I stood at the bottom of the mountain catching my breath. The race was on and I could hear the churning of gravel close behind me as others fought to catch up.
Taking a deep gulp of cold mountain air I began my sprint up the crumbling incline just as darkness began to settle in around me. The only thing that gave me hope was the light at the top of the mountain waiting to welcome the runners to the end.
Twilight cast shadows all around as I jumped over bushes and ran around sharp edged rocks, not sure whether or not I was still on the path to glory. However, the light shined bright above me and so my pursuit continued.
As the sunset’s blazing orange slipped into midnight blue, my legs began to tire. With pupils dilated my urgency increased and all thoughts of pain began to be forsaken in hopes of reaching the light overhead.
The climb no longer allowed my steady sprint and I was forced to decelerate. False peace calmed my anxiously beating heart, for I could hear no footsteps trotting behind. I must be far ahead of those who were also undertaking the mountain’s treacherous slope.
With elevated confidence, and one step on a jagged rock, I came crashing down. Agony paled my poor knees and cramps brought my hands to my stomach. I curled up tight in torment on the jagged mountain floor. The light above was so close and yet I couldn’t move. My victory was within reach, yet I lay paralyzed.
“Sweetheart? Wake up, you must’ve been having a bad dream.” My eyes flutter open to see my mother’s face. Wrinkles form above concerned eyebrows. As I blink awake, pain shoots through my skull. I can’t help but twinge. This causes my mother’s stare to wander away from me to the beeping monitor sitting to the left.
Biting her lower lip, my mother’s attention returns to me. Her eyes are glistening as she bends down to hug me. I can smell mint on her breath as she whispers in my ear, “I love you my sweet girl. You are free to go when you please.”
Medications cause me to drift asleep, though I can feel my mother’s hand in mine.
I am at the top of the mountain now and I see the light. It is basking all around me, encircling me with warmth. I do not see the other runners, for it is just I basking in the glory of the race I’ve now accomplished.