Story: The Satisfied Jogger – 27/08/19

Jogging deeply satisfied her. It gave her a sense of achievement, of reaching her goals. Each morning she would train, beginning slowly, and then speed up, feet upon the pavement pounding, now rapidly sprinting, for that high, endorphins flowing, and now back to a jog, her heart rate would slow, a quaint, deep patterning of heavy thuds.

She came from a family of lethargic, slothful beings, her family didn’t see what the point in exercise she understood of, what she was doing, all they wanted to do was laze about being couch potatoes and watch television, while further laying around, eating on the couch or in the bed, calling upon her to attend when they wanted more to eat, drink, or of something else to call or send. It was as though she was their servant, unwilling, yet she performed their tasks, she knew that if she didn’t, they wouldn’t allow her to go for her morning jog. It was the only thing which calmed her, made her feel as though she had time to attend to herself, a mental switching off, a reaching for a goal. And the saddening thing was that if she wasn’t permitted her jog in the morning, her heart would slow to a faint disappointed crawl. It was interesting how her physical nature was affected by them all.

Because, the jog was the only thing looked forward to, she wasn’t allowed to go to college, or spend time studying worldly issues in her room. It was as if her slovenly family were punishing her for being so different from them, why, sometimes in the quiet interludes of their madness she wondered whether she had been adopted from another family instead. There was nothing similar of them to see, nothing visual, personality wise, psychological, characteristic to be found, her mother and father, not worth mentioning more than they had given up on a healthy, useful life, instead now the scourge of one another, and her two sisters and brother, they just sat idiotically staring at their favourite television show of a great family of comical badgers.

In her bare room, she sat counting the hours, the minutes, the seconds, until she was allowed to go out into the sun. She was suited up in her tracksuit pants, her turtleneck, and her grey runners that would allow her to be nimble, light-footed amidst her hour of fun, and with deep satisfaction she watched the second hand count down, and she called out, “Mama, Papa, you know the drill! I am going out!” Before they could shriek for more food – beef jerky and Cheetos were at the moment their favourite foods – she rushed through the doorway, she could not get out of there sooner! The escape was one of the greatest feelings which she relished, the wind in her hair as she jogged methodically, consistently, as she demonstrated her fitness prowess upon the hour.

She often spoke to herself under her breath on her jogs and her runs, wondering what she should do, how she could escape essentially her hell on earth. She never came up with a conclusion, an answer, a systematic reason, but what she did detail were symptoms of the illness. The illness that her family surely had that she did not, the gene of laziness and entitlement, more often than not. Never once did they offer her anything useful, to lift a finger, perhaps a helping hand, all they did was take, ask, take, and this they did all day and evening long, wanting to only gain. It was so unfair that she was basically their slave, that they didn’t have anything positive to provide her, except the brief morning run escape, a single moment, one day, again, then the next day would be the same.

What made them think that this was enough, what happened to mental stimuli? Being made to sign away their lives, this was what they were trying to avoid. For their secret was not that they were inherently lazy, no, this was obvious in itself, but the reason they were forcing her to be their slave was because of their immense hidden wealth. Their secret plan was to work her to the bone, until she had enough, took off, left the family home, then they wouldn’t be obliged to leave her name upon their will as their main beneficiary when they would inevitably die.

By law, in their small country, they were required to have as their beneficiary their closest living, next of kin. If they left the family premises, the next of kin would be written in. Because of their poor eating habits and lifestyle choices, they knew their passing would occur sooner rather than later, and they needed their more skilled daughter to fly, fly away. They felt her undeserving of the wealth, for she was selfish, leaving them each morning, apparently to take care of her mental and physical health. It was not on; it simply just would not fly.

One morning, she was running past the lake nearby to her home. Spotted at the surface were two white ducks, each one on their lonesome. With a smile, she called out and waved to them, jolly tunes she sung to them quite freely, “Oh, Ducky, oh, Ducky, where have you been? What have you done, and what have you seen?” And then suddenly they took off with a great frightening scene. Her heart lifted, her lips curled into a warm pout, and she thought to herself, “Why can’t I do that, this? Why can’t they go without?” They didn’t truly need her, they were simply accustomed to being lazy, and now she realised that freedom wasn’t a dream. With a sprint, she pushed forth, her arms flying like one of those freedom seeking ducks, and basically, generally speaking, she deserted her family that day, never to return, there was nothing further left for me to say.  

© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.

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