Paying for my Crimes (Part I)

(Editor’s note: I wrote this several years ago, but now and again someone asks me to rerun it. Here it is. Most of you didn’t realize I have a shady past.)

Mr. Norton’s words rang in my ears as I grabbed my paper and dashed out the back door. “If you can’t make it to class on time, don’t come.”   I knew from experience that I’d never make it on time if I left the house one minute later than 6 a.m., and the lighted dial of my watch already read 6:15.  As I spun out of my driveway, raced the mile to 341 and turned left, I prayed that all the state patrolmen were still sleeping. Americus and my class were a long way from Pine Grove.  As I passed through Hazlehurst, I calmed down a little.  Traffic was light so far and would be for another hour.  Maybe I could make up some time.  On the north side of McRae, I relaxed a bit more.  The wheels of my gray Nissan Stanza gobbled up the miles as I slipped the cassette into the player.  I had recorded mythology notes on it the night before so I could study during my two-hour trip.  With a schedule like mine, I dared not waste a minute.