Chapter 27: Curiosity

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Two days later….

Today was the Free Skate competition for men. Since Yuzuru scored the highest in the short program, he would be skating last. Also, he would be the last group of men to skate in the competition.

As usual, Yuzuru did his usual routine of stretching, warming up, listening to music and sometimes would shout out the lyrics. I would look at the performance on the television screens and see the scores of his opponents. 

Patrick Chan scored a 280.08 overall while Nobunari Oda scored a 255.96. There was certainly a huge gap between them. Yuzuru, Brian, and I walked to the rink. Yuzuru gave me his vest and Pooh-san. 

Yuzuru did his ritual with us and pushed himself away from us. Everyone was clapping for him. He needed to beat 180.25. Usually, Yuzuru did very well with his short programs. Free skates were a bit difficult. Some say that it was probably due to his asthma. He had been slowly growing out of it though. I thought that he tried to make his technical scores high and difficult.

Yuzuru took position on the center of the ice. 

Once the music started, Yuzuru started to skate his program. 

Yuzuru was opening with a quadruple salchow. It was the jump that he had been having trouble the most throughout the season. This morning and at practice, he would consult with me. He even watched a recording of my jump.

He did the jump but, he ended up falling down. His jump was a bit too high to control his landing. Quickly, he got up and continued his program. {He needs to work on that. He will definitely will get a point deduction on his score.} 

His quadruple toe loop was perfect and beautiful. His next jump was perfect too. His step sequence was alright. Since he was competing in his home country, he had alot of energy. His spin combination was great too.

I had to say that so far, his performance was getting the crowds attention. Nobody could take their eyes off of him. His triple axel double toe loop combination was spot on. He did another triple axel double toe loop with two arms over his head. So, he would keep the points due to difficulty. 

His jumps were spot on so far now. He hadn’t made a mistake yet. I could see that he was getting tired from his shoulders. Other spectators noticed as well but Yuzuru kept his back straight and head up so that it helps with his strong performance. 

His spiral sequence was really good. 

His last spin combination sequence wasn’t perfect. He travelled a bit as he transition to a sit spin. Also, his pose wasn’t very perfect too. He looked exhausted. Once he stood up, he had a bit of a smile on his face.

{Well…he did very well in my opinion.}

He skated towards us after bowing to everyone. I gave him a small smile to let him know that it was alright. He returned the smile and wore his vest after he put his skate guards on.

Once at the Kiss & Cry, we waited for the score. He scored a 193.41. He heated the score. Plus, he heated his season best with a 293.25. Brian had a bit smile on his face and nudged Yuzuru who looked with disbelief. In my mind, it may be possible to reach the 300 mark.

He won the 2013 Grand Prix series.

Yuzuru waved to the crowd. Japan was proud of him. So was I.

After the medal ceremony, Yuzuru had Brian wear the medal. It was a tradition for skaters after each competition. 

Next thing I knew, Yuzuru gave me the medal to wear. It felt heavy on my neck. “Why are you having me wear it?” I asked with confusion. “Because you helped me alot this season. Plus, this season is a dedication to you,” he told me. 

{What?!}

Really?” I asked him. He gave me a smile and a nod. I felt tears forming in my eyes. I held the medal in my hand for a good couple minutes and gave the medal back to Yuzuru. “Arigatou gozaimasu,” I said and bowed to him. He bowed in return.

It was very nice of him to dedicate this season to me. I had thought that the Free Skate was the only dedication.

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It was the day of the Grand Prix banquet. I was planning to stay with Brian with the other coaches but, I had feeling that Yuzuru was going to drag me with him to meet with the other skaters. Also, Yuzuru was celebrating his birthday today. I had given Yuzuru’s present before we left for competition. It was a new set of earphones.

I was dressed in a peach color dress with cherry blossom prints on it. There was invisible straps on the shoulders to keep the dress up. Plus, I had a long scarf to cover my shoulders. I clipped a hair clip that Yuzuru gotten me for my late birthday earlier this year. I had long hair so I had made it wavy at the ends.

After checking myself out, I walked out of the room and down to the banquet. Yuzuru had went ahead. On my way there, I bumped into Patrick Chan who was on his way too. He gave me a smile. “Hi,” he greeted me. I smiled in return and bowed. “Hello,” I said. The elevator door closed and we rode down.

“You look great,” he said to me. “Thank you,” I said to him. Soon, we got the lobby and head to the banquet. The media was around taking pictures of every person. 

Patrick and I walked down a set of stairs and into the banquet hall to see many people there. “Well, I’ll see you around,” he said and walked off. I walked towards Brian who was talking with the other coaches.

In these cases, I felt like an outsider. I really didn’t have anyone to talk to besides Brian and Yuzuru. I walked to the corner of the room and started to look at my phone. I had gotten an email from a publishing company who seemed interested in my other books that I had planned to release. I had to give a reply by the end of January next year.

After a while, someone tapped me on the shoulder. I looked to see that it was Yuzuru. “I was looking everywhere for you,” he told me. I raised an eyebrow. “I thought you would be busy with your friends,” I told him. 

He gave me a small smile and pulled me over to the other skaters. Before he pulled me any further, I stopped him. He looked a bit concerned as to why I stopped him. “You need me to fix your tie? The front is too long,” I pointed out to him.

Still, he was having trouble with doing his tie. He was able to do it in high school but, for some reason, he is not able to now. He gave me a nod. I untied his tie and fixed it for him. Yuzuru had a smile on his face. “Why are you smiling?” I asked him curiously. “Because your here with me on my birthday,” he told me. 

Instantly, I felt my cheeks burning. Yuzuru could only chuckle from my blushing. “Ohayo.” We turned our head to see Mao Asada. She gave me a hug. “Nice to see you again,” she told me. “Nice to see you too,” I told her. 

Mao and I became great friends since I appeared at the first banquet with Yuzuru. 

We talked to each other until it was time for Yuzuru’s cake. His mother and sister were here too. Yuzuru gestured me to stand next to him.

We sang him the birthday song and he blew the candles. Everyone started to take picture of Yuzuru with the cake. After a while, Yuzuru, Brian, and I got our picture taken together. Yuzuru was suppose to cut the cake but, he really didn’t know how. 

You do it,” he told me and tried to pass the cake knife to me. “Make the first cut first,” I told him and moved his hand to where the knife should cut. Quickly, he cut the cake and gave the knife to me. I cut the cake and helped his mother pass the cake to the people.

Patrick Chan talked with Yuzuru a bit then he looked at me. “Do you skate Ayako?” he asked me. “I skate to train Yuzuru and Javier. Exercise too,” I told him. He gave me a smile. “She’s good,” Yuzuru told him.

“How good?” Patrick asked curiously. Yuzuru and I looked at each other. Yuzuru wasn’t sure to say anything. “Good enough that I could keep up with them,” I told Patrick. He gave me a nod. “Why don’t you compete?” Patrick asked curiously.

“Fragile health,” I simply said. “Oh. Well I hope you feel better,” he told me. “Thank you,” I said. 

{Everyone is so curious about me skating.}

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