Today I write. Today Jalal runs. And today Jalal begins to respond:
As Jalal feared, the tide had not receded enough for him to run past Blue Point, so he doubled back and then continued south. Not far past his house, he spotted her. Running forced him outside his zone of solitude and, in the effort to stave off unwanted contact, he learned to stay aware of his surroundings, to be alert to what moved in and out of his peripheral vision. Renee stood on the first landing of the steps leading down from the pathway.
Her face was in profile. She looked out to sea, or possibly, she looked at nothing. Bundled against the chill and damp, with only a few flyaway tendrils escaping her hooded sweatshirt, he was surprised he knew the shape of her. Her stance, her coloring, the line of her jaw, somehow committed to memory already.
Surely, she would see him in seconds—three, two, now—he passed below her. He didn’t look up. She didn’t call out to him. He felt relieved and disappointed in equal measure.