Chapter 11: Finlandia Trophy

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Next day……

I woke up early in the morning feeling great.

The door opened to reveal his mother. “Good morning Aya-chan,” she greeted with a smile. “Good morning,” I said to her. “Can you wake up Yuzuru for me? Breakfast is almost ready,” she said. I gave her a nod before she closed the door.

I got on my knees next to the futon. Gently, I shook him. “Yuzu. Wake up,” I told him softly. His face started to frown. He turned away from me and onto his side. {He really isn’t a morning person isn’t he.} He was like this since childhood.


Age 5......

I had just woken up at Yuzuru's home. We were skating yesterday because we were practicing for the recital. Yuzuru was still asleep with a bad bed head. He often twist and turn in his sleep. I crawled over to him and rubbed his back. He was not a morning person.

Slowly, he woke up and got up sleepily. He gave me a sleepy smile. "Morning," he said. I gave him a smile.

End of flashback........

{A memory? I wonder.} I rubbed his back gently. “Yuzu.” It seemed to work. After a minute, he got up from the futon. “Morning,” he told me sleepy. “Good morning,” I told him and got up from the futon.

I pulled Yuzuru onto his feet. {He's heavy.} “Go wash up first,” I told him. He was half asleep as he walked out of the room. {I better get dressed quick.} Quickly, I got dressed for the day. I wore blue skinny jeans, black tight t-shirt, and white socks.

I waited for Yuzuru to come out of the bathroom so that I could use it. 

I thought about Yuzuru’s question about going with him to Finlandia Trophy. I had to watch the rink while they were gone. It was my job.


A week later……….

Yuzuru and Javier had been training together better than I had expected. Sometimes, they do get under each other’s skins. Whenever Yuzuru fells, Javier helps him back on his feet. Sometimes, Javier jokes to make Yuzuru laugh. Yuzuru on the other hand gives Javier an competitive environment that was needed for him to improve.

They would occasionally go up to me for a chat. We formed our own little group.


“So much paperwork….”

The number of skaters had grown a bit since I had started. We had a new skater Michaela Du Toit from South Africa. Christina Gao had left in March. Nam Nguyen started in the summer of 2012. Yuzuru Hanyu started a few months ago. Since there were more skaters, it meant more paperwork for me. Of course, Brian and Tracy wanted me to focus a lot on Javi and Yuzu.

In the 2012-2013 season, Javier and Yuzuru would start with the 2012 Finlandia Cup. Then, they would focus on the Grand Prix events. Yuzu was assigned to Skate America in Kent, Washington and NHK Trophy in our home district Miyagi. Javi was assigned to Skate Canada and NHK Trophy. So, they would compete at the NHK Trophy together. 

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