Maria sees the ambulance. Her driveway. Her front door, open.
Marcus. Where’s Marcus?
Her foot slips off the clutch. Her Civic jerks and dies.
Sprinting to her front door, Maria hears birds chirping, kids shooting hoops, a lawn mower. She smells cut grass and ribs cooking on a barbecue.
She sees Marcus’s Hulk backpack and Jordans in the entry. Maria stops. Stands dead still. Listens. Prays. The house is silent.
A strange voice says, “You gonna be alright?”
Relief floods Maria’s body.
Another voice. Not Marcus’s. “I’m good, man.”
Maria sees the gurney. The small shape in the big bag.