He scrubbed his face at the sink. It was him in the mirror, a tanned and healthy 56, hair mostly gray but still all there. He felt groggy, as if he'd woken prematurely. It was only the numbness, he thought, that kept the panic at bay.
If he didn't push, he found he knew the answers to some questions. He was due to clock out in an hour. When he left the parking lot he would go under the highway, turn left, and merge.
He found his way to a battered white Toyota pickup in the employee section. The key in his pocket started the engine. He forced himself not to think too hard as he drove, taking the turns that seemed to have a certain inevitability. He wound up on a dirt road near someplace called Pittsboro, in front of a small brick house surrounded by high yellow grass, pines, and live oaks.
He parked next to a