Colin had promised Lucinda that he would come to her competition. That meant that Fai, Liam and Leanne had to come as well. Leanne hadn’t been happy about her friend dragging her along and she made sure to show it. Fai wouldn’t admit it out loud, but he’d rather been at home as well. The classes after twelve had been cancelled and watching the competition wasn’t mandatory. He could’ve read so much if he had just quickly gone home… He hadn’t though, because he didn’t want to let Colin down and he and Lucinda would be in the same band after the competition, it would be better for everyone if they got along. Not supporting her and her team was not a great way to start a friendship.
Colin, Fai, Liam and Leanne were sitting in the stands, waiting for the competition to start. Leanne once again worded her complaints.
‘’Why am I here again?’’ Leanne asked. It was so obvious that she didn’t want to be there. Colin felt a bit bad, but he knew that Liam would’ve dragged her along with him anyway.
‘’To support your school.’’ Liam explained, for what felt like the thousandth time.
‘’But I don’t want to support my school. They don’t support me, so why should I support them?’’
‘’What the hell should they support you with?’’
‘’Guys…’’ Fai hushed the two siblings before it got out of hand. The twins had a reputation for very long and loud banters and this wasn’t the time and place.
The two teams, the team representing their school in white, and the team from the other school in blue, walked down the field. Both schools cheered on their fellow students as loud as they could.
The team captains shook each other’s hand and then they all walked off the field so the competition could begin. Today’s competition consisted of two relays: male and female.
The boy team would start first and Lucinda would compete as the last runner of the girl team. Colin wondered how she could stay that calm. If it had been him who had to wait that long he’d be jumping up and down by now. Then again, Lucinda wasn’t hyperactive like him.
The boys took their positions, as their coaches shouted instructions and good lucks. Parents and friends were shouting as well.
Colin could hardly contain his excitement by now. Fai gave him some looks that told him to behave, probably because people behind him were starting to get annoyed by his behaviour.
The starting pistol was shot and the first two runners were on their way. The noises from the crowds were overwhelming as the distance between the two runners became greater and greater.
The first runner from the white team passed the baton to the second. The crowd on the right side, where Colin, Fai and the others were sitting cheered. Roughly two seconds later, the runner from the blue team passed the baton as well. The right crowd groaned, while the left side cheered this time.
Colin was jumping up and down now, shouting, cheering and grinning from ear to ear. Even though everyone else was standing and cheering as well, Colin really stood out. Fai had given up telling him to behave himself and decided to just shot the people behind them apologetic smiles from time to time.
Colin was amused to see this, as his friend was almost as enthusiastic as he himself.
‘’Come on, Lucinda!’’ Colin yelled.
Well, he also stood out because he kept on cheering someone on who wasn’t even running yet.
‘’She’s not running yet, you idiot.’’ Fai sighed, as he hit him on the head.
‘’Yeah, but she must feel left out, since everyone is cheering on the guys!’’ Colin defended his action as he rubbed his head. Who would have thought that the skinny boy was so strong? Maybe it was from reading all those heavy books.
‘’I really doubt it.’’ but Colin didn’t hear his friend.
Lucinda was watching her teammate run with a beating heart. Ned had dropped the baton the last time, so she was really anxious. Needless to say, she was overwhelmed with relief when he passed the baton to Kevin.
‘’Come on, Lucinda!”
She turned around in confusion. Who was cheering her on when she wasn’t even running? She searched the crowd to find Colin jumping up and down with a big smile on his face. Fai was standing next to him, a sigh escaping his lips. Of course, who else?
The crowd went wild as the second runner from the blue team approached the third runner. Kevin was closely behind, but it was clear that he wasn’t going to catch up to his opponent. Lucinda groaned.
The third runner from the blue team was now running at full speed. Lucinda closed her eyes. The boys were going to lose… Unfortunately, it wasn’t just Lucinda who thought so. The boys themselves knew as well, and they had already given up.
Pete was now holding the baton and he was running at an easy pace. Ian was standing casually, as if he were at a bar instead of the track field.
‘’What are you doing, you slowpokes? Get running! Run as if you’re chasing pie!’’
Lucinda tried not to laugh as she identified the voice as Colin’s. Her teammates looked confused, but took his advice. Well, she didn’t know if they were really running like they were ‘chasing pie’, but at least they took the competition serious again. Pete started running as fast as Speedy Gonzales. Ian stood ready to take over the baton. The fourth runner from the blue team was already running as Pete handed the baton over to Ian. It was clear who was going to win, but it was a nice race anyway. The left crowd went up and cheered as the blue team broke the tape. Ian, who was closely behind, continued in a walking pace and joined his teammates after.
‘’Like I always tell you kids, you can do nothing but your best.’’ their coach gave them all a pat on the shoulder before he addressed the female team.
‘’Don’t let this get you down, you hear me? You’re the best team we’ve had in years, show them what you’ve got.’’
Lucinda followed the other girls to the field. They all smiled at her and they wished each other good luck as she made her way to take her place as the fourth runner. The starting pistol was shot again and the first runners were off for the second time that day. Lucinda glanced at her opponent. Judging from her built she was fast, but Lucinda was faster. If only Polly wouldn’t let her down…
Yvonne and the first runner from the other school passed their batons on the exact same time. Gianna was definitely not going to get them a heads up, as her opponent was a lot quicker. Lucinda knew that it would all be up to her. She was starting to get really impatient now, hardly being able to stand still. Oh God, she felt like Colin. She didn’t know the younger boy that well, but it was clear that he couldn’t sit still.
The blue team’s baton was passed again and the third runner was now on her way. Come on, Gianna!
Gianna hold out her hand to pass the baton to Polly, but to everyone’s horror (well, not to the blue team’s and their supporters’ of course) she dropped it.
The entire school watched in horror as the baton was dropped. Was this it? Had their school lost? To everyone’s relief Polly quickly grabbed it before it hit the ground. The right crowd sighed and leant back as Polly gave it her all to pass the baton to Lucinda. It wasn’t over yet. Though it now definitely was up to Lucinda to lead their school to victory.
Lucinda groaned as her opponent started running. She had been right. The girl was quick, but not as quick as Lucinda was. If only Polly would pass the baton…
Polly was approaching, but to Lucinda it looked like she was running in slow motion. Hurry!
Polly hold out her hand and Lucinda grabbed the baton out of it. She started running like she had never ran before. Her opponent was fifty meters away. She really couldn’t lose this. It was her last game! Forty five. Come on, Lucy! Forty. Thirty. You can do this. Twenty. She could hear her teammates cheer her on. Five. Colin was probably cheering the loudest of everyone, though she thought she even heard Fai yell.
She had passed her opponent, who was obviously shocked at her speed. Twenty meters to the finish. Ten… Her opponent quickened her pace, but it was already too late.
The right crowd exploded as Lucinda broke the tape. She did it. She actually did it. A smile formed on her face as she fell down on her knees. If only her parents had been here to see it. Then again, they might have found out about her quitting, and she wasn’t sure if she was ready for them to know yet.
Yvonne, Gianna and Polly all threw themselves at her with laughter.
‘’We won, we won!’’ Yvonne cheered from on top of her.
‘’Are you even human?’’ Polly laughed. She was lying on Yvonne.
‘’I was so scared we would lose thanks to me!’’ Gianna said from on top of Polly, her voice sounding relieved.
‘’Ouch, you’re crushing me!’’ Lucinda laughed. The girls quickly got off of her as her coach and male teammates approached them.
‘’Now you can step down proudly, eh?’’ their coach said to her with a smile. Lucinda could swear she saw tears in his eyes. She could feel tears form in her own eyes as well as she nodded at him. She may not have loved track that much as she made everyone believe, but she did love the friends that she had made on the team. And her coach. Her coach had supported her no matter what. He had always known that she didn’t actually want to be on the team, so he had let her go with a smile and a tear. It was now the boys’ turn to congratulate her.
‘’Good job, Lucy.’’
‘’Yeah, you saved the school from humiliation.’’
‘’We might have lost, but knowing that you guys beat them makes it a little bit better I guess.’’
‘’Where’s that junior that said we should act like we’re chasing pie? I’d like to meet him.’’
Lucinda smiled at her teammates. They also supported her in her decision. She was lucky to have friends like them. If only her parents supported her the same way…
Author's note: I don't know much about track, so if I made a mistake, sorry!