By Cory Lewandowski
Chapter 1: Mysterious Ways
You were waiting out a thunderstorm under the highway overpass. I had seen you a few times before that, but chose to ignore you. Today was different.
Your eyes darting back and forth between the puddles erupting with rain and your paused Garmin 235 running watch. I could see in your head. I knew you were doing mental math, trying to figure out how many miles you needed to run home in this downpour before you could walk through the front door, enveloped by the warmth of your own home.
You remembered there’s a frozen burrito on the kitchen counter thawing, waiting to be microwaved. But as you gazed up at the gunmetal sky, you begged me to lighten up the rain just a little so you could at least open your eyes completely while you ran home.
I did just the opposite. I opened those goddamn skies up like a slap in the face, while thunder rumbled through the air and into your chest. With fists balled, you cursed my name and stepped back out into the rain. I watched as you splashed through puddle after puddle. I put that terrible song from the commercial you hate in your head, so you’d repeat it eighty two times before you got home. I helped you pick that shirt that rubs your nipples just wrong.
Forty-seven painful minutes later, when your soggy socks slapped against the hardwood floor, and you finally put that burrito in the microwave, you would look back at your watch, realizing you ran much further and faster than you ever had before.
You jumped into the shower, shivering at the cold mist that came off it while you waited for the water to warm up your frozen bones. And there, in that shower, as warm water and euphoria poured over you, despite the burn in your nipples, you smiled. You even teared up a little with pride.