He and his friends exited the shop and bid each other farewell. It had been a good day. For the first time in a long time he felt like he had found his place in the world. Here, a vast ocean away from his old home, he had started his life over. A new language, a new career, a new social group, a new everything. His friends and family had questioned his decision back when he left, and truth be told he wasn’t entirely sure of it himself at the time, but looking back now it was the best decision he had ever made. And yet, somehow, the past now hung ominously over him. He had gotten the message. How did they know where he was, how had they gotten his phone number, and why now? He had come out here to bury the past. Couldn’t they take a hint? He wasn’t going back. Not now. Not ever. Walking back towards his home, he approached a train crossing when the bells began to sound and the gates lowered. He could hear the train approaching, and it would be a minute before it passed by, so he pulled out his phone to check on social media. Scrolling through the timeline while the train passed took his mind off the message, but only briefly. Wait, what if they sent people out here to get him? No, they wouldn’t do that. They’re too small of an operation. They’d have to talk him into rejoining, and there was only one person who could maybe do it. The train passed, the bells stopped, and the gates lifted. He put his phone back into his pocket, looked up, and there, on the other side of the tracks, was another set of eyes staring back. It was him.

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