Ice Skating

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In the days following,
Natalia and I haven't been
speaking all too much.
Every occasional encounter
I have with her
strings my stomach up in knots
and leaves me wishing that
we hadn't had the conversation
that we'd had on Monday,
because it seems to have
made things way too tense
between us.
Maybe she isn't
actually my friend
after all,
I can't help but think
over and over again.
Maybe, now that I
am resisting being
her basket case,
she wants nothing
to do with me.

That's not at all
a good train of thought,
and leaves me feeling
a little nauseous
more often than not.

Euni invites me out
with her and her friends
later in the week, and I
agree to come with,
mostly because I want to
get my mind off of
Natalia's prolonged indifference
towards me.
Her friends always seem
to be having a good time,
with no serious arguments
or petty differences
to split them apart.
Now, with a friend of my own
whom I don't completely agree with
on everything, I
can't help but feel
just a little jealous
of them.

It's much like the last time;
stupidly, they had
tasked Darien with getting tickets
for whatever film they'd
wanted to see -
but this time, he had
bought tickets for the next day,
rather than tonight.
It was an irreparable mistake,
as the showing we'd intended to see
had already sold out.
After laughing at his failure
and assuring him that he'll
get it right next time,
they all agree that a movie
is out of the itinerary for tonight.

During the whole ordeal,
I stay silent in the backseat
of Trevor's minivan,
wondering how much different
this outing would be
if I was with
Seth and Natalia instead tonight.
Tyler, of course,
is left out of that picture
completely,
for obvious reasons.
Even if he didn't
creep me out
and didn't supposedly sell drugs,
I still don't think
I would like him.

Luckily, Eunice's friends
are just as spontaneous
and energetic as she is,
so they waste no time
in finding another activity
to occupy themselves.
That activity turns out to be
ice skating, though.
It was actually an accident;
Ashlyn had wanted to go
to the mall to shop
for Christmas gifts,
but Martha and Euni had
caught sight of a sign
on the side of the highway
that had promised
'adventures on ice.'
At least that was
how they had described it
as they had screeched at Trevor
to get off at the next exit.

Now, we're all seated
on benches around a
large, frozen lake,
on which are already skating
about half a dozen people.
It's not a man-made rink,
just a big pond that has
frozen over in the winter cold
and has been smoothed down
to avoid wipeouts.
The man who gave us our skates
told us that they do this
every year, and that
they get lots of people
from all over who
return to skate each winter.
When Eunice asked how deep
the ice ran, the man
only shrugged and promised
that he'd call someone if she
ended up breaking through it.
I think he was joking,
but Euni looked a little
alarmed by that.

I don't know how to ice skate,
but Euni and Ashlyn
both do, and they
promise to help me
if I need it.
I have a feeling I will,
considering my track record
for being clumsy and uncoordinated.
Darien opts out of
the whole ordeal, claiming
that he has a project due
for his photography class,
and we would make the
perfect subjects for it.
Trevor and Martha bet on
the number of times each of them
will fall on their butts while Ashlyn,
already out on the ice,
shows off her figure skating skills.
She's been in competitions for it,
apparently, and is
much better at skating in general
than I could ever hope to be.

Euni helps me onto the ice
and makes sure I'm not
going to fall over and
break something
before making her way onto
the makeshift rink as well.
"You have to
put one foot
in front of the other
and push back,"
she tells me,
skating forward a few paces
to demonstrate.
"It's just like walking,
only there are
razor blades strapped to your feet,
and you're trying not to
crack the ice."

Eunice never really
has been good at
assuaging the worry of
other people, especially me.
For someone who worries
much more than I should,
I sure have the
perfect sister to complement.

Pushing back the
irrational fear that her words bring,
I put one foot
in front of the other
and try to copy her actions -
only to fall
flat on my face
about a second later.

"This is stupid,"
I tell her as she
hurries over to help me up,
smothering laughter
all the while.
On the other side of the pond, I
spot Darien chasing Ashlyn around
with his camera as I stand again.
He's trying to snap
a few good shots of her
as she speeds across the ice
with a frantic sort
of desperation.
He must really want
a good grade in his class.
"It takes years
to learn to skate, Euni,"
I soon continue.
"I'm too clumsy to learn
in just a couple hours
without getting myself
seriously injured."

"Not with that
kind of attitude!"
she says a little
too optimistically
for my liking.
"C'mon, Matty,
it'll be fun!
You'll learn in
no time at all.
It doesn't take years
if you work at it."

Maybe it doesn't if
you actually want to skate -
but for some reason,
the idea doesn't appeal to me,
not today.
Maybe I'm too stuck in
my moping over
the whole ordeal with Natalia
to enjoy skating today,
or maybe it's something else entirely,
but I find myself
giving my sister a
grumpy look before long.
She seems to understand
how I feel, because
she finally just lets out
a long sigh.

"If you give me your hands,"
she shrugs,
"I'll pull you around the ice,
if you want.
That's got to be more fun
than just sitting on a bench
the whole time, right?"

That's what ends up happening:
holding onto my hands, Euni
skates backwards towards
everyone else,
slowing down when I'm
about to fall over, and
speeding up slightly as she
reaches the rest of the group.
Darien and Martha are
arguing rather loudly about
why Darien should not
have to ice skate
with the rest of us,
while Trevor and Ashlyn
look on in quiet mirth.
Euni, ever the subtle one,
bursts out laughing before long,
and soon enough,
the rest of them join in.

Like always, it's
an easy enough atmosphere
for me to lose myself in -
but I can't seem to manage it,
not with all the
worried thoughts
floating through my mind.

×

I love Eunice's friends, honestly. They're my favorite. And they remind me a lot of my friends at the high school I went to my freshman and sophomore years. I may or may not have based them on those friends... Maybe.

If you guys liked this chapter, I'd love if you would vote and leave me some feedback! It would be very much appreciated <3

Also - for those of you who've read Misalignment, I currently have a contest going on and I'd love if y'all would consider entering it! There are only 3 entries so far and the deadline is July 10th. More details cam be found in the second to last chapter of Misalignment c:

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