I’m no different from a marathon runner. I’ve been training for quite some time now, my dedication without falter, my discipline, impeccable. I can run the distance like the best of them, fueled by my hatred for you.
Fifteen years of hating, unable to sit and catch my breath, knowing that can’t happen until you, yourself, cross the finish line--your ashes scattered onto the grass, carried by ants to form shelter or reinforce an existing nest.

The only selfless act you’ll likely ever do.

But you have endurance, too, striving to achieve your runner’s high--Oxycontin, Vicodin, Percocet, maybe more. I bet you still rely on the same kinds of fuel--lying, cheating, stealing, manipulating.

Your stamina, quite impressive.

I promised myself years ago that I’d hate you forever, so I continue this solitary race, started out of spite. Determined to not break stride, to not fall short prior to crossing the finish line, not marked with ribbon, not surrounded by a crowd, cheering. No medals placed around my neck. No trophies gripped between my hands.

Just me declaring myself the winner.

Sometimes I grow tired though and wonder if I should pause for a bit, maybe take a short rest. Examine my wounds. Take time to sew the flesh together, not just hold temporary pressure.

But I don’t, won’t.

I can’t.

I’m recharged with fresh hatred whenever I think of what you’ve done.

It propels me forward and pushes me along. It minimizes the broken toes, stress-fractured ankle and opened gashes covering both legs.

Besides, who would I be if not a runner? What would drive me if not the hatred for you?

Better stick with the course, not veer off track.

My pace set to a comfortable hobble.

Katie Vinson is an emerging writer from Milwaukee, WI. She is currently working on memoir, flash nonfiction and poetry.

Short shorts, flash non-fiction, and bite-sized stories that make you hungry for more.
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