She didn’t know why she ran. She didn’t know how she ended up outside. The last five minutes of her life completely escaped her. The flashing lights of the giant marquee alongside the casino snapped her back into reality. She took a moment to look up at the display, but her feet kept propelling her forward. The image of Brad and the other woman was playing on repeat in her mind so she shook her head violently as if trying to erase the memory like one would erase an Etch A Sketch.
She kept running. The passing headlights of cars, the vibrant displays alongside every building and the inescapable crowd of people all became a blur. Ava was sprinting down the strip.
Her heart raced. The blend of pushing to her limit and crying uncontrollably created a wheezing sound with every breath. The salt of her sweat and tears dripped onto her lips and Ava could taste the salty liquid when she inhaled.
She kept running while her legs and lungs burned. Her arms and legs pumped like pistons. She wanted to get as far away from what she just witnessed as fast as she humanly could. She didn’t have a destination, she just knew that she had to run away from the pain.
The soles of her barefeet generated a rhythmic applause against the concrete sidewalk. When she became aware of the sound, she looked down at her feet. Running without shoes was nothing new to her, she would run barefoot all the time when she was a child and the sound of her feet clapping on the concrete sparked thoughts of her childhood.