love people and help those with less, and he did. We thought we were good people, good people who dodged the tumult and the heartbreak usually reserved for those with lessthose who didn’t have a choice in the matter. We thought good things would happen for us; there would be tough times, but we would ride them out and the good things would come to us as a result.
That’s why when Eli got arrested and sentenced, and I drove every week to see him, I thought it was pride I was being punished for. They took all of this away from me, humbled me. Growing up I always heard that pride comes before a fall. It seemed like this was telling me I wasn’t any better than any of those other people that came out to see their child, or brother, or their fathers or husbands. I met a 35 year old woman who had been coming here to see her father since 1986. I was like all of them now.
Then we realized Eli was built to handle prison, was able to thrive. He wasn’t going to kill himself, and he went back to school, started drawing again, like when he was a kid. It was then that I felt like I was getting some of it back, that the journey meant something. We were as a family coming back from the dead, we were fighting still. Then this, he never even insinuated he was going to attempt this. And the humiliation of being the one at work with the kid in prison is now transformed into the woman who can’t get a new job because her last name and her house has been all over the news: “The mother of that escaped murderer.” The facts don’t even matter anymore. Hard work, climbing yourself out of the gutters means nothing in the media age. And it was selfish, it was all about him—and about how he felt. He forgot there was a world out here waiting on him, expending the sweat off of their backs for him. He was stealing some extra years in exchange for a family and a home base. I just don’t know what all of this is supposed to mean.
The house is quiet now. There’s no music, no “Let It Be”; the record player just collects dust now. I still haven’t found a job, and my ulcers have burned holes in my stomach. David inherited his mother’s house when she passed. He retired in the fall—now he lives in that house, alone. Eli’s grandma never got the chance to say goodbye to Eli like she always hoped. The U.S. Marshals were at the funeral, maybe it was the F.B.I.—I really never knew the difference. They were everywhere; the ones none of us knew, in weird clothes and dark sunglasses pretending real hard that we didn’t know they were the Feds.
I guess it was just her time. She had waited all those years for him in prison, and even a few years after he left. I guess we all wanted to believe he would be able to sneak back into town for one last goodbye, but that’s only in movies, and for people who want to get caught. He already said his goodbyes years ago, when he told us he wouldn’t be able to do that time. And before he got sentenced, something crazy made me think it was true. But he tricked all of us, made us believe he could persevere, that it wouldn’t make him crazy, or into someone we couldn’t know anymore. When he told us he would kill himself before he did all of that time—it was the truth.