Running For Life

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic


A man raises money for charity after a tragic accident.

Submitted: July 19, 2018

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Submitted: July 19, 2018

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Running For Life

The child laughed, while she looked at her dad as he danced. He smiled at her, under his breath, he said, "I love you, Sara."

This meant the world to her, because she felt the same. "I love you, daddy. Very much."

Wiping his eye he carried on making a fool of himself. The crowd watching laughed, while chapping their hands.

Once Jonathan had finished he walked off the dance floor, joining his wife and daughter at the table. "Was I good, Sara?"

She giggled while covering her face with her hands. "Not really, daddy."

Jonathan peered at his wife. "Another drink, Carol?"

His wife yawning because it'd been a long day and she was exhausted, just raised a hand, meaning no.

She had a point, it was time to head home. If he stayed and got too drunk Carol would spend the next day giving him the cold shoulder. He was too old for that nonsense now, Jonathan had nothing to prove these days. At the age of forty two he was no spring chicken. "Sara, do you fancy a little dance with daddy, before we go home?"

She screamed out in joy wrapping both hands around his face. He adored her so much. He kissed her small delicate forehead, before whispering in her ear, "I will never leave you, little lady. Now, do you fancy that dance?"

"Yes, daddy," she cried out, clapping her hands together several times.

Carol looked at them, while Sara ran about Jonathan's feet. He tried keeping up, no chance. Laughing at the two of them she realised how lucky she was.

A little out of breath Jonathan decided that was enough for one night. "Come on, little lady. Time to go home."

They said their farewells, then heading out of the village hall proceeded to the car. It was a bit chilly, being November it was no surprise really. The moon shone handsomely, causing a little light. A metre from the vehicle he pressed the lock device. They got in. Sara sat in the backseat, a seat belt tightly around her.

Peering behind, Carol checked for the upteenth time the belt was secure, when she was happy, she said, "Try and get some sleep, sweetheart. We won't get home for some time."

Looking up with a smile on her face, replied, "Okay, mummy."

"Everyone ready," said Jonathan, as he started the engine. It roared beautifully.

Driving carefully through the crowded car park, made their way to the entrance. There was a short queue, Jonathan tapped the steering wheel growing a little impatient. It was 9.30pm, it'd take at least two hours to get home, longer if the traffic was busy. This time of night should be quiet, or it better be, he was working tomorrow. Jonathan pushed his foot gently down on the pedal. Turning right proceeded down a darkened road with no street lights, his headlights were on full beam, but with thick mist it was difficult to see.

Sara's eyes were closed.

Carol turned to her husband, saying, "It was a good day, meeting family again after so long. It was so nice for my dad to organise that disco and buffet. I'll ring him tomorrow to thank him again."

Staring at the road ahead, he answered, "It was nice to catch up. Get some sleep, love."

"Good idea. I do feel tired. It's been a long day." Closing her eyes she muttered, Night, night."

"Night, love."

Within twenty minutes a Shell garage was observed on the right. Making his way into the place he saw another car parked at the front near the entrance. Inside the shop some youths waited to be served.

Jonathan stopped the motor beside a petrol pump, needing to fill up. Once that job was complete, made his way to the door. In the shop he heard laughter coming from the group. Standing behind the troublesome lot, he looked out to his car, the family were sound asleep.

Lucky them.

When the last teenager had been served, he gave Jonathan an odd stare before bursting out laughing. Deciding to ignore the rude individual he proceeded to the counter to pay what was owed.

The gent with short white hair grabbed the twenty pound note, handing him some change, before saying, "Have you got far to travel, sir?"

"About ninety miles in this miserable weather. I'll be happy to get home."

The man nodded, then said, "Have a safe trip."

"Thank you. Take care."

Beside the car he realised the idiots were smoking cannabis close to where he was, the stench was strong. How irresponsible. Walking to them, he said, "Look, guys. Do you think smoking on these premises is sensible? Just think about it will you."

They stayed quiet as Jonathan made his way back to the car, where his wife had woken up, giving him a worried stare. Closing the door and starting the engine, Carol touched his shoulder, before saying, "Why were you talking to them, Jonathan, you wasn't having a go at them?"

He peered her way with a smile, which meant everything was fine. "Let's get on, shall we."

Back on the road, a bypass just ahead, he pushed his foot down to gain speed. Checking his mirrors made his way onto the busy main road. Changing to the lane on the right pushed the pedal down even further, so they were now doing a cool 70. Thankfully there wasn't too many vehicles, so the journey shouldn't take too long.

"So what happened back there?" she asked.

Wiping his eyes, he answered, "The silly bleeders were smoking near the garage forecourt. Bloody dangerous. Stupid teenagers. Probably drunk and on drugs as well."

Carol laughed, before replying, "I remember we weren't much different at that age."

The mist had lessened slightly. Tall trees now observed either side. In the mirror just above his head he saw two small headlights swerving from side to side, the worrying thing was, they were gaining speed, and getting closer to his vehicle.

Who the hell were these idiots, suspecting it might be the group from before?

Jonathan kept composed, keeping his eye on the motor behind. His daughter awoke asking for some milk because she was thirsty, his concentration wavered, not noticing the other vehicle as it smacked the back of his. He lost his grip on the steering wheel for only a second, once he was back in control it was already too late, the car flew off the road. The last thing he remembered was glass shattering everywhere. Then nothing.

.............................................................................

Carol and Sara died instantly. Jonathan survived, with many injuries. Over time he healed. Missing them so much, it was like his heart had been ripped out. Experiencing very dark periods friends and work colleagues rallied around him. His father-in-law visited regularly. It was such a sad affair. Five months had passed, the teenager who'd caused the accident was found guilty of dangerous driving, while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. He was sent down. The other boys with him, served lesser sentences. .............................................................................

Jonathan was now back at work, his boss who happened to be a good friend wasn't willing to let him go. The help he'd received from others Jonathan would never forget. Because of savings he still lived comfortably, which was lucky, as not grafting for so long could have left him penniless. The house seemed too quiet at times without them being there, this hurt very much.

One day while a storm brewed overhead, someone rang the doorbell.

Answering it, a friend called Kevin stood there. "Alright, mate. How can I help you?" he said, trying to sound optimistic.

His mate seemed excited, then replied, "I've had an idea, mate. Being cooped up in the house most of the time can't be doing you much good. Come with me to this club in the evenings, it's a running club. It'll keep you fit, also you can meet some interesting people. How does that sound?"

It was too early for doing things like this, if the truth be told he wasn't in the mood. In someways it was his fault they weren't there anymore? Knowing he shouldn't think like that, as it wasn't healthy. "I'll get back to you. At the moment I've got other things on my plate, mate. Thanks anyway for thinking of me."

Kevin seemed disappointed. "Here's their card if you change your mind. I've got to shoot. My wife wants me to take her out for a nice meal. See you soon, mate."

"Okay, Kevin. See you again soon," he said watching his mate walk down the drive to his car.

Shutting the door headed to the living room. Peering at the little card, a number was observed at the bottom. Placing it down on the coffee table, looked at a photo on the wall of the three of them on holiday last June. He cried, missing them dearly.

.............................................................................

The next few days he went to work, but in the evenings he sat there staring blankly ahead, feeling like he was losing his mind at times, this worried him a lot. Remembering the card on the table, picked it up, then decided to ring the number.

.............................................................................

On Tuesday and Thursday evenings Jonathan went to the club which was walking distance. Kevin helped him at first, introducing him to the other members. Basically they did exercises, and jogged around the area. It was nice to get out of the house meeting new people, also his fitness levels had improved over time. He felt better, but the sadness was still there, which was expected.

At home he would go through all the family photos. What else could he do under the circumstances, but try and keep their spirits alive.

"I'm sorry for letting you down," he muttered, feeling ashamed.

All of a sudden a strange idea came to him, what if he put his running to good use, getting people to donate money, then giving it to a charity close to his heart. But if he was serious he'd need to train everyday, without fail.

Jonathan recalled a charity close to his late wife's heart, 'Rainbow Trust Children's Charity,' helping terminally ill children with the last few months of their lives. When Sara was a baby she became seriously ill for a short time. The care she received from the hospital staff was amazing.

A tear came to his eye. "I love you both dearly, and through you I will try and do some good," he said, coming across a photo where the whole family had gone on a picnic. It had been a great day, a time he now cherished very much.

.............................................................................

It was Kevin's idea, at the time Jonathan wasn't impressed.

"It's a brilliant plan. But if we're going to be serious about it, let's go for the big events, like The London Marathon and The Great North Run," said his mate excitedly.

"You've got it all wrong. I meant small events," replied Jonathan. "Can you imagine me running The London Marathon. I'd have a cardiac arrest."

Resting a hand on his friend's shoulder, Kevin said seriously, "Look, I know you better than you know yourself. We can do this, and all the hurt you feel inside can be put into something positive. Please, Jonathan."

Looking away tears running from his eyes, he answered alkwardly, "I blame myself for what happened that night. I can't help it. Through my foolishness, I caused the accident which killed my wife and child."

Kevin felt concerned for his friend. "Look, mate. It wasn't your fault, please stop blaming yourself."

"I don't know what to do, mate. At the moment I feel so helpless, if I had seen them and acted accordingly, they would still be here."

Grabbing hold of him, Kevin said, "Please don't give up on me. I believe in you. Let's just try this. Come on, mate."

Wiping the tears away he turned to Kevin. "You're right. If they could see me now they'd be ashamed. I'm sick of feeling sorry for myself. Let's make my wife and child proud."

Both men hugged.

.............................................................................

Receiving the OBE was his proudest moment, and this was all down to three special people in his life. Little Sara, his beautiful wife Carol and his good friend Kevin, who'd passed away six years back. But he promised his mate he'd carry on the legacy they'd started. Remembering Kevin on his deathbed, moments from him passing away, he whispered in Jonathan's ear, "When I see your family I'll tell them about everything you have achieved, and how you love them very much. Goodbye, good friend."

Only a couple of days after this he was back on the road, determined to carry on.

Now at the age of 82, fond memories was all he had left.

He never remarried.

Jonathan now lived in a care home, supervised regularly because of his condition. The carers knew who he was, everything he had achieved, raising millions for charity. But to him he was just a normal man, inspired by terrible events, inspired to help others because of his beautiful family.

On the 18th of May he died in his sleep, a week before his eighty third birthday. All the carers were upset to lose such a kind, lovely resident. Over time a little statue was built in front of the care home, in memory of Jonathan, and everything he'd accomplished.

And somewhere far far away a man had found his family again after so long. Picking his little girl up, he hugged her tightly, never wanting to let her go.

The End


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