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Love

The morning was cold and misty. A man was sitting on a bench looking at his left ankle who otherwise would always be Running. A lady, a daily runner, saw the man on the bench. She had never talked to him, they knew each other as runners, perhaps. She thought to talk to him but second thoughts made her to continue on her run. She did not see the man for a couple of days. She thought he would be recovering.
He was back running, when she caught sight of him, a smile was on her face.
Few days into his run, he was again on the bench. The lady caught a glimpse of the man, she stopped, this time determined to talk to a kind of a stranger. She started towards him slowly. She sat on the bench, he looked at her with a smile, she replied with a smile. She said, "I think you have pain in the leg."
"Yes, a few days ago, I had twisted my ankle while running, little rest will do I think," he replied.
 "You have been running for years," she continued.
"It feels good in the midst of nature. You are also running for many years," he said.
"Nature and it's many hues is best enjoyed on the run," she replied.
"Many years have passed knowing each other as runners but for the first time we are talking, is it not strange?", he asked.
"Yes, don't they say strange things happen in life," she answered with a smile. After a short pause she continued, "I will finish my run." She moved, he looked at her for a few moments.
Next few days the man was absent, her eyes would search him with the first light of the day. He had taken a long break this time.
After a week he was back running. After runs they would do stretching exercises. They started having conversations, after all these years, while stretching.
"Hi, you look tired today," she asked, probably this was the second time she had seen him closely.
"Yes, a little today," he replied.
They started on different paths which led to their home.
At another stretching session, she asked, "what do you do these days?"
He said, "I am at home, searching for a way to make a living."
She said, "we are on the same boat." After a few moments, she continued, "did you not try a career in sports?"
"I did but for destiny." he replied.
They were yet again on their paths
Another morning, she naively asked, "what do you think about politics?"
"Demoiselle, I am a tired man," he replied.
They went on their different paths.
Months passed, their conversation would not last more than a minute.
In summers their runs would start early.
One summer morning, she hesitated, unsure how to begin, asked him, "are you married?"
"No," he replied.
"People marry by your age," she reiterated.
"You are also of my age," he said with a smile.
Their conversations were always incomplete.
As she woke up one morning, her first thought was to tell the man that she was in Love with him. While running, she changed her mind. When they met unsure how to start, she asked, "were you ever in love?"
"No", he continued," they say love is beautiful, but I am a tired man."
She asked, "why do you always say you are a tired man?"
He said," I cook, wash dishes and look after my mother, who is almost bedridden. When I finish these jobs, I am so drained that looking after myself feels a long haul. But I have no complaints. So I am a happy tired man." After a pause, "I can't afford another relationship of love."
She nodded.
Few weeks passed, she usually never missed to run. For a few days he didn't see her. He was probably searching her while running. He thought it to be natural as it was a routine to see her. He felt a void. Perhaps, he too loved her. Weeks turned into months, he thought she would have moved. Months turned into years, he never stopped running.
On a cold and a misty morning, he was suprised to see her again. Like yesteryears they met once again at stretching.
He said, "long time, as they say strange things do happen."
"Indeed, they do," she replied.
Few minutes passed, silence engulfed.
He looked at her, "did you get married?" he asked.
"No," she continued, "So have you married?"
"No," he continued, "were you ever in love?"
"Yes, I am in love with a man for years," she continued, "but my man is too tired to marry, probably, the wait is I think eternal."
He asked, "does he know you love him."
"Perhaps not, I have never told him," she said.
After a long pause.
"Did you ever love in all these years?" she asked.
"Probably, I did. When I knew that I was in love, she was gone. As years passed, I thought, I would never meet her again." he said.
She asked, "if you meet her again, would you marry her?"
He said, "I met her again on this cold morning, but I am too tired to get married."
She said, "I knew the wait would be eternal, but this relation is special and different."
After years their conversation was complete.
Yet again they took their paths.
Now their conversations would start and end with a smile.
Days turned into months, months into years , they continued to run.




This post first appeared on Collection Of Short Stories, please read the originial post: here

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