fortitude | Teen Ink


January 18, 2018
By ariellamendes17 GOLD, South Salem, New York
ariellamendes17 GOLD, South Salem, New York
12 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
Pain is temporary. Quitting is forever.

I could see him catching up with me.  I felt the diminutive breaths scratching my throat.  I just had to make it to the train track and I was safe.  I felt the sting of the wind cutting at the thick skin I had built up.  I could see the boisterous crowds standing between me and my safety.  Behind me, Charles was gaining on me.  It seemed that the harder I ran, the closer he got.  The blood running down my face had dried in the harsh night.  I knew she was out there past those tracks.  I just knew it. 

“Damn it, Ben! You can run as fast as you want, I’m still gonna get you!” said Charles.  I could hear the smirk plastered on his harsh face. 

As I ran past the shelter filled with destitute people where I had grown up, I thought about my mother.  She deserved a better fate than they gave her.  I focused on the shooting pain in my calves to distract the tears from blurring my vision.  As I neared the crowd, I had two choices, try to run through them or get lost among them.  I ran straight through like a cold front battering the coastline. Most of  them fell down.  Some just shifted to the side with a look of shock on their faces, but I didn’t care.  I had to make it. 
In my cursory move through the crowd, I hadn’t realized I had just given Charles the perfect path.  But I didn’t have time to regret the choice I’d just made.  I had to make it to the tracks.  I had to see her.  I had to feel her again.  I had to live.  
“It’s not me you’re running from,” Charles sputtered, “I hope you know that! No matter where you try to hide, Ben, I will find you!”
I could hear my mother’s voice in my head.  Desperate and soft.
“Keep going.  She’s out there.  If you let the evil consume your thoughts, you let them control your mind.”
I didn’t have the heart to stop the tears this time.  I could feel her hand in mine.  A velvet touch that belonged to no one else.  For a moment there, I thought I saw her gentle face among the crowd. Not scared or worried.  But just a light smile upon her rose-kissed cheeks.  And in that split second, I knew I had to make it.  Even if all the odds were against me. If God himself tried to hold me back.  I had to feel her touch again.  I had to leave the place I once knew as home.

The author's comments:

I am 16 years old and a casual writer.  I was inspired by the assignment I got from my teacher.  We had to use some vocab words of the week to write a short story. I hope people want more of this story.  I may add to it if it's something people are interested in.  

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