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I had seen him out jogging before. Every evening around 7:00 as a matter of fact for the past two weeks. Nike shorts with a white tank (always a white tank), sometimes on and sometimes tucked into the back of his waistband. His body glistened with sweat in the late evening sun. He had well shaped legs from the bottom of his loose shorts down to the white socks bunched up around his ankles in Nike sneakers. I always notice legs on a guy, and eyes too. I couldn't see his. He wore a dark blue bandana tied around his forehead (like I wear my pink one) to hold the hair out of his eyes. What color were they? I wanted to know.

I watched him from the bench I rested on each night after my own run, still breathing hard, wanting to go up and talk to him, but too shy to try. I tried thinking up ways to work up the nerve.

Maybe, I could push my run later and accidentally bump into him? Nah, that would be too lame. He'ld see right through that! How about...Hey! Are you a Nike representative or somethin? ACK! Foolish girl, you can do better than that.

So now, here I wait sweating like a pig determined to finally say something instead of sitting in a moonlike trance swigging water from a sport bottle and eyeing him as he jogs by.

Almost 7:00, he'll be coming soon, I hope. THINK girl, before you let another opportunity slip away. Ah! He's got a puppy with him today! YES! My in! I can play with the puppy nonchalantly. He won't guess it's about him and not the dog! Woo-hoo!

My heart thunders in my ears as I smile and crouch down to catch the puppy's eye. She immediately stops in her tracks to investigate thereby stopping HIM as well.

Hi, I'm Sophie. What's her name? I ask as I stroke the soft puppy ears and look up into smiling green eyes, crinkled at the corners, and framed in golden brown hair bathed in the light of the setting sun.

Green eyes...

My dog had never been running on a track, but we both needed the air and I thought, whatthehell. I could keep up to her pace pretty well and I was hoping it would reduce her late night whinning at the apartment door.

As I came around for my second lap I noticed a runner who often appeared there on weekdays. She was quiet and not showy, and was not one of the stop watch queens who were checking either their heart rate or quarter mile times as they scooted around.

This lady seemed more along the lines of:

"work off pounds and try not to pass out."

That's OK by me. I'm no lean and mean. And, it's not like she was heavy, she looked healthy enough, with firm legs and a full T-shirt. It was just that she wouldn't fit into the pencil thin running shorts. The kind some of the high school girls wore who appeared to be training for marathons or modeling school. Basically, she was a grown woman, as opposed to a girl. I started thinking about Gwen here and realized that her presence would either scare her or attract her to us. Some people hated dogs, and got angry they were on the track at all. Others loved them, and would pull off their routine to pet and play. When we got close I saw her lean toward us as we came into the turn. Also, seemed to be adjusting her handkerchief, always a good sign.

OK Gwen, we're going in....

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