He was sitting at his desk, surfing the internet when he came across the article in the local paper. Once it was verified by checking some other well-established sources, it became clear there was no reason to stay here any longer.
Nick Andrews turned off the computer and got out of the office chair in the apartment's small den with a sigh of resignation yet mixed with relief. Beneath the desk was a large black Samsonite briefcase designed for his departure. It was important to get on the road soon, as the state lines would be sealed at midnight and there was a long way to go. The bug-out-bag in the trunk of his Mercury Sable sedan had all the clothing & provision he would need. Once out the door, he would be what George Orwell called an "unperson"; Nicholas David Andrews would simply cease to exist.
Nothing more was packed, and no phone calls were made. The green front door to the apartment in the single-level cinderblock building opened and Andrews strolled the short distance across the parking lot, opening the trunk long enough to trade out his briefcase for the bag. Once it was deposited on the passenger seat and he was securely inside, he removed all the cash from his wallet and threw it out the window. He had left the keys to the apartment on the kitchen counter. Reaching into a pocket on the bag Nick pulled out a billfold, newer but worn, which just happened to contain a drivers license - still current - and social security card. The picture on it was not his own, but it was close enough for government work, as the saying goes. It had been laying under a bench seat at Burger King one day, and he could not believe his fortune.
An hour and a half later he had abandoned the car in a pay lot downtown and was riding Greyhound west. By that evening, as the cool, springtime sun touched the horizon, a stranger he had hitched a lift with let him out on a deserted stretch of road infront of an abandoned farm.
The peeling white paint on the crooked mailbox on a weatherbeaten post by the wayside still said JONES in black, hand-painted but equally fading capitals, and as the sun disappeared entirely and the first stars came out, he let himself in the back door by a key he wore on a string around his neck.