Laughter tinkled in the air. The drone of mindless conversation filled the room. I smiled, though my skin felt tout across my face. Polite society does that, you know. I don’t even know who I was talking to. Did it matter? She was important so I had to laugh at just the right places, nod as if I understood what she was saying.
It’s getting harder to breathe. Or is that just me. Glancing around, everyone seems to be dandy. I inhaled sharply , telling myself it’s just my imagination. She was still talking, what’s-her-face. I couldn’t hear what she is saying. But I laughed.
It’s too warm . What’s-her-face had that look of disapproval on her face, obviously guessing I was paying her no mind at all. She looked like she had just bitten into a lemon, in her attempt to look prim and proper.
I made my way slowly to the glass doors, hoping not to draw attention to my person though my feet begged to go faster. I slid the doors shut against the noise and it seemed that peace finally prevails within me. But only for a moment.l
The silence bore down on me and thoughts I had long put aside assailed my mind. I tried to silence them but they grew louder. My heart burned in my chest and I know I couldn’t stay where I was. I had to run.
I barely knew what I was doing until I felt, the cool green grass between my toes and set the shoes on the ledge of the verandah. I doubted anyone would miss me.
I hate running. I decided to walk. The night air was crisp against my bare arms but it was refreshing. The only sounds I could hear where the sounds of my breath and that of my heart beating. My heartfelt like dead weight. I didn’t want to give in to its pestering emotions.
So I ran. Slowly at first, but each measured step felt so much better than the one before that I took another, and another. I ran faster and faster as my body began to ache in the measure of my heart. How I can I explain the bitter-sweet feeling that comes with that?
My lungs hurt, my legs throbbed, my breath was raspy but I couldn’t stop! Sweat trickled down my face but I dared not swipe it away. I felt the tears rolling down my face. I ran faster.
My legs grew numb and my body weak but I still pushed on. Some where along the way, cool grass had changed to hard tarmac. I don’t know what happened, but I found myself on the ground. Face down, my body screaming with exertion. I didn’t feel the pain of the impact but I figured I would the next morning.
For more than a moment, I lay there, inhaling the smell of the asphalt. A cry was let out into the night. I didn’t recognize it as my own. It was guttural. Raw. Pain.
I turned and lay on my back. I looked to the sky waiting for something to happen. Maybe I wold be struck by lightning. Or a truck travelling at high speed would pass by, and end my misery. Maybe the tree overhead would just fall on me.
I was at the end. So I waited. I couldn’t understand the peace I felt. I didn’t want to live anymore. I didn’t want to take another step.
I felt the first cool drop on my face. I shut my eyes as the rain fell in sheets, the dull pelting of it on my skin somewhat therapeutic. I hated to think of it but deep within I knew.
Somehow, the pain would fade. The sun would rise. Life would continue. And maybe, just maybe, I would heal.