The Run

October 23, 2012
By Zoe Kraft SILVER, Long Grove, Illinois
Zoe Kraft SILVER, Long Grove, Illinois
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

She began slowing down. Her legs were sore and she was out of breath. The park was empty with the exception of a few people walking their dogs. She gave in and jogged to the nearest bench, shaded by a large weeping willow tree a few feet away. She leaned back, placing her hands behind her head to open up her airways. She squinted up at the sky, not a single cloud was visible. She rolled her neck down and caught herself in a gaze, staring at the ground, watching a caterpillar make its way along the gravel path.

It’d be hard to say how long she was sitting there, when all of a sudden she felt the company of someone else take the empty seat on the far side of the wooden bench. She didn’t look up, just remained fixated on the colorful insect.

It was a man. He cleared his throat and slightly shook the bench when he leaned back to get comfortable. “It’s a beautiful day out,” his voice was soft and friendly. She recognized it.

“Yeah, it is,” she turned her head in the opposite direction pretending to be amused by a man throwing a Frisbee for his dog.

“I love days like these,” he waited for her to answer, but she remained silent, so he continued, “It’s my favorite time of year because the weather is perfect, crisp, but not cold.”

She looked up at the tree where the leaves were changing colors, so many colors. She just nodded and swallowed back the words she really wanted to say.

“Maybe I’ll actually get married during this time of year someday,” he pointed across the park to a lake that was sparkling with the sun’s reflection, “Probably on a beach or near water.” In the corner of her eye she could see him turn to face her, “Wouldn’t that be pretty?”

She turned her head away again. He planted his feet on the ground and stood up. She was still avoiding looking in his direction when he turned toward her and exhaled, “I see you’re still running,” it was bitter; and with that he slid his hands into the depths of his pockets and continued walking down the path.

Her head snapped up and her sight was blurred from the tears begging to escape. She would have rather had him simply ignore her, than talk to her as if nothing had ever happened between them. Teeth clenched, she stood up and turned facing the way she had come from. Just like that day she had turned her back on him and left, she ran in the opposite direction in which he was traveling.

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