Rap and Revelrye: “Running with Ben” – Hugo Lau

We played Shit Head so much
that we realised it is just luck, really,
so the only thing left to do was actually study.

Ben read from a Physics book while I
looked at things around the room
that were not the Latin I hadn’t learned yet.

The room was mostly light brown and we wore grey.
Ben’s shirt fitted much better than mine as he leant back in his chair.
His black hair was thick and curled forward and then up, covering his face.

He listened to his headphones and occasionally sang
He saw me looking over at him.

Should we go for a run? I said.
Sure, he said. Sophie’s invited me to prom, he said, as
we got to the gate and started to run together.

There was a slight incline up the grassy slope.
He ran slowly. I think that’s a good sign, he said.
I’m worried that she only invited me because she felt like she had to though.

I looked across the fields on the other side of the fences.
They were very green.
I know the answer to that, I said.

Do you want to know? I said. We carried on,
putting one foot in front of the other, side by side.
No, he said, and started to speed up.

We made it around the school once,
and he continued without saying

I kept up with him.
It was cold in my lungs and on my cheeks,
my throat was raw and scratched up from the wind.

I kept spitting up thick stuff
on the ground.
We went around a third time.

He slowed down abruptly.
After exams, maybe, he said.
Good idea, I said.

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