Nine o'clock rolled around like a tennis ball. It was August 21st, 2016, and a Sunday. Levi Cranston rolled over on his side and tried desperately to turn off his alarm clock. Half-awake, he couldn't locate the button to turn the obnoxious thing off. He let the darn thing continue to buzz.
After at least ten failed tries, he finally located the button to turn off the alarm clock. It was now 9:05, and he had set his alarm to 9 o'clock. Five minutes late, no big deal. He lay in bed for a few more minutes. Levi really had to motivate himself to get out of bed.
Still lying in bed, Levi rolled over on his back to see if his girlfriend, Mackenzie Burbanks, was still sleeping. It looked like she might have gotten up already, as there was no one else on the other side of the bed. Levi promised himself that he would go on a run this morning, since it was supposed to be nice out. The high was supposed to be something 70's, so that would be perfect running weather. The box fan was still blowing in Levi's face.
Levi got out of bed and turned off his box fan. So accustomed to having it blow in his face every time he'd go to bed, this was not going to stop any time soon. He made the bed and opened the window. Nice breeze coming in, confirming his morning run. Normally he likes to run in the evenings, but he had a family gathering in Crown Point, Indiana tonight that he didn't really want to miss.
He got ready for the day, at least for his morning run. Donning his favorite blue athletic t-shirt and black athletic shorts, as well as his ankle brace that he needs to wear all the time now. He walked into the kitchen to see Mackenzie sitting at the table, drinking her coffee. Jack Andrews and Asad Prejesh, Levi's best friends who were living with them in their place in downtown Valparaiso, were probably still sleeping. Their bedroom doors were closed, and there was no sign of either of them in the common area.
Levi got himself some strawberry yogurt and a bagel from the refrigerator and sat next to Mackenzie at the table. He was not in the mood for coffee. Rather, he was in the mood for some whole milk. The two conversed for a few minutes, and then Levi was done with his breakfast. Mackenzie was visiting some family today and would be gone for pretty much the whole day, and they weren't sure about Jack or Asad yet.
Levi walked toward his car and headed toward the high school. He drove a little past the school and parked at the nearby playground. There weren't a lot of people here, if any. It was Sunday, so many were probably at church. Levi couldn't have cared less.
Stretching and determination. Levi had both. He was more than certain that he would be able to run at least five miles today. That was his goal. And he was in the mood for that to happen.
He started off. Running toward the direction of the high school. Breeze in his face. If someone that he saw in his path gave him a high-five, he would most likely high-five them back. Today was going to be a good day.
Levi was feeling pretty good about his run. Started at the park and ran through the street with all of the art sculptures. He headed north and then west. Once he crossed the county meridian, he ran through his girlfriend's old neighborhood before they all got their place in downtown. Then, he walked back toward the park for the rest of the way, and then he realized that he had nearly accomplished his goal of five miles.
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