Chapter 26: Personal Best

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The stadium was crowded with people. Most people were there to watch Yuzuru. Yuzuru was very happy and relieved to see me healthy. We got off the bus and walked into the stadium in a quick pace. Yuzuru made sure to stand next to me so that my picture was not taken…even though the news crew were going to get images of me no matter what.

Once we found our spot, Yuzuru proceeded to do his stretches with his earphones on as usual. In the distance, I could see Patrick Chan and Nobunari Oda. After a while, Yuzuru looked up at me. I gave him a small smile and returned to my duties. Brian was talking with some of Yuzuru’s crew. 

I went to my bag and got some stick and pole out. It was a way to stretch his body. I placed them on the ground and Yuzuru started to balance on them. I held both his hands and started to stretch. In these situations, we were trying to act professional. On occasions, he gave my hands an extra squeeze to the point where I wouldn’t bruise. 

I had been bruising alot more recently whenever someone gave me a tight hug or I bump into something on accident. So, Brian, Tracy, Javi, and Yuzu would never leave me out of their sight unless I had a good reason to be left alone. Sometimes, they wouldn’t let me be on the ice. In this case, after much convincing, Yuzu and I were to share a room.

At the corner of my eyes, the camera crew was focusing on us. Brian noticed too so after Yuzu stretch, we proceeded to throw a ball back and forth on one leg for balance strengthening. I had good balance compared to Yuzuru. He would shuffle his foot a bit to get his balance.

Yuzuru was very stoic whenever he prepared for his competitions. You couldn’t read his face. Sometimes, he would sing lyrics loud. After a while, Yuzuru jogged around the area. I looked up at Brian. “I’m going to get myself some tea,” I said to him. I felt very cold. “Alright. Just be careful,” he said. I gave him a nod and walked to a stand that sold tea.

Once I got myself some barley tea, I walked back to see Yuzu looking around while stretching. He looked relieved to see me. “Worried?” I asked him. He gave me a small nod and continued his routine.

I let out a sigh and sipped my tea. Sometimes, I wished that Yuzuru wouldn’t worry too much. Maybe, I shouldn’t tell him about my health. Then again…he would question a lot of things about me until I told him.

“Aya.”

I got startled from Brian calling out my name. Some of the tea spilled out of the cup and landed on my hand. I endured the burning pain that followed and quickly got my towel from my bag. I had high pain tolerance. Immediately, Yuzuru stopped his routine and ran up to me.

“Daijoubu?” he asked with worry. I gave him a nod. He took the towel off my hand to see red burns on my hand. “You’re hurt,” he said and proceeded to look for something. I tried to pull my hand away but, he didn’t budge.

Brian came with an ice pack. “I am so sorry for startling you,” he said. I accepted his apology. Yuzuru took the ice pack and gently laid it on my burns. “It’s okay. Go back to your routine,” I told him. He looked hesitant.

I nudged him towards his mat. “Go,” I told him. He gave me a small nod and continued his routine. After twenty minutes, I added some ointment on the burn and wrapped a bandage on it. {The burn isn’t too bad}.

After a long while, Yuzuru wore his skates and got ready to go on the ice to warm up with his group. I stayed in the back and waited for the performances to start. After the warm-up, Yuzuru and Brian returned.

Yuzuru’s hair was a bit of a mess. I got a comb and walked up to him. Yuzuru lowered himself to my height so that I could fix his hair. “Are you going to watch from the rink?” he asked me. “You want me to?” I asked him as I finish combing his hair. He straightened himself and gave me a nod.

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