Bye honey, I called, as he took off down the path. I put in my headphones and set off on my own. The slope went down steeply in places, rose gently in others, but was mostly downhill all the way. The sun shone and I was sometimes hot in my oversized sweatshirt but there was plenty of shade and the air was still refreshingly cool.
It was glorious. We took photos and he looked at my sweat-covered face with a hint of concern. It's a long uphill from here, he said. I'll run to the end and come back and get you, he said.
I'm fine, I said.
And, this time, so unlike last time, I meant it.
Off went the book. On went the music. And back up the hill went me, arms swinging in time to the beat.