TITLE: The Yes Girl
GENRE: YA Romance
January. Boston, Massachusetts.
Marin stood at the center of the ice, facing the judge’s table. She took in a deep breath and let the crisp, optimistic atmosphere fill her lungs. She smiled.
Her music began. Her favorite piece Coach Wiggins had played for her. She knew it so well it was a part of her blood.
On the third note, she pushed off and skated down the center of the ice alternating feet and edges into the required footwork, then she made a deep knee bend and lifted herself up into her first combination jump, a Double Axel-Double Toe Loop.
High and fast and fluid she catapulted herself across the ice, turning two and a half revolutions before a quick touch down on the ice before heaving herself back up with ready arms and legs for two more revolutions, until finally her right outside edge touches down slicing into the ice, as if part of the music.
She nailed the landing, showing the world how jumping had become her superpower. The crowd applauded—of course they did—but Marin paid no attention, with the music under her skin, the lift and stretch of her muscles, the sharp balance of her skates, she was nowhere near finished.
Every spin with grace and ability.
Every jump strong and clean.
And the footwork fast and methodical.
Only one move left. Her pulse started to pull away from the beat of the music, and she tried to push away the sliver of doubt, to feel nothing but the ice. Had she given her all or had she held back and played it too safe for fear of repeating the last two years with no medal? That was her last chance to make the Olympic team. Pyeongchang, South Korea, or bust.
Should she slide in another Double Axel? Such a fine line between playing it safe and playing to win.
But winning superseded everything. Skating ended here if she didn’t deliver. She was going for it, adding another Double Axel to seal the deal.
Twenty seconds left.
Marin shortened the last footwork sequence and lifted up right into the Double Axel, turning two rotations in the air. She went high and far as she always did.
Everything felt right at first. Until it didn’t.
Her hip slammed against the hard plastic barrier and she fell to the ice.
The crowd gasped. The music played on. Get up! She popped up like only champions could, listening to where the music told her she should be. Stay focused, fall apart later. She skated across the rink and raised her back leg to finish the routine with a long, beautiful Camel—her leg extended behind her, coming to a stop only when her music did.
She forged a winning smile for the TV cameras. For the world. As if nothing had gone wrong. Only true champions could do that; erase time and make you forget their mistakes. As if they alone controlled fate.