The Pace

He rounded a corner and turned to head up a hill. A woman, perhaps in her early twenties, was also going up the hill.

His energy had been lagging and the hill was steep, so he decided that he would push himself and stride up that hill.

He began the walk. Within seconds, he realized that the young woman was right behind him.

Well, that wouldn’t do. Pressing his lips together, he pressed into a fast stride and higher speed. After a dozen feet, he peeked back out of the corner of his eye.

He almost broke stride. She was still there. Damn it. Sucking energy out of his reserves, he walked as fast as he could up the long, steep hill.

Reaching the top was a crosswalk with traffic light. He stopped to wait for the light to change. She caught up with him. “Wow, that was some pace you had coming up the hill. I thought that I’d use you to pace myself, but I couldn’t keep up.”

He nodded. “I was trying to get away from you. I was pretending that a beautiful young woman was stalking me because she wanted my body, and I had to escape.”

Her eyes widened. Her mouth clamped shut.

He grinned. “Don’t worry, it’s just a silly fantasy to push me to walk faster. Of course it’s not true.” Stepping closer to her, he said, “Right?”

The light changed. He strode away.

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