Chapter 1 – In the Pursuit of Charity

Linc James had a life decision to make and thinking about it was preventing him from getting much sleep. Bored with watching the ceiling, he dressed in his faded grey sweats and a ‘Born to Swim’ long-sleeved tee shirt that wasn’t quite long enough in the sleeve for his extra-long limbs. He walked from the dark bedroom to the unlit kitchen and opened the refrigerator.

Linc’s swimming career ended two weeks ago, but years of getting up early for swim practice was a habit not easily changed. Once on the sofa in the living room, Linc played Call of Duty and ate oatmeal by the glow of the TV. His plan was to go through the day like it was any other and hope that by the end there’d be clarity.

He brushed his teeth and swished his mouthwash, ignoring his hair. As he made his way to the front door, he glanced at the clock on the wall.

“Shit! Three forty-five.”

You’re early.

He closed the door and walked toward the IM building.

Excellent. Alone with your thoughts again.

Linc lived off-campus in a house his parents purchased the year he started at Michigan State. It was a few blocks from everything, which made it easy to walk everywhere.

Dude, you’re almost out of here. Are you staying?

He started jogging. The need to feel water all over his body grew, as did the anticipation of the delight that would come from leaving his thoughts on dry land. The sooner Linc submerged in the pool, the sooner he could escape.

Linc smiled as he ran passed Beaumont Tower. He’d miss State. He’d miss his teammates, too. His best friends weren’t staying in East Lansing after graduation, and Becks had left sooner than expected.

He stopped at the top step of the IM building to turn and look over the campus.

Everything would be different.

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