I ran.
Not for my life, but from it.
Once you’ve done it enough times it seems satisfying, like you’re actually outracing some of your problems. And then it gets addictive, because that feeling of not being tied down by your thoughts can be equated with the freedom of an innocent prisoner.

Running became a part of my daily routine. Whenever I was on the verge of going up in flames, I’d put on some trainers and run out the damn door. For a while it startled my parents but the sooner they saw me coming back alive and a little happier than I was when I left, the better accustomed to it they became.
The only problem was I never really outran life. Sure, some of the repetitive thoughts hit “pause” for some time, but I couldn’t run forever. At some point I had to come back home, and home meant reality. Although, the thought of eventually getting ahead of life, was my biggest motivation.

The roads I chose to relieve my anger on were straight and a bit too narrow for traffic. They were lovely though; the sides were lined with beautiful trees, some of them leaf-less, looming over the concrete like outstretched arms. The occasional child would walk alongside his/her mother, crying because of a graze on the knee; or brooding because he/she was forcibly detached from the TV. But usually when I was out on my runs, the streets were empty save for an odd vehicle or two.

After about two months of running, the feeling of almost combusting became the equivalent of literally sitting on a lit pyre, so I ran more frequently, twice as determined. And then one day, after 65 days of trying, I did it. I outran life; leaving it behind in the trails of my shoes, and under a goddamn oncoming truck.

©Isha Malaviya.


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