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Antsy.

Antsy.

A Chapter by Katherine Van Hook

I manage to hold it together long enough to get inside the locker room. The second Elizabeth shuts the door I implode.

“Ohh!” The sound that comes out of my mouth is halfway between a giggle and a scream. Wide-eyed, I slide to the floor. “OhmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodOHH!” I’m out of breath. Elizabeth hands me water and motions Clare, Dora and Mia over.

“What was that?” Dora squeals. “You barely looked at him last week!”

“That was like watching a damn movie,” Clare slides next to me.

“HEY NOW,” Mia grins, elbowing me in the side.

“I have no. Idea. What got into me.” I’m still out of breath. They all talk at once and my eyes glaze over. I stare at the chipped paint on the locker in front of me. What was that? I don’t do things like that. I don’t openly stare at boys with navy blue eyes and ripped shoulders as they glide down hills. I’m more likely to sneak a glance while pretending to send a text. I just don’t do that. Shaking my head, I wrap my arms around my knees and bury my face.

“Oh my god don’t cry Lilly!”

“Oh my god she’s shaking!”

“No no no don’t freak out!”

But when I look up I’m laughing.

 

 

The second I open my eyes I’m antsy. The clock blinks 7:58. It’s Saturday. I should go back to sleep, but all I want to do is run. My legs pulse beneath my blankets, my heart races, and I’m hot, too hot. I throw the sheets back and scramble out of bed, digging through my drawers to find an acceptable pair of socks. I throw on a stained tank top and the first shorts I lay eyes on. Sixty seconds later I’m running down the driveway. No water, no keys, no iPod, just me.

I should probably mention that I’m not very good at running. In fact, I’m not good at much of anything. There are plenty of things I like to do, and I’m decent at most of them, but I’m not great at anything. It’s funny. With a sister like Talia, people are always surprised at how unremarkable I am. I always assumed I’d eventually find my passion, my dream, the one thing I excelled at, but lately I wonder if maybe that doesn’t exist. Mom says many people don’t figure out what they’re meant to do until after college, so I try not to worry, but I can’t shake this feeling that I might not make it that far, that if the world ended today I’d regret not searching harder to find it.

I shake my head, pushing those thoughts away because on a morning like this, none of that matters. The morning is so perfect it’s almost not fair. The leaves are red and orange, the air just crisp enough to refresh, not cold enough to bite. I turn right and charge down the middle of the street, arms whipping back and forth. It’s a mile later when I finally slow my pace.

I can’t remember the last time I ran without music. A screen door snaps shut with a hollow thwap. The wind in the trees is oddly rhythmic. Fast loud, slow soft, steady steady steady whoooooooooooosh.

The light changes once I enter the woods. It lights up the trail in golden streaks, and my sneakers sink into path with a satisfying squish. I love that I don’t have to be good at running. I run because I love to run, and there’s no judgment. Running doesn’t mind that I’m completely average. Running doesn’t care that I’ll never break six in the mile. Strangely, even though running is the only place where I’m free to be average, it’s the only place where I don’t feel that way.

 



© 2011 Katherine Van Hook


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Still very much enjoying this. The rhythm (which I cant spell without spellcheck) is perfect in pace. The character voice is funny as hell...familiar proabably because I grew up in CT. Great story and evidence that a teen character story doesnt have to be written in a juvenile style (see any YT book at B&N)...oh and short chapters for the modern inattentive reader...planning to publish?

Posted 10 Years Ago



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Added on April 21, 2011
Last Updated on April 21, 2011


Author

Katherine Van Hook
Katherine Van Hook

MA



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