For the first time as a pro, White is wearing his USC national championship ring. And farther down his left hand, hanging just below one of his handcuff scars ("My beauty marks," he calls them), is a bracelet Judi had made up for him, which is inscribed: CHARLES: NFL LEADING RUSHER, 1987.
The only people they have to answer to now are their children, and White can't wait. "When they ask me what happened that day, they can hear it from a living legend," he says.
It has been a year since White broke for daylight, bursting from the darkness of that warehouse into the squinting high noon. He has not been back to the darkness since. He feels like running forever, and Judi thinks he can. "I'm just glad he's not a boxer," she says. "He'd die before he'd go down. He's like a great racehorse who dies running. Maybe that's what will happen to Charles. I can't ever see him stopping."
But can he? Green is young and White's legs are mortal. After the Brea incident, Robinson said, "One more, Charlie, and it's over." He means it. Only so many times a guy can swim into a riptide to save a friend and not be pulled down himself.
So be careful, Charlie. Daylight fades. Careers end and night falls. How will you like yourself in the darkness when there's nowhere else to run?