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intensive care unit
great memories
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rural area
Light Side: My Best Run Ever
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If you are a veteran runner, you can recall any number of runs you had for a variety of reasons. I have great memories of runs for a variety of reasons such as where I was, who I was with, how fast I went, or what was happening to me at that point in my life. But, I don't associate any of those reasons with my best run ever. Read below if you want a funny running story about my best run ever.

I am a big guy, by any standard, and no one thinks "long distant runner" when they first meet me. I was however, in my running my best times and furthest distances when I had my best run ever. I took great pride in simply running out any country road and going for miles. I would lose myself in thought and have great moments of reflection. I was in one of these moments of Zen when I was interrupted from a voice to my left in a particularly rural area of the country.

"Jay," the voice sang. "Is that you?"

I stopped my run as if shot and looked toward a cute little house that I had not noticed before this moment. In front of the house was a woman. Her name was Sandy.

At the time, I was young and single and working at a local hospital as a physical therapist. Sandy was a nurse from the intensive care unit. She always smelled of lilacs, and I always found myself smiling a bit too brightly when I was near her.

Moments before I had been lost in the clouds running with angels, now I was aware of how dirty, sweaty, and smelly I was in the company of an angel.

"Hey, Sandy," I answered. My voice sounded rasped with gravel. I cleared my throat. "I didn't know you lived here." My skin burned hot.

"Yeah, about the last five years," she answered. She was walking toward me. The breeze lifting her hair and presented her face for full inspection

The chords of her speech practically squeezed my neck. I swallowed hard and nodded.

"Ben and I moved in here right after we married. I thought we would always live here," she said her voice trailing off at the end. I knew Ben. He was an odd little creature with a head too large for his body and dwarf-like hands. I never understood what Sandy had seen in him.

"Oh," I said.

Ben was the chief nursing officer at the hospital. A position of some stature, especially in the hospital community, but I did not feel like he deserved it. He was pleasant to me in group settings, but turned vile and unkind when we were alone. I was not interested in seeing Ben today.

"You look like you could use some water," Sandy said breaking the silence.

I was painfully aware that I was nearly mute. "Oh, no. I am okay. I run all the time. I can get a drink when I get home. I will be okay. Thanks though," I said at a rapid pace, and just so she knew I could talk I finished with, "Is Ben home?"

Her face lost expression, "Well even still you look like you could use a drink. Why don't you step into the kitchen? I will get you a glass. It is really no trouble. I would feel bad if you left without one."

Her voice was so kind, her desire for me to have a glass of water so sincere. How could I say no? I nodded slowly.

She turned toward the house and I followed. She turned her head as we went, "and no, Ben is not home."

I did not want to see Ben, but going into her house without him there did not seem like a good idea either. I did not want to be the topic of gossip and rumor. "Oh," my voice squeaked, and then innocently enough I added, "when will he be home?"

"Hopefully never," she said stepping into the kitchen. "He and I separated a week ago. We are going to get a divorce, I hope."

I tripped on the entry step and nearly fell into the kitchen. I quickly righted myself before Sandy could look my way. "I'm sorry to hear that," I said. I was having trouble breathing.

"Don't be. It has been a long time coming. Now here's that water," she said handing me a glass. Our hands brushed in the transfer.

God, I have never been so thirsty. I drank the glass in a single tilt.

"Wow," she said. "For a guy who was going to wait till he got home, you sure drank that fast. How about another glass."

"Sure," I said. "You sure have good water here." I know, who says stuff like that?

"It's well water," she said turning back to the sink.

Her hair was so pretty. I was thinking about reaching out and touching it when I heard the truck coming.

"Oh, no," she said. "It's Ben."

I swallowed to keep my heart from discharging out of my mouth.

"I think he is drunk," she said softly.

It was maybe 11 in the morning. Who drinks then? I was speechless.

"You better go upstairs. I will deal with him and get him to go away." She shooed me toward the stairs that faced the entryway door.

I sprang like a cat that had been shot with electricity. Two cougar-like steps and I was at a landing. I could go left or right. I chose left.

Ben's voice split my head, "I know you got man in there. I am going to kill him, whoever it is." His voice toyed with the lunacy of the very disturbed.

The room to the left was a bedroom of about 10 square feet. It had a small be pressed against the wall and a nightstand. There was no other furniture to hide behind.

"Now, Ben," I heard Sandy say as she went out the front door to cut him off. "I don't have any man in here."

The door slammed so loud I thought he had shot her. I saw a closet door and opened it swiftly hoping I could hide inside. It was packed with boxes.

Ben's voice was incomprehensible. He was coming fast. I heard Sandy's voice trailing behind his. "Ben. Give me the gun."

I briefly thought of crossing the landing and trying the other bedroom, but that thought was extinguished as I heard the front door open.

Ben's voice echoed up the stairs, a curse-laden rant.

I quietly collapsed on the floor hoping to get under the bed.

Sandy was on the stairs with Ben now. Her voice was soothing yet stern. I felt their shadows pushing at me.

It was a trundle bed. I would not be hiding under it for safety. In a moment of clarity I wedged up next to the bed and tried to make myself invisible.

Ben raged to the doorway. Sandy was talking into his ear. My eyes saw the barrel of the gun enter the room, and then Ben. My only thoughts were on being invisible.

Ben's eyes scanned the room, but they never searched the floor. He left and bounded up the other stairs cursing all the way. Sandy's voice continued to plead for reason.

Invisibility was my only thought.

Down the stairs they went. I recognized only one phrase, "I told you I didn't have a man here." Been got in his truck and drove through the hedges on his exit.

I never ran that country road again, but I can guess you understand why that was my not my second best run, but my best run ever.

Thanks for reading.

Street Talk

Spirit of the wild my friend, spirit of the wild

  about 1 decade ago

Well wang dang-I wondered where you caught that cat scratch fever.

  about 1 decade ago

If it were me, I would have run on that country road every day after that!

  about 1 decade ago

Ha! I said I never ran on it again. I did end up driving on it quite frequently. I wondered if anyone was going to notice that. Thanks for reading and commenting. J.

  about 1 decade ago
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