Ted and Allison ran through the metropolis. As dawn turned to morning they had seen all there was to see of the city as the tall buildings reluctantly gave way to suburbia. Picket fences, split entry homes, and bungalows as far as the eye could see. It was as if the whole world was one giant subdivision of conformity. Everything was the same, and people liked it that way.
Ted had never run this long before. He was tired, but he wasn’t about to give up in front of Allison. As far as he was concerned, she was better than him in every conceivable way. Allison was strong, independent, sure of herself, and the confidence never stopped. Everything Ted lacked in life, she seemed to have. How this woman was homeless, Ted could not figure that out. Less than twenty-four hours ago, she had confidently threatened to kill him. Now Allison was running beside him without a care in the world. It was almost as if they were friends. Could that be possible? Ted had never been ambitious before meeting Allison, but friendship was definitely a possibility he wouldn’t be opposed to exploring. . Perhaps an avenue would open up in the future. Maybe he would show her his collection of self-portraits that he drew. Ted had an elementary school art teacher who’s motto was “Draw the things you hate as if you love them.” For some reason, that stuck for Ted. It was at that moment that Ted remembered Lars used the book as kindling for his dumpster fire of Ted’s belongings. Tears began to well up. Before meeting her, Ted was completely useless in every conceivable way. Now he was providing solutions to problems, and being useful. It was wonderful. If Ted knew that this was going to happen, he wouldn’t have worried so much over the last few days.
Meanwhile, Allison was having her own thoughts. Since she became homeless, Ted was the first man who did not attempt to rape her within ten minutes of meeting her. Attempt is the key word here. Anyone who tried to pull anything of that nature on Allison found himself a quick end due to her strength training and skills in self defense. She thought it was worth noting that Ted had not made any sort of advance on her aside from being friendly, self-controlled, and useful. This was a man who had the truly important parts of life figured out. She turned to see Ted weeping.
“What happened to you?” Allison demanded. “Why are you crying?”
“I lost everything for no reason yesterday. I’m a complete failure.” Ted replied. “I’m never going to figure out my life. Yet here you are sticking with me.”
“I can leave if you want.” Allison said.
“No. Please don’t. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me!” Ted exclaimed.
“You need to come down a few pegs. We aren’t even friends yet,” said Allison.
“We should explore that option.” Ted said, feeling bold.
“I think we should not have heart to heart discussions.” Allison stated, flatly.
Friendship opportunity number one, failed. Ted thought to himself. He did not bother to express this thought as thought expression had suddenly taken a turn for the worse for him.
It was only at this point that they both stopped running.
“See that massive expanse of white tents?” Allison asked. “That’s where we are headed.”
Ted nodded in agreement. He was getting tired of running in his suit. Ted suggested they walk the rest of the way. To his suprise and delight, Allison agreed. Once they got to the city of tents, they could plan their next move. Someone out there would know what to do.