I seldom have running partners, I won’t talk when running anyway. Kevin is the rare one. We used to run during lunch time when we were still working together. We then changed jobs and lost contact. One day we met in the train station and found that we are actually living in the same suburb. We then ran occasionally on Sunday mornings. But he likes to drive to the national park and have a mountain trail run there, and I prefer to run around the neighborhood streets which is easier and less time consuming. So we don’t run together very often.
One morning after we finished a nearly 20 km run, he asked me a very strange question, “Have you ever risked your life for someone?” Still recovering from the run, I hardly came up with a clever line, “Yeah, for my boss, I always imagine I’ll get a heart attack at work.” “Why did you ask?” I was interested whether there was a follow up to the question. Kevin answered, “I was once involved in a serious fight, I thought I would die that time.” Kevin is a few years younger than me and a polite person, I can’t relate him to any violent behavior. “What happened?” I asked while expecting a bar fight story about a bunch of drunk people. Might be still in a runner’s high, Kevin told me his love story.
Kevin and Shirley were friends for many years and he loved her. The problem was Shirley was married. So Kevin just maintained a pure closed friendship with her. Shirley’s husband once made a wrong investment decision and lost most of their savings. After some heated argument, Shirley moved out. Kevin helped her to move and tried to support her during those tough times. One day, while Kevin was visiting Shirley, her husband turned up. Argument then turned into a fight, police was reported and at the end a restraining order was granted to enforce Shirley’s husband to stay away from Kevin.
“He hit me first, Shirley tried to stop him but he pushed her to the ground. I was angry and I hit him back. That was my first and only fight. I applied everything I learned from Jacky Chan’s movies.” Jacky Chan? I think Rocky or some real MMA fights are more appropriate. This might be the reason why Kevin was beaten up and needed to stay overnight in the hospital. But Kevin claimed that he had successfully torn the guy’s pant apart. I didn’t ask whether Shirley’s husband was wearing a short or his underwear was also torn apart, the aftermath should be interesting.
If life’s like a movie, this should be a happy ending here that Kevin and Shirley will be together forever. But things happen for no reason in real life. On the contrary, Shirley and her husband were back together after the event. “I don’t understand why someone can love a person who is not worth their love,” Kevin sighed. I was not sure he was talking about Shirley, or about himself. But only he can judge who is worth for risking his life. Shirley and her husband eventually separated a year later and were in the process of divorce. Neither Shirley nor Kevin contacted each other.
Kevin said he had registered in running the full marathon later this year. Every runner is looking forward to their loved ones waiting for them at the finish line. I’m not sure Shirley is the one Kevin wants to see at the end. When you look back in life, there are always someone that you know you should let go but you choose to hang on. You just want to make them happy, protect them and face every setback in life with them together. You won’t regret for everything you had done even one day they walk out from your life. As those are the moments you truly lived, and probably the best memories in your life.