A dreary day but the rain held off for much of the afternoon to allow a good solid 8 mile run to the park and back. The first few miles felt cold in fall like temps in the 60’s, but soon warmed up as the pace picked up. With the trails being wet and sloppy, stayed mostly on roads - that still felt good. Home, now, warm and dry, fueling up with a nice meal; get some rest and go for another dozen miles tomorrow.
After two short, slow runs, feel like I’m back on track this morning.
Seven days left in my run streak. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it here, but I’ve decided to go to day 200, which is next Thursday. After that I’ll take next weekend off, then start again Monday but add in lifting, cross training, and actual rest days. I’m not at all tired of running, in fact I love it more than I did before, but I am tired of running every single day, and I’m really tired of trying to find routes that don’t result in me running past the same houses over and over. It’ll be nice to mix things up a bit.
#Repost from cyclist /photographer @quiquebuenote - “Another one of my best from the last @redhookcrit Bcn track day at @velodromhorta”
#tbt #rhcbcn4 #redhookcrit #cycling #biking #cyclist #bike #bicycle #fixedgear #trackbike #hizokucycles
Sora stood in the middle of her friends as they prepared camp for the night. They wandered around her like she was a ghost. Goosebumps littered her skin like she was haunted, anyways. The sun had gone down hours ago and they were still struggling to make a fire to keep warm. Taichi was on his hands and knees fiddling with some kindling. He hadn’t spoken a word since he started trying to light it. Sora knew what he was thinking about, though. Agumon’s name hung heavy in the air like smoke from a fire he could have lit in an instant.
Sora lost track of how many days they’d been without their partners. They landed in the digital world two days ago and immediately started searching for them. Some of the chosen’s hopes were high in the beginning, but Sora’d been feeling unusually pessimistic. She tracked her friends movements around her, barely able to decipher who was who from their silhouettes. They went about their tasks diligently. Everyone felt the difficulty of the work without their partners, but no one complained. The group was unusually silent. Back home, the quiet would have been softened by the sound of crickets. Here though, on a night that particularly struck everyone’s nerves, the quiet settled like stone or a broken bone put back in place.
Jou coughed and slapped a hand over his mouth. Both the sounds were piercing. Taichi, who perhaps mistakenly believed he was low enough to the ground to be hidden in the shadows, dropped his kindling in frustration and clenched his fists. Sora felt herself take a half-step towards him, but she didn’t actually move. Her mind had willed her there but her body didn’t listen. Perhaps she truly was a ghost. No one had noticed her standing there. Being a ghost meant being a shell of one’s former self, and that’s exactly how Sora felt- empty.
The digimon had fallen victim to the infection, but it had an adverse effect on the humans too. Everyone had aged. They were forced to mature overnight. A chunk of their already-waning innocence was sacrificed in exchange for some sort of mental stability to help process the erasure of their partners. As Sora looked on over each of her friend’s individual, silent struggles, she realized that there was nothing she could do. She’d run out of offerings. Her shoulders drooped and her arms shook. Wasn’t she the caretaker? Taichi’d said she’d become more motherly, but eventually all children grow up. Sora’s eyes filled to the brim with tears and she struggled to regulate her breathing. It was only a matter of time until someone noticed her emotions boiling over. The girl turned around and briskly left the group, her sights set on a riverbank just through the trees. As she grew more distant from her friends, Sora picked up her pace until she was practically running. She had just enough energy to hold her tears in until she was on the edge of the water, staring down at her reflection. She furrowed her brows at it and cried. If it weren’t for the light of the moon, the stranger in the water would’ve completely blended into the murkiness.
Creases lined Sora’s forehead with worry. She crossed her arms over her chest and held herself tightly. A choked sigh. “What am I doing?”
“That’s funny,” A voice responded from behind her. Sora gasped and spun around, only to meet Yamato’s composed gaze. “I was about to ask you the same question.” He narrowed his eyes at her- a warning. He could already see through the wall she was frantically trying to build.
Sora lied through her teeth anyways- not for her gain, but for his. He didn’t need to worry more than he already was. “I’m thirsty,” she said, shocked by how unfamiliar her own voice sounded. She motioned towards the water, “I came to get a drink.”
Yamato leaned up against the tree next to him and crossed his arms, an indicator that he wasn’t going to leave. He knew when people needed space and he knew when people only wanted space. Sometimes there was a huge difference. Sora used to be able to trick him, much like he used to be able to trick the rest of his friends, but not anymore. “So drink.”
Sora bit her lip and averted her eyes. Perhaps she could have, but her throat was already clogged with tears. If she drank anymore she probably would have choked. He’d caught her, and Yamato remained silent as Sora came to the realization on her own. Her eyes welled up once more- she couldn’t even protect him from her own unnecessary burden. Who was she?
Sora raised her head but couldn’t bring herself to look Yamato in the eyes. They stood a good ten feet apart from each other yet Sora already felt him under her skin. He studied her movements- the way her body shook, the way her knees buckled. He dashed forward and was there to catch her before her legs had even given out. Still, he remained silent. If he was going to get anywhere with Sora he knew that she would need to guide the conversation. For being such an emotionally intelligent person, discussing her own emotions never came easy. This was a way to give her back some control.
Not too long ago, Sora’d been the one to tell Meiko it was okay to cry. That’s why she was there. Now though, with her head buried into Yamato’s chest much like Meiko’s was buried into hers, Yamato reassured her of the same thing with a single, soft glance. The tears came and Sora stopped trying to force her composure. She cried out, her shoulders heaved, all-the-while Yamato rubbed his hand in circles on her back. His other hand held the back of her head, pulling her in closer to him. After awhile Sora could feel his shirt growing damp. Still, he stayed and soothed her. It took a few minutes of this before Sora finally spoke up.
“Who am I?” she asked quietly, her voice muffled.
Yamato frowned. He didn’t understand what she meant. He dropped his hand from the back of her head so she could lean back and look at him. Sora figured she must’ve looked like a mess from the way Yamato’s eyes glazed over with worry, the way his mouth gaped open. She wiped her face with her sleeve and went on, her breathing beginning to steady.
“What’s my purpose now? What good can I do? How can I assure everyone things will be okay if I don’t even believe it myself?”
Yamato narrowed his eyes again and leaned in towards her. “Sor- we’ve talked about this before. You can’t put all that responsibility on yourself. It’s not healthy. You know that.” He paused momentarily and swallowed. “We know that.”
Sora appreciated his words, but they didn’t make her feel better. “I- I know nothing will cheer everyone up right now,” she clarified, “but I don’t know if I’d be doing it for them. I t-think I’d be doing it for me. I need to try. It needs to be genuine. How can I respect myself if I don’t?”
The last bit caught Yamato off-guard. He cocked his head inquisitively- an unspoken “why”?
“I- I don’t feel good if I can’t be helpful.” Sora went on, her eyes beginning to well up again. Her cheeks, which were already chaffed and red, tensed once more as she tried to stop herself from crying. “I didn’t notice it until Piyomon…” she paused, choosing her words carefully, “disappeared.” The girl looked dissatisfied with the choice anyways, but went on. “I spent so much time caring for her. It was like an outlet. She was always around, always clinging to me. And now everyone else is acting so mature. I can’t help but wonder what my purpose is. I feel-”
“Empty.” Yamato finished her sentence for her, but this time he was the one to avert his gaze. He leaned back and dug his hands into the sand, his eyes locked on a random spot out over the river.
Sora, her voice small and shaky, finally finished her explanation. “No one needs me.”
Yamato snapped his gaze back towards Sora and locked his eyes on her. She was looking somewhere else. Her knees were now pulled into her chest, her arms wrapped around them to hold herself together. He furrowed his brow. If Sora had been looking at him, he suspected she would have thought he looked frustrated with her. That wasn’t the case, though. He was frustrated with himself. How had he allowed her to drift into this mindset? Sora, who always put others before herself, who was always warm, who everyone always relied on for reassurance and stability and love, should have been the last person to say something like that. It signaled that he needed to try harder. Yamato sighed and stared at the girl, perhaps too intently judging from the way her eyes narrowed with concern once she felt his gaze on her.
“That’s not true.” He said, his voice low. Sora was now the one frowning. Yamato straightened himself up and reached out to grab one of her hands. He squeezed it and ran his thumb over her skin. It was soft, like the way he’d smile when Sora would fall asleep on his shoulder while watching movies at his apartment. He probably didn’t thank her enough for those moments- the moments that made him feel whole.
Yamato could feel himself getting flustered. He wanted to look down at the ground but he resisted the urge. This was too important. As he gathered the courage to speak, Sora stared back at him confusedly. His eyes were glistening, and she couldn’t quite tell if it was the way the moon lit them up or his own emotions overwhelming him. Finally, he said it.
“I need you.”
Sora’s heart began to race. Perhaps she wouldn’t normally react that way to three very simple words, but coming from Yamato, they meant so much. He watched her carefully for her reaction, like he was worried she would suddenly turn on him and reject such a confession. The boy only looked relieved when she smiled, and squeezed his hand in return.
The two of them sat on the riverbank for awhile. Sora leaned her head on his shoulder and drifted in and out of light sleep. In such a strange time, she felt like she was home. Yamato eventually noticed the scent of smoke. Taichi must have gotten a fire going. He nudged Sora gently, and she muttered something inaudible in her sleep. He smiled at her, softly, and pushed a strand of stray hair out of her face. It looked like they’d be staying there for a little while longer.
Over the sound of the rushing river and the bustling leaves, Yamato’s ears tuned into another, more distant sound. It was high pitched. Perhaps if he wasn’t musically inclined he wouldn’t have noticed it. What was it? He looked downstream.