I saw him coming from the opposite direction. A boy of about eleven-twelve years, maybe. He was running bare foot at a great speed, his lanky built swaying rhythmically. He was out of breathe. Although, there was a distance of few steps between us, I could see he was perspiring. He sat down, with his legs extended out freely, on the side of the road. His head was shining under the light of the lamp post. Perhaps, he was playing with his friends and running for fun.
I thought it would be fun to challenged him to a race. I was really hoping he would agree and make me do my warm up. He laughed at first. When he realized I was serious, he refused politely. He got up, and sat on the road side iron bar with his legs dangling. He said he needs to go to the market. I was disappointed, but I didn’t show it to him.
I had hardly walked a few steps, when I saw another young boy walking towards us. His loose t-shirt and oversized sleepers made him look tiny for his age. It turned out these two were friends and they’re heading to the market together. “She is challenging us for a race”, the bare foot informed him. The tiny one looked at me, as if for confirmation. When I nodded my head, he agreed.
“From where to where?”, he asked with an amused look. I made them walk to a huge speed breaker, and asked them if they would cover a distance of 1km. Afteral, my intention was to run till the ground, where I was going for my workout. They said they are running late and can do only a short distance. So, we settled for a 400 m race. But, our ideas of 400 m were different from each other. After an elaborated discussion, we successfully decided on a finish line. The tiny one picked his oversized sleepers in his hands, and we all took our positions.
On the count of three, we broke into a race. It was exciting. The last time I ran a race was probably in school. After a few minutes, they were running ahead of me. It was funny how they turned their heads every other minute to check if I was still running. Perhaps, they thought I would give up. I am not running for the last 4 month for nothing, fellas. A grown up lady racing with two young boys in the middle of the road, was quite a sight!
I was running with full concentration. I was taking bigger strides, fully opening my hips. One foot and then another. Suddenly, I was Monica Geller and was desperate to win. I swear, I was very close to running past them, when a gang dogs suddenly decided to join us. Barking and jumping, they scared the shit out of me. Why did they have to come and ruin the race? I was almost winning!
No regrets, however. The boys had a good laugh. And, I got a good story to write about.