Chapter 3: Fear

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I was right. Ice dancing was very challenging. The difference from ice dancing was that it was more like we had to be in unison. I had to learn to do double jumps and spins at the same pace as Yuzuru. It was difficult.

Kome had been helping us. After classes, we would go to the rink and skate for two-three hours. We would practice for long hours on the weekends. Sometimes, I would sleep over at his house on the weekends so that we could go to the ice rink together.

Yuzuru and I were having alot of fun. The feeling of fun was very foreign to me. After a while, I gotten used to it.

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After a few months, it was summer and the recital was in a two weeks. Kome was teaching us the program. We were skating to Yiruma’s River Flows in You. The music was nice but, I hoped that I was going to skate well.

“Keep it up.”

Yuzuru and I had landed a double flip in unison and were transitioning to a sit spin. “Yuzuru, keep your leg straight out,” I heard Kome said to him. Kome was a good coach. Sometimes, she would yell out me to bend my back more on the donut spins.

Okay. Let’s see if you can skate the program,” she told us. We got into position on the ice. Once the music started, we started to skate in unison. Our starting jump was a double toe, we landed without any difficulty. The step sequence can be a challenge especially if we aren’t in unison with each other’s movements. 

After we were done, Kome skated towards us. “That was perfect,” she said to us. Yuzuru looked at me with a smile. “We did it,” he said to me. I returned the smile with my own. “We did,” I told him. Our practice paid off.

On the day of the recital, it really changed my life. We were the stars of the night. 

Yuzuru and I became well known in our city. People really hoped that they would get to see us skate together again especially at the winter recital. Yuzuru and I started to work on another program with Kome’s help.

In the winter recital, a lot had changed for me.

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It was the winter recital and everyone was getting ready. Yuzuru and I were going to dance to the nutcracker. It would be a more difficult piece for us to perform because the music was more intense than our summer recital.

“Everyone get ready,” Kome told everyone. Yuzuru and I practice in an empty room. We were trying to be in sync before our performance. On occasion, I stumbled around and Yuzuru caught me before I hurt myself. 

After a long while, it was our turn. When the music started, we skated across the ice together. We did spins together in unison. People seemed to enjoy our performance. After three minutes, we were done. We bowed to the audience.

I turned my head to see that my worst fear had came to life. Yuzuru had blood running down his face. 

{I hurt him.}

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The paramedics walked onto the ice and helped him. Kome skated up to me and helped me off the ice. I was too in shock to even move. “Ayako. It’s okay. He will be fine,” she tried to reassure me. My mind kept repeating that fact that I hurt him.

Aunt Hitomi and Uncle Reiji took me home. They tried to comfort me but, I couldn’t even think about anything else. Once at home, I locked myself in my room, sitting at the corner with my knees up to cover my face.

I knew that I would never forgive myself.

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Hitomi told me many times that Yuzuru was fine. He had to get a few stitches on his head. Still, it didn’t change the fact that I hurt him. Yuzuru’s mother came by to check up on me, I couldn’t even look at her.

At school, it was worse for me. When Yuzuru wasn’t in school, the students started to pick on me more than normal. I would tell the teacher but, he really didn’t do much of anything. He told me that he already told the principal. 

Nothing was really done. When Yuzuru came back to school, he tried to talk to me. He told me that he forgave me and that it wasn’t my fault. Slowly, I started to talk to him again. 

On Christmas, Yuzuru came by my home and gave me a teddy bear for a present. I gave him a Winnie the Pooh doll. We were almost back to normal. On the ice, I was too afraid to be close to him. Yuzuru noticed and tried to reassure me that I wouldn’t hurt him again.

My body would freeze from the thought of hurting him again.

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