Devastation and a Detour Antonio Seay sat on the edge of his bed and tipped the photograph back and forth in his hands. The portrait had been taken a few years earlier when he was up North in college. He touched his image，
the past， he told himself， letting the photograph fall to the blue bedspread. He turned his attention to the day's mail， a stack of bills and paperwork officials required before they'd consider deferring payments on his $20，000 college loan. He sighed and tossed the envelopes to the far side of the bed， then flopped back on his pillow and stared at the ceiling.
Two of his college buddies had recently called. They had solid careers and fat paychecks. One was getting a cop. Instead， at age 25， project in a run-down neighborhood in Miami. Cockroaches skittered across the kitchen counter. The appliances were older than he was. The floors， even in the bedroom， were ancient linoleum， worn and chipped. The walls， grimy with sections of peeling paint， revealed decades of hard living.
Antonio glanced again at the photo of the young man full of dreams. Then he swung his legs off the bed and walked outside the bunker- into the night air.
The thump-thump- blared from somewhere in the dark. Up the street， someone shouted. Tires squealed. He went down a pathway littered with trash and turned and studied his home. The very place he'd vowed to escape. He closed his eyes and heard his mother's voice. She'd asked him to drive her to the store that day. That's where this journey of his had begun -- four years ago on a trip to the store.
afternoon in 2002 when Antonio rolled down the car windows and pulled away from the curb. He hardly noticed the bleak neighborhood where he and four younger brothers and sisters lived with their mother， Dorothea. In his mind he was already living in the future.
The first in his family to go to college， in ten months he would graduate from St. Peter's College in New Jersey，
He glanced at his mother， who sat quietly in the front seat looking out the window. She was his inspiration， All she wanted was kids smart enough to avoid her mistakes.
'Sweetie，' she said softly， 'I got something to tell you.'
Antonio's stomach tightened. When his mother talked like that，
'I know I should've told you，， searching for the words. 'I'm letting you know， from mother to son， I've got HIV.' Antonio was silent. He gripped the steering wheel with both hands.
'Sweetie，' his mother said， 'I'm going to die.'