Life for Beginners Stories by Kenny Mah

“Running up that hill”

by Kenny Mah

Life feels like a struggle on some days. Okay, make that on many days. More often than not.

There are bills to pay and waistlines that stray. Parents are getting older and so am I. (I feel it; jetlag affects me now when it never used to.) Every plate that is placed before me is scrutinized: Am I spending too much on this? Are the ingredients carcinogenic or from factory farming? Will it make my waistline stray even further? Late nights: are you kidding me?

It’s an uphill climb.

One would expect me to crawl on my knees, cursing every step, surely? Or quitting altogether?

No way in hell. I’m running up that hill.

You tell me bills will get paid, one way or another. We have jobs and we can make more money. You don’t try telling me my waist isn’t expanding; you just hug me, wrapping your arms around my offending waist, now something worth adoring. Your parents have passed on; you tell me to visit mine more often. You say we will grow old together; jetlag is a shared experience like a home-cooked meal and beautiful sunsets around the world. You say everything tastes better when I smile. The only thing getting wider is my smile. We will enjoy going early to bed because that means we will rise early too and greet another spectacular morning.

It’s an uphill climb and we are running up that hill together. When I run out of breath or when your muscles ache, we’ll simply stop and enjoy the view. It’s not the hill that matters; it’s who we’re doing the climb with.

It’s you and me, dear.



 
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