Hey guys! I hope if you haven't already you will head over to superpennie.com and check out the first Tube Tale, Mr Panda.
Below is the second story in the series, The Boy Who Always Ran. I figured I'd post it here too, just until everyone gets used to following the website, though I will always link to what's new over there anyway =]
The Boy Who Always Ran
I thought he was mine; just mine. That he was especially for me, existing only to keep me company. A true friend.
Years later I discovered he would visit other kids too. I wasn't the only one! I felt cheated.
Of course, the grown up in me was astonished by the fact that children who did not know each other could share an imaginary friend. But more importantly the child in me was excited to know her old friend must just be off entertaining other kids these days, after all it is a most important job.
I must admit, the child in me was also a little heart broken at the thought that he left me, to play with another kid. It's like he was stolen from me. Like losing your best friend to some other kid and never even getting to understand why.
I don't remember his name. Maybe I just never knew it. We didn't really talk much.
He would always keep me company on those long journeys and entertained me with his tricks. He was the fastest runner I ever did see. I guess you could say he was like an extreme free runner on fast forward.
For years he would be by my side.
Every time I got into my parents car or onto a bus or train to go somewhere, he'd be there. Not 'there' exactly… he was always outside.
Not because I didn't want him in the car (of course I did!), but because he didn't need to be in the car.
Running along fences and walls on the road side, he's always be able to keep up. He loved to run and jump and swing from poles. Heck, I guess he still does.
He'd run along the road, jumping up and over the cars. They'd never even care about him. Not one of them ever slowed down! To begin with I'd be worried he'd get hurt. I'd get angry at the drivers who'd constantly threaten his life.
I slowly began to understand that it was him threatening his own, that it wasn't anyone else's responsibility to protect him other than his own. He helped me learn that we need to take responsibility for ourselves.
That if you do something stupid, it's your own fault if something bad comes of it. It's not other peoples place to ever tell you what to do, just warn you if they see something you're blind to.
I also came to realise that he was never going to get hurt. He was a pro! He was the best extreme free runner on fast forward in the business.
He'd fling himself from lamppost to lamppost across the long stretch of motorway and run along those metal bars that are always placed along the edges - I never did learn their name.
Sometimes he would turn up on a skateboard or wearing a pair of blades.
He'd almost always wear a blue t-shirt. Or maybe it was black.
He taught me to be brave. And that if you give yourself a chance to panic, you'll never jump, so to be prepared to take chances once and a while. I think I lost some of those lessons growing up. The day you get hurt you get too scared to jump. Before you ever get really hurt, it doesn't occur to you that it could happen. You think you're immortal. Untouchable. The older you get, the more you come to realise that you're not.
I don't remember exactly the date he ran from me. I think it's been a while though. Sat on this train back to London I found myself staring out the window, thinking about him.
I sure do hope he's still running and that he didn't get too old.
And I sure do hope he's stilling teaching little kids all those lessons he's there to teach.
Please, oh please, if anyone see's him, or knows his whereabouts, could you pass him on a message from an old friend? Tell him I miss him and long journeys haven't been the same.
And tell him thank you for even running in the rain.