One Two (This is Why I Run)

One two.  One two.  

I am running.  It is me and a trail completely surrounded in trees.  In another season, the leaves would block the sun from my path.  But it’s winter now and the trees are empty, bare of foliage.  The bushes along the trail are littered with tiny clumps of snow and ice.  At first glance they seem hardly alive.  Dead.

I am dead.  Or at least I feel dead.  I wonder if people know, if they see when they look at me.  I can see.  I see it every day.  I see him.  This is why I run.

You have changed me.  

One two.  One two.  

The only way I can tell I’m alive is the beating of my feet against the dirt.  The ground is frozen solid and I can almost feel it through the soles of my shoes.  Wind cuts into my cheeks with every step and my tears freeze almost as soon as they leave my eyes.  My heart is wide open and my life is spilling out.  I’m crying for everything I have lost, bleeding.  There is too much that I can not get back.  

I imagine myself sprawled out on the frozen dirt, being absorbed back into the earth.  I think that I could do that, that I could be okay with that.  Disappearing.  I could be okay with that, but I shouldn’t be.  I need to fight.  I need to break through this; I need to not let him win.  

You have taken everything from me.  Again.

One two.  One two.  

My feet are moving on their own and I don’t have to instruct them.  One two.  One two.  My feet are moving on their own and I don’t have to think.  But I do.  I think of me and him and the end that is most certainly coming for me.  I am told that I’m courageous, that I’m strong, that I can handle anything.  But I don’t see it.  I don’t want to handle anything else.  I don’t want to do this.  I don’t want to fight.  I shouldn’t have to.  

When I was a kid, I dreamt of what I thought my perfect life would be.  I pictured an ideal wedding with ice sculptures and peacocks and beautiful flowers, to the man I loved.  I imagined that we would have two children, a boy and a girl, and that they would be just a few years apart—enough to play happily but maintain distance when needed.  We adopted a white german shepherd named Alfie who protected us and loved on us for many years.  As empty nesters, my husband and I would retire to Florida, where we would live out the rest of our days in the sun and provide a vacation home for our children and their children.  Happily ever after.  

I believed in a fairy tale.  A lie.  And the lie had disintegrated around me.

After that, I started to believe again.  I thought that things were better, changing.  Until they weren’t.  I will always look over my shoulder.  I will always be followed.  A person can’t walk away when they are completely immersed.  It never ends.  It can’t.  It isn’t possible.  I thought that it was over, that I was happy and okay.  But I wasn’t.  It was yet another lie.

One two.  One two.

I am not a person anymore.  I am a shadow, a shell, broken into a million pieces that can never be repaired and that fly down the trail at a break-neck speed.  I cannot run fast enough.  I cannot outrun his shadow.

I never could.

My breath is frenzied and wrong, not even as the running requires.  My form is broken.  

One two.  One two.  One.  Two.  

I stop and bend forward, my hands on my knees and my hair in my face.  My eyes are blurry; my head is blurry.  I close my eyes and I picture him; I feel him as if he is right there.  I want to run forever but I can’t.  I can’t take another step.  I’m cold, lost.  I pray for snow, but instead there is rain.  Icy, cold, and near freezing.  

I have lost everything.

I want it back.

This is why I run.

One two.  One two.  One two.

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One thought on “One Two (This is Why I Run)

  1. Fantastic. I love your writings! Your words are very alive 🙂

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