Friday, 28 March 2014
“We're not gonna make it, are we?
His voice was weak, his breath ragged. He was giving up.
“Shut up and keep running.” I snapped back.
We had managed to stay ahead of the pack, but they were close behind, I could almost feel them breathing down my neck.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw him stumble slightly, he was going to go down. I reached out and grabbed his hand, pulled him roughly along, forcing him to keep up.
I squeezed his hand tightly, grinding his knuckles inside my own, hoping the pain would give him that extra ounce of fire in his belly, that one more molecule of determination.
I was not leaving him behind, if he failed, we would fail together.
This was it, I gave a final burst, dragging him along with me.
I punched our clasped hands forward, using them to break through the tape.
A few yards further we both collapsed to the ground.
Less than a second later the rest of the pack followed, some falling to the ground as we had, some running on a little further before coming to a standstill, hands on knees, gasping for air.
I reached out and grabbed him to me. We clutched each other tightly as tears rolled down our faces. Exhaustion, relief and euphoria all adding to the moment.
We had competed against each other all our lives, as twins do.
Last year I had taken Silver in the marathon, and he the Bronze. The year before, the positions had been reversed. This was our last year, we were both retiring from competitive sport, and it felt good to be going out breaking even.
©2014 Stephen. J. Green.