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as if nothing happened

published: 2012-11-19

There is a woman who runs in the park every day and always in the same direction: anti-clockwise. Same pacing, same distance. Same ponytail swings left and right like a metronome.
I don’t see her for a while and I don’t miss her. Until one day, a year or so later, I notice her and realize she was gone. Nothing has changed, not even in a year. I feel like I can breathe out now.
Sure enough, she’s there the next day. Same frown, same outfit. But this time she runs clockwise. Has she stopped looking back? Has she decided to move on with her life?
I hold my breath. She is about to pass and when she does – because she shouldn’t, not face forwards – I trip her up.
“Sorry,” I say, “I’m so sorry. You were running so fast, I didn’t realize…”
She looks at me for a brief moment, but really she doesn’t. And off she runs, as if nothing happened.

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