Marcus Redder was well and truly freaking out.
Or, at least, he was trying his very hardest not to.
He’d been awake for half an hour, and though he’d spent the first few minutes curled into a ball, sobbing weakly in a mixture of denial and terror, fingers pulling out the shrubs that shrouded the area in an attempt at retaining concentration and sanity, the remainder had been spent jogging around the nature path in which he’d awoken. Marcus was thankful for his athleticism as he continued his circuit, knowing that the ache he felt within his legs would’ve been amplified tenfold otherwise. As fit as he might’ve been, however, that didn't stop the bursts of pain smouldering deeply within his calves with every step he took, worsening with every minute that passed. He wanted so badly to just collapse onto the dirt path beneath his feet and lie there, to give into his panic. But he couldn’t stop. Not yet.
Though strapped as tightly as possible to his back, Marcus’s dufflebag swung gently with each step. The zipper had remained almost untouched so far, Marcus not wanting to properly open the bag and reveal its contents. If he did then that’d make this whole thing wholly concrete, to wholeheartedly accept his fate. And Marcus wasn’t ready for that yet. He didn’t know if he’d ever be ready. Or what he should be feeling, or what he should do.
He didn’t know much, now.
So that’s why he was running, methodically placing one foot after another. He needed to clear his head, to quash the bubbles of anxiety that rose in his chest. All his life he’d been working towards a goal, a goal of making a better life for himself and his family, and it’d been abruptly taken from him in one foul swoop. He wanted to scream, and he wanted to cry... and he wanted to see his mom and dad again, to get just one more hug, say goodbye one more time. He knew, deep down, beneath the layers of denial, that he’d never get that chance. And it hurt. It hurt more than anything in the world.
And he didn’t want to feel that hurt. He had to do everything in his power to avoid feeling it, to avoid feeling the lost opportunities and all of the hard work he’d done, all of which would come to nothing. So that’s why he had to keep running. If he could just focus on the burn; the physical, tangible pain that echoed throughout his body, then he could ignore everything else. He could ignore whatever it was that awaited him in this place.
So that’s why he had to keep running.
He had to keep running from reality.