Continued from June 3, 2018
Marcus and Dale stared at each other for a few minutes. There was a sad understanding in Marcus’ eyes that Dale would never be able to look up to him again.
“You know you can never go back?” Dale suddenly blurted, “That’s what Dad, and you, and everyone-”
“I know, Dale. I hung up the uniform this morning after one last ride.” Marcus said, “Besides, I’m not going to be alive much longer. I’ve gotten too old to be out running the streets, fighting people-”
“But you really did it?!” Dale said as he stood up and began pacing, “I can’t believe it. Dad always said that you were the best of them. You and Aunt Gail. The incorruptible duo.”
“Dale, stop,” Marcus said putting a hand up, “I’m not better than anyone else. Everyone has their breaking point. It just took me longer than most to find it. I think we should quiet down and wait for the others. I plan to make sure everyone knows when I give the Eulogy. I’m done now. Retired.”
Marcus watched him stop and turn to look at him as if pondering the nature of the universe.
“You were a Protector. A Guardian. The Guardian.” Dale said as tears welled in his eyes, “You were never supposed to fall. You were the purest of them, and now you sit there broken, fallen, and talking about retirement. You’re tainted.”
Marcus nodded as Dale fell into silence. “I am. I am fallen. Let me tell you a story…” He said.