It was time. Thomas glanced down, checking one last time that his shoes were laced and securely tied. They were, and he breathed a slight sigh of relief, knowing how difficult it would be to tie them now. He inhaled, filling his lungs with a deep breath, and exhaled, watching the mist of his breath float serenely past the shelter of the overhang covering the front porch into the field of water pouring from the sky.
It was time.
Very suddenly, Thomas stepped past the dryness of the porch and broke into a steady jog, quickly crossing the entirety of the front lawn before stepping from the gutter to the rain-slicked street, his feet splashing up streams of water behind him. The run was oddly satisfying, somehow rewarding in it's own sake, and he increased his speed, jogging quickly past mailboxes and parked cars, his only company on the dreary gray day.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. For every fairy-tale ending that one person receives, another must endure tragedy. Very rarely had Thomas dared dream for the fairy-tale ending for himself, and thus, he was rarely disappointed. But tragedy...he had grown quite used to the presence of that haunting specter in his life. He had carried his fair share, and perhaps much more. Perhaps more than any man could bear.
So, he ran.
He rounded the corner, leaving the neighborhood, and continued his journey down the abandoned street. He passed a convenience store, it's bright lights promising a safe refuge from the gloomy weather, but he didn't stop. He continued jogging, his pace slowing a bit. He was already getting tired. He could practically smell copper in the air, mixed with the aromas of gasoline and rain.
Hope is a strange, fickle thing. You can live without it your entire life, and, though you may be a sad, pathetic thing for it, it's absence will not be terribly missed. But once you have had it, once that strange, fickle thing has lit inside your heart and filled your mind with empty promises, you'll find that it's quite impossible to ever live again without it.
There is no pain in the world like the pain of the heartbroken. Many claim to have suffered such suffering, but they speak in ignorance. They've suffered heartaches, small fractures, but to have your heart truly broken, to have it unwillingly ripped from your chest and shattered before your very eyes, leaving not even a mote of dust left to try and fill the void within you—this is a rare thing. This is a thing that no man can ever truly recover from.
His arms began to hurt, but he blinked back the stinging tears that threatened to revolt against his will and picked up his pace, now sprinting down the street, as if he could outrun memories, agonies, and perhaps his own humanity.
A misnomer, perhaps. Could something bearing such unfathomable pain really be considered human? Could something so lost, so devoid of any driving force, even the basic evolutionary imperative to survive until the next day really be grouped amongst the whole of humanity?
And, thus, Thomas ran.
A car passed him, driving the opposite direction, causing a torrent of water to rise up and strike Thomas, as if it was offended by the dark stains growing on Thomas' clothing. He grit his teeth, expecting to be rewarded with more pain as the water slammed against his aching arms, but he realized that his hands were beginning to go numb, and he received no extra torment.
It was a hollow blessing. Physical pain is a fleeting, temporary thing. But emotional pain, true emotional pain, is an all-encompassing infection, an eternal curse, forever twisting the mind and soul of it's bearer, promising a future devoid of smiles, of laughs, of even the slightest shred of the possibility of a brighter tomorrow. It is a dark, hollowing thing, forcing the victim to turn his body into a gruesome puppet, able to fake cheeky grins and lighthearted tones while every cell of his body is screaming for release and relief.
Thomas's step faltered, and he unwillingly slowed to a walk. He continued this pace for a few seconds, before his fog-ridden mind realized what he was doing. It was growing hard to think.
He forced himself into a sprint, flying down the street, a crimson trail streaming behind him. His step faltered once more, but he caught his balance, once more regaining his frantic pace. He made it perhaps another ten seconds before he stumbled yet again, this time falling to the ground, unable to command his unresponsive hands to stretch out before him and break his fall. He lay there, exhausted, as finally some semblance of rest began to overtake him.
He was done running.