By Todd Keisling

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It took a series of steps toward him, and then it was gone. The color was back in his surroundings. He put his hands in his pockets and left the building without saying a word to anyone. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway. By the time he got to his car he’d forgotten all about his brother. Whatever this was, he realized he would have to handle it alone—and that thought, above everything else, frightened him most. 49 • The days grew worse. Not only was Donna completely ignoring him now, but the bouts of “gray sight” as he’d taken to calling it were more intense now.

She loved him. She loved him enough to commit the rest of her life to him . . But, his mind’s inner voice quipped, why is she ignoring you then? Maybe that fight you had Monday night ran deeper than you thought? Maybe that was the final straw? These thoughts had lingered in the back of his head since Tuesday. As they stood in the spotlight of his mind, he realized just how real they could be. Never mind his own disappearing self—this was a very scary possibility. After a while of trying to measure the different scenarios, Donovan fell asleep, cradled with these frightening what-ifs.

No,” he protested. ” The officer flipped on the siren. Donovan frowned, signaled and pulled the car into the empty parking lot of a gas station. The clock read 8:56. In four minutes, he would be late for the first time in fifteen years. • Donovan sat down at his desk at 9:22 and shoved the speeding ticket into his pocket. He checked his phone messages and discovered there were three missed calls—one from each Tammy and one from Butler. On any other day he would’ve questioned this sudden popularity by the Powers That Be; in fact, he was about to do just that when the importance and weight of the day fell upon him, exerting such pressure that his head began to throb.

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