Halsey sat next to the school bus waiting for the sun to set. It was just too hot to walk into town. He’d already waited five hours, a few more was no problem.
Cy slowed on his motorcycle offering Hal a ride. Not wanting to appear weak by holding onto another man, Hal declined. He declined Sarah the bank teller, he didn’t want people to talk if they were seen together.
An hour before the sun was about to set, he almost said yes to Saul and his milk truck, but Hal thought he would look silly riding with the town’s only negro. He opted not to accept a ride on Farmer Ron’s tractor. Well, after all, it only had one seat.
When light dripped below the horizon, Hal checked the bus’s doors to make sure they were still locked and started the five mile trek into town. With an air of vindication, Hal stuck to the middle of the road, arms swinging with purpose.
Enjoying his show of independence, a prideful blindness and deafness infected Hal. So much so, he wasn’t able to answer questions about missing children.