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by John Brooke

Bart is a stunning marathon runner, a true athlete, and winner. I was another of his bumbling envious followers. Like so many other girls, I worshiped the ground he ran on.

To him, I’m one more idolizing teenage hormone blossoming around his sweaty ego. Each one of us babes hoped to garner a lopsided handsome grin, every time he was crowned with the Laurel leaves of victory.

Vainly yearning to get him to notice the fabulous me, I sought to capture his attention by winning a significant marathon, I would standout on the Victor’s platform. Couldn’t help but see and fall in love with me. It’s clear. 

Run in his shoes. The rest of the plan will follow. While the other worshippers fawned over his latest victory, I checked out his shoe size. Never realized his feet were neat, petite for a male, Bart’s runners were a fitting match to my female foot. What to do? Easy steal them of course. More politely, simply borrow a pair. So many in his collection, he wouldn’t miss them.

The almighty marathon race day arrived. I poised at the start wearing his magic shoes. At the crack of the starters pistol, we flew. The 26.2 miles blurred by. My spirit soared high above the struggling body. I felt as though the heels sprouted angel wings. In a haze, I breasted the tape knowing I had won, and collapsed.

As I came to, the hero massaged my legs and stared clear blue eyed into twin bloodshot orbs. He helped me to stand up at the Winner’s platform and receive the crowning aegis of Laurel leaves. As the Victory ceremony ended he bent down, I thought, in a humble gesture of recognition. Silently he unlaced his runners off both feet. The hero departed with his shoes, and one of his chicks, leaving me barefooted and alone.   

A run in Bart’s sneakers had made me a winner, for a brief moment in time.

Now, I think of him often, as I nurse his gifts of Planter’s Warts and a severe case of Athletes Foot.