Please enjoy this special five-part series, called The Drifter, by our returning guest blogger, Emily Vincent.
It was white. Most people say they see black. When I looked down, I saw a reflection of my former self. Time stood still on the dark road that led out of Georgia. I gazed down it to see if anyone would find what remained of me.
Hours passed as the sun peeked its head above the trees that created a canopy over the road. It hid me well. The white car came back around the bend. Last night it didn’t look white, but more like an ominous gray. A woman stepped out with a shovel. She dragged me into the elements. Before I knew it, I was cased in the soft soil never to be seen again.
I stood by for years waiting to be found. Time passed slowly, but the greenery hid me from the eyes of the public. Besides, who would be looking for a drifter?
One night a rainstorm washed the earth away from my body. I turned to see a man and a woman parked along the road above. They both came down and their eyes fell on my pitted ones. The woman pulled out her phone. With three simple buttons, I knew I was saved.
An array of red and blue lights surrounded the area, and I was dragged to the surface. When no one knew who I was, I found myself on the news. I saw my face on every TV around the area. Little did I know it was around the US.
To my surprise, many people called in. Across the globe, people were telling these officers about my generosity and kind words. They told them about how I gave them one good night in a time of trouble.
They all pitched in so that I could be buried in a local graveyard. When the time came for my funeral, people that I had met from around the US showed up. I watched as hundreds of people filled into the seats. Some had to stand.
The little girl from the gas station came up to speak on my behalf. She seemed to have a brother that stood with her. “That man.” She said and pointed to me. “Gave me this.” She held up the coin I had given her to hold. “My brother needed to be strong, so I gave it to him. He saved my brother.”
“He got me a raise and a promotion!” Someone shouted.
“He helped me have one good night before I had to move far away!”
“He helped me carry my stuff so I wouldn’t slip!”
More and more people stood up and yelled out, and there was a moment of silence. They soon all realized that everyone there was from a different walk of life, yet here they were together to remember me. They took a moment to thank me for what I’ve done for them, even though I didn’t realize I did anything. I was just being the person I wanted to be: a drifter looking for a purpose. It seems like I found one after all.