The race: 300 word features: Keyon Eversgerd

Thomas Birmingham, news writer

At the fire of a gun, he moves. The muscles he stretched moments before leap into action. He spots the front runners and rushes to meet them.

Now Keyon Eversgerd, 16, is racing. His gaze turns to tunnel vision, focusing only on the runners, miles and finish line ahead.

“I love to run,” he says.

When he does, nothing else matters.

Not school, where he listens to teacher after teacher spew lecture after lecture, just wanting to stand up and move. He focuses on his pace instead.

Not his college anxiety, where a few extra seconds means no athletic scholarship, or a few wrong answers means no degree. Right now, he just wants some water.

Not even the thoughts about his scattered birth family. His dad, gone since the day he was born. His mom, a recovering drug addict. His two biological siblings, who live with another family. They disappear with the runners behind him.

The race continues.

From the sidelines, his mom, a social worker, watches her adopted son do what he loves. She loves him like moms do, maybe even more since he unloads the dishwasher without her asking.

“I just want him to do what he’s passionate about and be happy,” she says.

Although, she’s not totally on board with the police force and Marine Corps he seems so set on joining. She calls it dangerous, he calls it noble.

He leaves another runner in the dust.

Just once, he imagined what his life would be like if he still lived with his birth family. This only reminded him how lucky he is. The family he has now is a good one.

Then, chest heaving, he spots the finish line: light at the end of the tunnel. Mom cheers as he crosses.

One race has ended.