After his encounter in Smithfield, Rory knew his next step would be to help the living confront racism. First, though, he had to break his growing reliance on Telemundo and the bulging waistline that came with far too many sessions in front of the television. He had lost his groove and was rapidly turning into a lazy dude. Finally, he mustered the courage to stand at the head of the Duke of Gloucester street in full out running gear.
“I will run this mile without stopping,” Rory said.
“Good goal,” said a man beside him who looked to be ready for a run, too.
“Thanks, this is my first run in awhile. You seem familiar, I’m Rory, what’s your name?”
“I’m surprised you don’t remember me. I was your coach years ago.”
“You do remember.”
Coach Bovas was a mystery to Rory. The old coach ran everywhere, dumpster dove for sketchy fruit, and was the most content man Rory had known. Bovas went about his business without care for what other people thought. He was the kind of person Rory hoped to become. It had been thirty years since they had last been together, but Coach Bovas still had his pony tail, still wore the shortest running shorts, and still had the biggest calves.
“Rory, we were supposed to meet today,” said Coach Bovas.
“You are about to run into a most promising time in your life. Across the street you will have inspired conversations and spread a fantastic message of hope and peace. I’m here to make sure you don’t change your mind about running, so let’s go.”
Coach Bovas’ took a few strides before Rory started. To his surprise, Rory eased across the road and onto the loose gravel of DOG street without any pain.
“Coach, who sent you? How do you know these things about me?”
“It’s a lot to understand, but mostly you have to just believe,” answered Coach Bovas.
“Are you saying you’re a spiritual messenger?”
Coach Bovas nodded.
Rory said, “Like some kind of Genesis, Founder, Almighty kind of stuff?”
“Maybe not that mammoth of a combination, but I believe it’s something like that,” said Coach Bovas.
Their run was going quickly and Rory was surprised that they were already to Bruton Parish. Coach Bovas stopped in front of the old church.
“What you are going to do is spread the word that people need to treat each other better. You are going to find your way on this street. You will do what you do without fame or fortune, so leave you calculator at home. This is not about cold numbers. It’s about people.”
A musket went off by the Powder Magazine and Rory found himself standing in the street alone. Coach Bovas was gone. Rory wondered if the coach had been there at all. He looked to the Capitol and started running. His steps were light and his awareness focused. He was nearing the next part of his journey.