In full stride, his breathing labored, his body rebelling, and conscious of only that it was daytime, Virgil felt completely detached, alone on the planet. It was so quiet out here, so quiet running out here on the road, he thought to himself. And this burning in my legs, and lungs is . . . is strangely . . . pleasing. But it's so lonely out here this morning. And this blacktop is so long, almost endless. Still . . . there, yes, the tall, wet grasses on either side, and the scrub pines, and the sky. Look how blue the sky is today. My mouth is made of cotton, and the burning . . . yes, I'm tired, but "I won't let you." No, "I" won't let you, not with it being so beautiful, fragrant and peaceful today. No, "I won't let you." Nothing, but the sound of my footsteps, the burning and the cotton. Yes, it's peaceful, and quiet. Nothing, but wait . . . wait! No! No! You can't be!
Looking quickly down into his arms, Virgil saw a pair of empty eyes looking back at him. Georgia's eyelids never moved as Virgil dropped to his knees, and began to shake her. Out of breath, flushed, and sobbing, he shook her. Nothing. And, this time, instead of his parents collapsing, together, on the kitchen floor, it was Virgil-alone-on the highway, a little boy again, holding onto shell of, yet, another spirit his life had refused to let hem keep.
Ten minutes later, a school bus pulled up, and parked on the shoulder of the road. It had just left the city limits of Jackson, heading toward Angel. In the bus were the mothers and daughters of the Rock of Ages Baptist Church. There was to be a quilting party at the "colored" Baptist church in Angel. Each window of the bus became a picture frame for the face of a rouged, powdered and bejeweled ebony portrait, and its younger, and unadorned look-a-like. Mother and daughter, both, with their faces nuzzled up close to the glass, anxious for a closer view; all watching as the driver, an elderly gentleman, heavy, clean-shaven, and smelling of Old Spice, climbed down to the road, and walked directly over to Virgil.
Is. . . there a problem mister? We'd happy to offer you, and your wife a ride into town. Is she hurt bad, or is she with child? Ready to have that baby?
"She's not my wife. And she's not pregnant. No. She's . . . well, she's an angel. Just another angel who got blind-sided; just an innocent who's been kicked out, and exiled into the wind."
"Excuse me, sir, what did you say?"
"Nothing, really nothing. Please, just do what I ask."