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I ran across the sandbox, grainy beads poofing up in my track. My feet crunched in the sand with each step. I leaped over the small, wooden barrier, landing in the professionally maintained grass. A blur of green and blue flew past my peripherals as I sped through the park. Children and adults alike watched my hurried pace with confusion and interest. My yellow sundress fluttered around my knees and my long, blonde hair flowed out behind me, dancing streamers in the self-induced wind. I moved through the immense park, dodging trees, people and roots. Only one thought trapezed through my mind, flipping and soaring, generating my limbs with the will to keep moving:
I had to make it in time.
I had to make it in time.
I had to make it in time.
His face flashed through my mind, the love and care that was held in his eyes when he looked into mine. I closed my mind, bringing back only last night, as I continued to run.

The club had been in full swing when Justin and I arrived. Nothing had seemed different, just the two of us, best friends since kindergarten, going out for the night. It was the last night we had together before heading off to college, so we were spending it the way we had throughout the entire summer. I found us a seat while Justin grabbed a couple of sodas. The band had just started up and the crowd was going nuts. The heavy beat made the Diet Coke in my glass quake. I swayed on my barstool, watching the dazzling lights twist their way across the crowd. Such emotion, such joy was written on the faces of the band and crowd alike as the music crashed through the speakers. The overflowing sound burst through my ears, making them ring. I drank quickly, wanting to get out on the dance floor as soon as I could. Justin and I topped off our glasses and jumped into the crowd. The whirling lights were dizzying; my heart was pounding. Justing grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the center of the dancing throng. The singer yelled something inaudibly into the mike and a new jam started up. I laughed at nothing, feeling complete euphoria flood into my limbs. I threw my head back, my laughter dissipating into the heavy music. A twinkling disco ball spun just above my head, slowly revolving. The perfect sphere seemed so calm in the craziness of the club. I stared at it for a moment, expecting something to go wrong, but nothing did. It had found solitude and simplicity in the crazy world that it lived in. I felt the crowd push together, bringing me back down. I looked at Justin, hearing the music wind down slowly. The singer said something about it being the last song of the night before jumping into a slow, romantic number. Justin looked deep into my eyes, reading into me as he snaked his arms around my waist, pulling me closer to him. I slid my hands up onto his arms, feeling the wait of them. He pulled me closer, our bodies touching, his face so close to mind. I leaned into him, feeling his heart beat beneath my cheek. This was the moment, when everything could stop or begin. I heard his heart quicken and lifted my face to his. So close, I could feel his breath. So close, I could see his love. And then…I crashed. The flashing lights sent my head into a tizzy. I was brought back to reality. We were leaving, tomorrow. I could not start this now. I disentangled myself from my best friend’s arms. I disentangled myself from everything that could have been. I fled through the crowd, leaving everything behind.

And now I was running towards it. It no longer mattered that everything was changing. I wanted the change; I wanted the love; I wanted him. Justin’s easy smile, bright eyes, and careless walk flashed through me. Everything that I had fallen in love with years ago, but had never noticed. I had blocked my mind to it all, closed myself off to him.
I had to make it in time. I had no choice. It was either get there in time, tell him how I feel, or not make it and lose everything that is important to me. I focused on this thought, doing my best to ignore everything surrounding me. I allowed no distractions to enter my mind as I concentrated only on time. My heavy breathing began to cramp my abdomen. My limbs quaked as the gate of the park slowly emerged through the trees. The wrought iron gat twisted up into the leafy greens. Vines twirled around the iron, creating a scene straight out of a Monet painting. I hurried towards the gate, knowing what lay just beyond. I felt the grass changed beneath my shoes as I neared the ending. Gravel began to mix with the soft blades, pricking through my thing flats. I cursed myself for choosing the shoes I had. I ran up to the gate, sliding my hands through the bar. I pushed the gate, skidding on the rocky streets as I met the city. Noises burst through my mantra as I watched the business of the city rush by. The dirty cement crusted my shoes as I closed the gate behind me. The swarming streets jostled me as they hurried to and fro, moving about their business. I pushed through them, feeling like a deer caught in brambles, unable to move. I stumbled through the streets, bumping those in my way. My destination was shining in the sun ahead of me. I rushed towards it, being briefly held up by a stoplight. After the hand flashed to a person walking, I began to run again. The crosswalk lines blinked beneath me as my strides overtook one then another, then another. I hit the sidewalk and continued my run, rushing towards the building. The heavy revolving doors slid around me and then, I was there. The train station, I had finally made it. I burst into the air-conditioned room, feeling a great drop in temperature. I moved towards the departure computers, scanning for the one to Boston.
My heart sank.
The train for Boston left in less than five minutes. My antagonist took over my thoughts. There was no way I could make it to the platform in time. I would never make it to Justin before the train left. Everything was gone. Everything was lost. I had lost. I had lost Justin and there was nothing I could do about it. My face dropped, losing all hope.
I stared at the screen.
The seconds ticked away.
I would make it in time.
I would make it in time.
I would make it in time.
I had to.
I turned away from the computers, rushing towards the platform. I could see it through the glass walls. I ran to the nearest exit, pushing through the glass door. The ticket booth was the only thing that stood in my way. I looked around quickly, looking for any authoritative figure who might stop me. Seeing none, I jumped the booth. The train stood waiting. There were tearful goodbyes and loving glances as passengers boarded. Steam began to stream out of the metal beast.
I slid over the booth, my feet touching down on the other side. I had made it. My heart leaped with excitement. I breathed a sigh of relief. Justin was on that train. All I had to do was jump through the doors, find him, and tell him. Tell him everything. I took a step towards the train, my heart soaring. Nothing could stop me now, nothing. I took another step, yet made no movement. I tried to take another, but something was holding me back. I looked down. My dress was caught on the ticket booth.
I swore loudly, causing a woman nearby to gasp and look at me with a mixture of anger and offense. I reached down, sliding my dress off of the metal bar.
The train hissed as the doors began to close.
NO!
I had to make it in time.
I had to make it in time.
I had to.
I could not lose him, not now. Not when things were just about to begin for me, for us. I ran, ran for the time we had, for the time I was losing. His face passed through my mind. The night on the dance floor with the love and care swimming in his eyes, the flashing lights and excitement in the air. I felt a rush of adrenaline, a rush of love. I remembered the way his arms held me, the way he smiled when I told him about my day. Hundreds, thousands of memories, all of him, were stored in my mind. Best friends since kindergarten, for as long as I could remember. He had always been there, for every heartbreak, sickness, accomplishment, win, loss, love, death. He had been at my side through it all. I ran, not for change, nor from it, not for the end or the beginning, not for time.
I ran for him.
I ran for love.





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