‘The Win’ Part II

‘The Win’ continued …

Right … left … right … left …

She must remain focused.  More focused, she noted, than before.

Right … left … right … left …

The path stretched on and on while the sun beat down on her neck.

Paige looked around her.  Some runners kept pace beside her, others remained further ahead, out of site.  Behind her, she could hear the foot falls and heavy breathing of still more runners.  Her heart trilled.

“I’m not last?” Paige wondered in amazement.

With her attention centered on her strides, Paige had not noticed the progress of the runners struggling to keep up.  The goal of the Martin City 5K was to have fun but she could not face the hundreds of stares if she crossed the line last.  An astonished smile tugged at her lips.

Suddenly, Paige felt the white hot pavement meet her hands and rip at her elbow.

A couple dozen runners strode past.

“Are you okay,” a voice asked at her side.

Unfamiliar hands began to help her up.

“I’m fine!” Paige gritted her teeth.  “I’m fine,” she repeated more kindly, “Thank you.”

Right … left … right … left …

She felt warm blood streaming down her arm.

Right … left … right … left …

Her breaths came quicker now.  Paige subconsciously grabbed at her hip.  There it was; the new pain.  Much of the track still spread before her but the pain shot mercilessly through her side.   Her pace slowed.

Still more runners passed.

“Why did I even try,” Paige thought hopelessly as she discovered herself in last place.

“To prove them wrong,” her heart answered.

Right … left … right … left …

“That’s true,” Paige agreed.

Right … left … right … left …

This is my victory.”

Right … left … right … left …

The banner passed over her head.  The crowd cheered as she crossed the finish line.  They were smiling at her but they were not staring at her.  They were cheering for her?

Tears came and Paige’s vision blurred.  They must know … Of course they knew.

She had won today.

Paige glanced down at her new legs.  The metal gleamed back at her.  Her tears fell to the ground.

After the accident, they told her she would never walk again.  She had not come in first today but sometimes the race is about the run.

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