|Leah Marie Elwood (goesforgold) wrote in genome_project,|
@ 2012-09-27 00:26:00
|Entry tags:||open, prompt table 1, september 2012|
Who: Leah and anyone
Where: Outside the school gymnasium
"Next up on balance beam: Miss Leah Elwood."
As Leah took a breath, she remembered. The air smelled a lot like this one of the last times she was at a gymnastics meet. It was toward the end of summer but close enough to the beginning of fall that there was a slight chill in the air. A sign of a quickly approaching winter. She was a lot more nervous on that almost-fall afternoon, but she was dressed in very similar clothing. Her blue leotard clung to her protectively. Her hair was in a tight bun. Her legs were straighter than arrows. Her toes were pointed even when she was sitting down. The focus was entirely on the meet.
"Remember to do your best to level out and stick the landing."
"I will, coach."
It was nearly sunset when Leah glanced at her watch. Her coach had offered to drive her home after their practice, but she had politely declined. Someone was going to pick her up. It was a game for them. She was never sure which of her parents or perhaps aunts or uncles was going to pick her up. It was a surprise. And it quietly put a smile on her face to know that so many people cared enough for her to want to pick her up after a simple gymnastics practice.
"Don't be nervous. The beam is your best event. You've trained hard for this. Now go out there and let it all go. Enjoy it."
The smile slowly melted into a frown.
A flip. A missed step.
The crowd gasps.
Tears don't make you a weak person. Tears remind you of your humanity.
Leah brushed her cheeks with the backs of her hand just as she saw a car pulling up in front of her. She grabbed her things and swallowed back whatever tears she swore so many times she wouldn't shed ever again.
"Time to put on your brave face, Ladybug. I'm not saying never cry. But never cry where they can see you. Don't ever give them the satisfaction that they've gotten to you."