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Greyhound BusJohn’s claim to desire a nap had not been a lie. Even though he’d only been awake for a little over eight hours he was tired. You’d think just sitting on a bus would be easy but it wasn’t. Besides, he’d been thinking awfully hard about some pretty important things over the last two days and he wanted some alone time to process his decision to really try and make a life with his wife. Since there wasn’t any door to close nor curtain to draw around himself for privacy the next best thing was to hang a virtual “Do Not Disturb” sign around his neck. He’d enjoyed talking and interacting with Tamika and her twin sons but sometimes life called for a little subterfuge and this was one of those times.

Everyone was telling him to do what his heart had been aching for, namely to rise up and be an actual flesh-and-blood husband for his wife. They’d spent far too much time apart and had barely built a life together but the question wasn’t what he should do but rather how was he to do it. It was all well and good for folks to tell him to make like the cavalry and rush in for a rescue but what if he brought more hardship instead of succor? Awfully difficult to step back up on the cliff once you’ve jump off.

On the other hand, how long ago had his decision to strike out on his own, to stand tall, turned into nothing more than stupid human pride? “Shut up, Burton Cummings,” he whispered to himself, “looks like I already did something long ago that I’m regretting later.”

At first he had ventured out so that Joni could have a better life living with her parents but what now? They were both dead and she was on her own. There was not a single logical reason why he shouldn’t go and be with his wife. Even if she wound up supporting him financially at least he’d be there to support her emotionally and physically. It really was time for him to set aside his silly human pride and act like a man: Time to stand tall.

Having achieved both emotional and intellectual commitment to his decision he felt relief from the heavy burden that he’d carried for far too long. “I’m going to do this,” he subvocalized, “I am going to be the husband Joni deserves. If nothing else, I can always pick up day-work to help with the bills.”

John took a deep breath, exhaled, closed his eyes and drifted into easy slumber with the words “Never been this blue, never knew the meaning of a heartache but then again, I’ve never lost at love before. Somewhere down the road maybe all these years will find some meaning; just can’t think about it now, or live ’em out anymore. Stand tall, don’t you fall oh, don’t go and do something foolish. You’re feeling it like everyone, it’s silly human pride. Stand tall, don’t you fall. don’t go do something you’ll regret later…”

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