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The Runner

The remaining number of people at Max’s party was exactly 14 when Turner walked in the front door with a cigarette dangling from his lips. His blonde hair was greasy and unclean, sticking out in all directions, and he had his long skinny arms shoved deep down into the pockets of his worn jeans. Everyone at the party turned their heads to stare at Turner, and he just stared back, looking utterly amused.
Turner let the screen door slam as he stepped away from it and took one of his hands out of the pit of his pocket to flick the dwindling tip of his cigarette onto Max’s white entrance carpet. Nobody said anything.
“Coppers are on their way.” He muttered, leaning against Max’s wall and taking a long drag on the cigarette.
I stood up first, leaving my beer on Max’s living room table and walking past Turner and out the door. I had never been the type of girl to stick around and take the blame; I ran from situations that involved me getting into trouble, and I was good at it, too.
My long legs carried me over the wooden fence in Max’s backyard, and I broke into a run when I reached the long wet grass that the Carson’s horses grazed in during the day. I imagined that I myself was a horse, galloping away from my rider, refusing to let them climb on my back and control me into jumping over hurtles and prancing around in the dirt.
I could hear the sirens, and I continued to sprint over the grass until I reached the gravel road that I knew was a 5 minute walk to my house. Only then did I slow down to catch a breath, and I leaned over my knees, letting my black hair cascade down my shoulders and shroud my face from the night and everything that came with it.
“You’re a good runner. You do track?”
I felt my heart leap in my chest, and I turned my head. Turner stood there with his hands in his pockets, blinking into the night and smiling crookedly at me. I didn’t smile.
“You followed me?”
Turner just stared at me in the same way he stared at all 14 of us sitting around Max’s living room table drinking beers. He didn’t say anything at all, and I contemplated turning on my heel and running again.
“I hate running.” I said, finally.
Turner nodded, and then he began to walk back in the direction of the sirens.
“Hey! Where are you going?” I called to him.
It was too dark to see Turner anymore, but I could hear him stop in the grass.
“I hate running too. I like cigarettes. I love Nirvana and Pearl Jam. My favorite food is mashed potatoes and gravy. I lost my virginity when I was 12. My middle name is James. I like the color red. I only watch sad movies. I hate football. I haven’t read a book since I was 14 years old. I like your hair. It’s long, and black, and pretty, and yeah, I like it a lot.”
I stood in the darkness.
“Thank you.” I whispered, and I heard Turner walk closer as his feet hit the gravel.
My eyes adjusted, and Turner stood there in front of me, his hands shoved into his pockets. He stared at me for a long time - it felt like an hour - and then turned around again and melted away into the darkness.




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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

GingerGirlOnFire said...
Apr. 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm:

So I too live in MN... (for starters)

BUT

We are like 3 hours apart :( sad day...

so I read your story that i stumbled upon last week, and I loved it! I think it was well planned and its a wonderful short story....

I LOVE IT!

Ginger Girl On Fire

 
AbigailElizabeth replied...
Apr. 19, 2012 at 8:12 pm :
MN is my love <3 Thank you! 
 
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