Today I passed by another runner – I thought. It was at the bridge near the waterfall in the turn of the river, there where the sound of the falling water is louder than the call for freedom. There, below at the waterside, you will normally find fishermen waiting for luck, but now it was a dreary evening as it had been raining all day long and the fields turned dark early today, so there was nobody but me and that other runner.
The other runner wore a blue jacket. He came from the left while I came from the hill behind me. The man ran with slow stride but took big steps and this combination brings just a perfectly medium speed. I thought I would pass by him since I felt just like speeding up as I had some nice loop behind and I longed for home like you sometimes do. So I did. I mean, so I passed by the runner. I passed by the man in blue like you pass by people many times in life and then you just simply forget about them.
As soon as I had passed by the man in blue, I was ready to forget him and think about the race two days ahead. But just as the sound of is footsteps faded, I heard them getting louder again. Although the birds they were singing no matter the rain and there was some wind and there was the sound of the falling water and so on, I could hear nothing but the steps of this man in blue. They were loud now and I could almost feel his breath and then I realised this was a hard man to pass by. He was one of these people who don’t like to be passed by and be forgotten and then they decide to hang on.
I kept the pace because I knew he was pushing but he didn’t give up so downhill towards the footbridge I speeded up and uphill I wouldn’t drop the pace anymore so then I was sure this man in blue he would drop but he didn’t, as his footsteps and his breath were still in my back. We were approaching my house, so I said to myself: I decided to pass by so I will speed up so he will drop dead down the path and when it’s fully dark I will come back and throw his dead body in the river like they do in the movies.
I speeded up, but guess, you guess right, he still hung on, so I turned to full speed as if chased by a hungry bear and it was only then that he finally dropped off. At the turn of the road, at the yellow house for the alcoholics, I waited to great him so I raised my thumb as he passed by and I heard something like ‘hyvä vauhti’, which means good speed, but he didn’t stop and he ran down to the railway bridge and then disappeared.
But I couldn’t forget him.