Flash Frenzy, round 23

Prompt: http://theangryhourglass.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/flash-frenzy-round-23/

Look at her, her speed, her grace, the smooth way she takes the corner, leaning inward to push around the turn at just the right angle. She runs like she was designed for it, never out of sync, never out of breath.

I loved her, of course. Everyone did – her teachers, her friends (although they’d never say such a thing, not at eleven, not with middle school looming with its cliques and its judgment), the boys on the street – but me, most of all. It had been just the two of us since cancer decided it needed to take her mother more than we needed her, but really it was me with her.

I was in awe of her the day she was born. No, she wasn’t supernaturally intelligent, or a baby who never cried sixteen times between dusk and dawn, but just the fact that she existed, had come from nothing and was suddenly this person, this screaming pink drooly pile of possibility. Who could stand a chance against something like that?

There she is again, coming down the hallway. I don’t know why she runs so much at home, when there are trails and tracks and all those things just half a block away at the park, but as soon as she had discovered what running was, she’d started making laps through the hall and the kitchen and the dining room. Couldn’t be more than a hundred feet or so, but around she goes, again and again and again. Back, well, before, she would run into her mother, carrying laundry or coming in from work, and there would be that test of wills. But her mother always let her win, for the same reason we all did.

I’d set the desk in my study so I could watch her run, silhouetted against the setting sun as she made that turn again. Sometimes, when I’d catch her in profile, I’d see her mother’s nose, and feel that ache and anger and passion rise up, because the past is never really past. But mostly, she was just herself, capable of anything, gliding into the future as smoothly as she ran.


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