Twenty-Nine: The Competition †

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I was a package of tension and nerves.

I didn't want to partake in the competition, but I knew I had to for the college. I just didn't want everyone witnessing it with their judgemental eyes and minds. They could say the cruellest of things, though and I automatically felt sympathetic for the person who would come in last. That's never a good thing.

I did my normal routine and changed into my sweats, sports top and a hoodie for now with my trainers laced up. I didn't feel too confident about everything, knowing that there could be someone who's much better and equipped than me but I tried not to let it get in my way.

Unlike the people loitering needlessly on the stairs and in the corridors, that is. They did mumble a sorry to me, though, added on by a "good luck for today" which all seemed similar. I could only smile and waggle my head as a reply.

I tried to eat a nutritional breakfast considering the competition would go on for most of the day. There would be fewer events in the morning and instead, after lunch, the majority of them are there. Of course mine was in the afternoon so I had a longer wait but that just meant that I had longer to agonize over my trepidation.

It was nearing ten in the morning and the first event would be commencing. I was just another person in the mindless crowd of people ambling through the athletic grounds to the stands. I, however, waited by the side for Verity because we had agreed to sit together.

"Hey."

I turned around to see Scott standing opposite me. He wore dark jeans and a top concealed by his grey hoodie. I smiled as he emulated my behaviour.

"Hey," I replied, licking my dry lips.

"Good luck today, I know you'll do great. When is your event specifically? Just so I don't miss it," he declared, thrusting his hands into the main pocket of his hoodie at the front on his stomach part.

"About three," I replied. "The other one will be at five."

I was in two races, along with the other girls who were in my same boat. The one at three in the afternoon was the six lap one and the one at five in the evening was the three lap race. The competition ended at 6 with awards in the grand sports hall in the opposite building to the main dorm one. Everyone was to be ushered in there.

"I'll definitely be rooting for you," he offered. "I'm going to go take my place now in the stands, but I'll catch up with you later."

I smiled as he departed.

Verity came brusquely after Scott's exit and she greeted me with a wave. I smiled back. I wasn't big on waves because I always thought they made things a little awkward sometimes but that was just me pondering that.

With an exchange of pleasantries, we established our way to the stands somewhere in the middle to have a good observation of all the events. There was, however, the high jump occurring inside the sports hall this morning but not many people watch that. They normally stay outside while they can because when it comes to the January competition, it'll be inside, Coach Kate presumed.

Coach Kate briskly ambled onto the centre of the soccer pitch. After being handed a microphone, she cleared her throat and began talking to the crowd, her voice e erupting out the speakers at the back of the stands which are customarily left vacant now due to the racket.

"Thank you, everyone for coming down and supporting the athletics competition. We hope you enjoy it all and discover some new, raw talent. Thank you." I think it was a blessing in disguise that the speech was short. It made everything seem like it was happening quicker.

The first event was the long jump. Verity and I were of course rooting for our college students to win and sometimes, they did. But in the chilly weather, it was approaching lunch time after the hurdles, shot-put and javelin. At the end of every event, they racked up points and scores and listed everyone in first, second, third and then the rest.

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