Twenty-Nine: The Competition †

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Lunch time was interesting. Considering many people had come from other colleges to for support of their friends and whatnot, the food court was more packed than normal. I had managed to find my parents before they inevitably quizzed me on when my events were on. I told them the same thing I told Scott.

The one person, I mused, that I hadn't seen today was Jason. He said he would be watching me and rooting for me.

Only, when it came to finally locating a free table in the food court after a group of studying, timid girls had gone – packed up their books and clutched them tightly to their chest, compressing them – Jason and Lea sat down opposite me. My parents were still in the line for their food and Verity had met up with her parents by her room. She was giving them a grand excursion.

"Hey," Jason spoke.

Lea nodded coyly. I could tell she was nervous about this and most likely, Jason had begged her to come with him – otherwise, it would have been shady of him. More shady than exiting the college in the middle of the night and stalking all the way to a derelict warehouse? I don't think so. Oh no, I haven't forgotten about that. I was just waiting for November to come before I progressed with the project.

"Hi," I replied back, staring at Jason then Lea. I endeavoured a miniature smile to her to demonstrate I wasn't a danger in anyway. Only, I kind of was.

"Scott said your events were at three and five," Jason began. "Ruby would have sat down with us, but..." he trailed off. "Anyway, we just wanted to say good luck for them. Lea hasn't seen you run in awhile and she thinks you have good talent."

Lea hung her head slightly, flushing a furious crimson colour.

"Well, thank you," I replied, gawping at Jason since Lea's eyes were concentrating on something on her lap.

The conversation lasted a little longer about the competition before my parents came. Lea and Jason willingly gave up their seats for them. Jason flashed his famous smile at my mom before he wrapped his arm around Lea and made their exit known. Lea smiled timidly at them.

Somehow I felt sympathetic for her. After all she had been through, she didn't need me sitting opposite her. But what she did need was someone who simultaneously loved her and cared for her. Jason was obviously more the latter than he felt with the former. Something about their relationship wasn't right. She's never been informed about the modelling pictures of Jason – which, the replications were in my cupboard in a bag at the back – and it wouldn't astonish me if she didn't know about Jason's middle of the night expeditions.

Mom and Dad began to speculate the state of the food court being filled to its capacity before it was nearing one in the afternoon. Time was drawing closer to my event and I was growing nervous. Just before we could make our way back to the grounds, I had to pick up my bag from my room with some supplies in like water and an energy sports drink. That would always help in this blustery weather.

My parent's sat together only a couple rows down from Verity and I. In prior to departing with one another, they had both kissed me on the cheek and head to wish me good luck. Many people were sending us alien stares but I didn't care. I chuckled as I made my way to Verity who was saving me a seat on the left of her. This time, we were near the end of the stands so we could easily make our way down at half two to prepare.

First, were the short-distance sprinters. These events were over in a matter of seconds. The females were before the males. The females dashed across the track quickly, but the men beat them by seconds in the subsequent event.

Then it was time. After several of the short-distance events, it was half two. Of course, there was still one going on as we began making our way down, but it was coming close to finishing. They just had the relay to go before it would be our long-distance races.

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