On Saturdays, as the sun rises, I like to take a walk in the park by myself. Alone. I especially like to sit on a park bench and contemplate ‘life’. I am often greeted by joggers or dog-walkers and normally, we pass each other by in silence while going about our own business.
On this specific Saturday morning, I had just made my way into the park when I noticed a jogger in front of me…walking. He was tall, young and “jogger’ish”. I swiftly followed him in, hoping to reach my park bench before anyone else did. He turned to look at me, and suddenly turned to look ahead of him again. He turned to me one more time, and in one motion, before he had the chance to look in front of him again, he began to jog. He finally looked ahead of him, but looked back at me again. This seemed rather odd to me and I became somewhat anxious at what seemed to be utter fear that had replaced his rather friendly and fairly handsome face.
I too, began to jog. The expression on his face frightened me as he kept turning to look behind him. I, on the other hand, had no desire to see what was behind us. Or what was following us. Or what was perhaps, threatening us. I continued to pick up speed as the jogger unrelentingly picked up speed. He began to sprint and so did I. I ran for my dear life while trying to keep up with him, but he kept turning back. It was apparent that his fear had increased and he had grown enormously anxious! But, so did I. I made an informed decision to turn around and catch a glimpse of what exactly was following us. I didn’t want to. I had to. I had to know what it was that would be ending our lives on that Saturday, in that park. While running at the speed of what I would imagine a freight train to be, I quickly turned back. There was nothing. I looked ahead at the jogger who was continuously turning back. Again, I turned back. Again, there was nothing. At this point, I became deathly afraid. Understand this; I in no way at all believe in ghosts or spirits or anything supernatural, but at that very moment…I doubted myself! I questioned everything that I ever believed in.
I was desperate to catch up with this jogger and I increased my running speed drastically. Was it fear? Was it desperation? Was it simply adrenalin that allowed me to achieve the speed of an African cheetah? Whatever it was, I was fast! I was running for my life and I would easily have given Usain Bolt a run for his money and title! All his titles, actually.
But, my jogger couldn’t outrun me or whatever he was seeing that I couldn’t see. Effortlessly, I reached him and as I placed my hand on his shoulder, he squealed. Like a girl. Like a little girl. Breathlessly, I asked him, “What’s chasing us?” He looked at me with utter confusion and immense fear on his face. “What?” I was desperate to know! Thankfully, he slowed down and so did I. He did not turn back but kept a watchful eye on me until we both came to a complete halt! He bent over, gasping for breath. I too, tried to catch my breath. He stood up, and with extreme embarrassment in his voice, he could barely manage, “I thought you were chasing me?”
I laughed, but I wanted to cry! I wanted to punch the living daylights out of him! We must have circled the park twice because he was afraid of me? Of what? What was it that he thought I could do to him? Little old me? Needless to say, I never ran (literally) into Mr Jogger Man again!