“What’s up?” Jordan swung his legs over the bench beside me, then slipped his foot into his skate, completely calm as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened the day before. “How was your date with Gil last night?” Jordan bumped his shoulder against mine like we were old buddies again.
“Um… good, I guess.” I gulped and continued lacing my skates, trying not to freak out about this startling shift in his behavior. His confidence was unnerving, almost as if he’d become cockier in the past twenty-four hours. He even carried himself differently, like with a swagger or something.
“Did you win?” He leaned down to reach his laces better. “You know, at billiards. Did you beat him?”
“No, he beat the pants off me.” I sighed with exasperation.
Jordan gasped as if shocked that I’d taken my pants off with Gil. Still there was a teasing glint in his eye.
“That’s not what I meant, and you know it.” I smacked his arm.
“Hey, stranger things have happened.” He shrugged. “I got propositioned last night at dinner. One of the ladies figure skaters tried to give me her room number.”
“What?” I nearly jumped from my seat, looking around at the other skaters milling about. A few of them were looking in our direction with curiosity in their nosy expressions. “Which one?”
“Does it matter?” He asked. “Everyone in that cafeteria watched your deliberate rejection. They all felt sorry for me and wanted to make me feel all better.” His eyes mocked me, and his bottom lips stuck out in a fake pout.
“Did you take her number?” I heard the shock and hurt in my own voice, knowing I had no right to question his behavior after I’d betrayed him.
“I tried but Chelley snatched it from the girl’s hand before I had the chance. She has some great ideas on how you and I can improve our jump sequences between now and the next Olympics, by the way.”
“Don’t change the subject,” I demanded. “I want to know who this other girl is so I can beat the crap out of her.”
Jordan helped me to my feet and wrapped his arms around my waist. He leaned closer and spoke in a seductive tone. “Relax. You’re the only woman I want to sleep with, remember?” He backed away, pulling me with him toward the ice for practice.
“Very funny,” I grumbled, slipping off my skate guards and resting them on the wall before we entered the ice.
“Very truthful,” he responded. “Come on, let’s go practice our free skate. We only have two days before our big performance.” Jordan kept my hand in his as he guided me to the middle of the rink. I couldn’t help notice how good his hand felt in mine. We fit together like we were made for each other. I was glad he fell right back into our relaxed friendship even after my rejection the day before.
What game was he playing?
Bohemian Rhapsody flowed through the speakers, and we started our planned routine. There was nothing romantic about this music like with our short program. However, it was passionate and complex and tested our ability to shift between dance styles without missing a step or altering our required elements. We had to slow down or speed up our elements as the music undulated.
We got lost in the fun and excitement of the song and our routine. Our level of expertise allowed us to practice as if we were performing. The level of comfort we had with the song and with each other made practice and performance indistinguishable.
Our competitors were no longer distracted by our soap opera drama off the ice because they were in crisis mode trying to figure out how to up their difficulty level to match ours. Good luck with that. We were so far ahead of the couple in second place after the short program that we’d have to fall three times in order to get knocked off the top of the podium. Not a chance. We were good at what we did, and nothing would stop us.
(As always, feedback is greatly appreciated. -Julie)
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