I don’t mind the fall as much as the thought that no one stopped to even look at me. No one bothered to even make sure I was alright. I almost forgot the burning in my knees, when I looked back up at all the people I was running with, to see them all moving further ahead, never noticing I had tripped. I wasn’t asking for anyone to sit beside me, to hug me and tell me, that things will be fine even with a few falls and that winning isn’t everything. Just for someone to come offer me a hand and lift me up would have been enough though.

I saw the group I had to run with early that morning. A few familiar faces stood out and I waved at them as I took my place. I was looking forward to this day for the whole of last week. I wasn’t prepared for anything of this sort. The gun was fired, signalling the start and everyone started moving. It was definitely a stampede in the beginning. Everyone was huddled up together and cautiously stepped forward looking for enough space to take a longer stride and jump ahead of the rest of the crowd. Although it was difficult to make out whose feet were around you and the safest spot to step on without tripping over someone and falling on the ground, it was manageable, if you were paying enough attention while looking at your shoes. It started clearing out rather quickly though. Somehow the stampede that was there in the starting got diffused towards the end.

I looked for the group closest to me, the group I would choose to match my pace with, throughout the run, and I spotted them. They seemed to be quite a jolly gang though, each one doing their own little things but somehow managing to mingle along well enough. I was happily listening to their conversation and having fun when suddenly I felt myself lurch forward. Ah! My foot must have hit something. Well, stretching my arms in front of me did help soften the fall and quickly regain my balance but they were already ahead of me. No one turned around. No one seemed to notice I’ve been left behind. I wonder now if they ever really noticed me, being there earlier. Why? Why did I have to fall?

I want to be with my friends and run that race with them together, looking after each other. I don’t care how many times I’ll stumble and fall, if I could just have those hands to pull me back up. Let my skin be covered in scars and let my blood clot. But don’t, please don’t leave me behind on my own again.

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