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Xenolith, Page 15

A. Sparrow


  Frank never remarried, and never had another relationship that carried a whiff of such a prospect. He also never settled back into full-time clinical practice. Instead, he wandered the world like a fugitive. At first, he traveled with Medecins sans Frontieres to Liberia, then to the Congo and Somalia, always in a field setting, always on the run.

  On a lark, he joined the green-side Navy as a Medical Officer, supporting the Marines of the Third Medical Division in Okinawa, as they trained in Korea and Thailand and Kuwait. Six years of that and he left to work for USAID in Zambia, Peru, Colombia, Rwanda; for Oxfam in Sudan, Ethiopia and Congo; then finally into independent consulting for beltway bandits. Time had simply melted away.

  But Belize always beckoned him back. Not every year, but every few he would make a pilgrimage, always bearing sweet peas. Sometimes he would be in a rush, stopping briefly on his way from one place to another. Other times, he would linger, seeking a salve that would settle his brain, and calm his restless heart.