Hannah was getting back into her routine of running at least twice a day. Off towards the park, round the little lake, and then back again. Usually she was already under the shade fo the trees when the sun was coming up, but today she was still on her way there, half her water bottle gone when the first rays of sunlight made the dew glisten. The street lamps finally turned off a half hour into her run, her breathing just starting to feel labored.
Which, for her, signaled she really did let the whole deal with John and Skylar get to her. Amber's couch potato comments hadn't been competitive banter, it had been correct.
Hannah scowled as she pushed herself to take her speed up a notch, her breath heavy in her own ears. The stitch in her side came unexpectedly, exploding across her rib cage.
Gritting her teeth she slowed but didn't stop. She knew she could run longer than this, father than this, and faster. All she had to do was keep going, and once the cramp in her side was gone she could really pick up the pace and at least come close to keeping her average.
The park's paths were shaded and cool, giving Hannah’s body a chance to cool a little before the sun started heating the air around them. Every breath still burned, but every step also felt right. Running felt good. Muscles moving, blood pumping, the ability for all those thoughts dragging her down to finally be pushed away.
If only that cramp in her side would go away, then maybe Hannah would finally feel like she was back to her previous fitness level. Unfortunately it didn’t go away through the windy park paths or back down the suburban blocks to her home. Other than that, she fell into a decent enough rhythm of running and breathing until she turned the corner to see her own home, but in a way she had never seen it before.
Red and blue lights from cop cars showing off the yellow tape wrapped around trees in her front yard, people in blue uniforms moving to and fro.
For a moment she stood on the corner just blinking at the chaos. And then she started running towards home, hoping the answers weren’t nearly as bad as her imagination's worst case scenario.
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