Continued from June 2, 2018
“Marcus! Marcus, wake up!” Dale said as Marcus’ eyes began to flutter.
“Wha-What happened?” Marcus said as he opened his eyes. Dale looked pale and Mr. Howe looked, to be honest, halfway disappointed.
“You fainted.” Mr. Howe answered.
“Are you okay?” Dale asked, “I thought you had a heart attack or a stroke or something.”
“I’m fine.” Marcus said, realizing that his eyes were wet. “How long was I out?”
“Just a couple of minutes, are you sure you’re alright? Do you want me to bring you home so you can get some rest. I’m sure everyone would understand.” Dale said.
“I’m not going home.” Marcus grumbled. “I’m seeing this through to the end. Like I always do.”
“How about you two go to the quiet rooms in the back?” Mr. Howe suggested.
Marcus nodded as he got to his feet, not entirely unassisted by Dale. “I could use some water I think.”
As soon as Marcus was standing, Dale disappeared around a corner and came back with a bottle of water. Marcus opened it and drained it quickly. He was certain he could taste the smoke again.
He dropped the empty bottle in a trash can as he left the entryway. Dale followed close behind.
They reached the quiet room and sat on the floral patterned, overly stuffed couch against the wall. Marcus leaned his head back and closed his eyes, trying to will away the images from his dream.
“Can I ask you a question?” Dale half-whispered.
“Of course.” Marcus replied without opening his eyes.
“Is it true?” The gravity of the question was not lost on Marcus. He knew exactly what he was talking about.
“Yes.” Marcus replied opening his eyes. “I had to.”