Janefer sprinted down the track, her feet flying over each foot of dirt, her heart beating wildly in her chest, her ponytailed hair streaming out behind her, her face a flushed red. I can do this. Just 15 yards left. She looked behind her. Big mistake. Her competitor, Terrence Li, doubled his pace, and ripped right past her. She groaned inwardly, knowing she’d have no chance now. Terrence, a college major, had muscles the size of the Hulk and the determination of a hungry wolf. Still, I must try.
She put all of her strength into the last couple of yards and saw that Terrence was slowing. Her legs burning, heart beating, hair flying, she used her last ounce of strength and burst through the tape at the finish line. Terrence followed soon after, just as she collapsed, dead tired, but happy, on the ground.
Terrence slowed to a jog to cool off and then stalked over to where Janefer was sitting, squinting in the sun with a Kool Aid in her hand.
“Hey Janefer, you did okay out there. Didn’t think you could beat me. I have to admit, I was skeptical, but you did pretty good.”
She punched him playfully in the arm. “Hey, thanks. You didn’t do so bad yourself.”
He gave her his congratulations, then walked over to where buddies were waiting. Janefer stood up, brushed herself off and walked slowly over to where her best friend and college-mate, Melanie Studd, stood, hands on her hips.
“Janefer Kendra Davis, I cannot believe what you just did! How on earth-it was amazing!”
Janefer just grinned and shrugged. “I didn’t think I would beat him after he passed me during the last half. Guess I was lucky, huh?”
“Janefer, you know very well luck has nothing to do with it. How can you win an unbelievable race against Terrence -Terrence of all people! You know how much he works out, how can you not believe it was something other than luck?” Melanie hooked her arm through Janefer’s as they strode to the parking lot.
“Whatever you say, Mel.” Janefer tossed her empty drink into the one of the many garbage cans that littered the whole track and parking lot and sighed.
“Thanks for being willing to drive me home. With my Dad in the hospital, my Mom couldn’t come to the race.” A look of disappointment and sadness etched itself into her freckled face, and she quickly turned away to hide the coming tears.
Mel caught the look. “Hey, I’m sorry your parents couldn’t make it. I’m sure they both wanted to be there; do you want me to take you to the hospital or to your house?”
“Um, the house, if you don’t mind. I need to shower and get some fresh clothes. Besides, I doubt the hospital staff would let me into his room, knowing how dirty I am.”
“Sure, no prob. Are you okay, Jan?” Mel asked with a note of concern.
“Yeah, I’m fine. I was just a little disappointed that my mom and dad couldn’t come. It is a bit sad knowing the one’s in the hospital and the other one can’t come because of it.” Her last remark expressed a hint of anger mingled with sarcasm.
“I’m sorry, Jan. I didn’t mean to meddle. ”
Mel started the car and put it into reverse as she pulled out of the parking spot.
Janefer stared out the window as Mel got onto the road and picked up speed. As Janefer observed the scenery whipping by, she noticed a red car with a male driver driving closely beside them.
Her heart rate quickened, but died down to its normal pace when the car passed them and took a different turn.
It took 15 minutes to get to Janefer’s street, where they had to pass through an old wooded area. Janefer looked in the rearview mirror, only to see the red car following very closely behind them again. To her utter horror, the car accelerated and Janefer knew it was going to hit them.
“Mel, watch out!”
Mel whipped her head around, but not in time. The car rammed into theirs and everything in Janefer’s world went black.