Wednesday, March 16, 2011
""He who placed me in this seat will keep me here.” -Words spoken by the famed Queen Elizabeth I. And so I ask, shall we be royalty as well, or simply forever ladies in waiting?”"
It was one of those beautiful Sunday mornings where the air smelled faintly of sun-kissed flowers and freshly cut grass. It was mid-August and the weather was just perfect. Addison and her two besties, Whitney and Jackie, were taking the whole day to lunch, sun, and soak up every ounce of relaxation time they had. Throughout the skating world, it was widely known that every Sunday, Coach Leslie took the whole day away from her students to retreat to the comfort of her backyard and practice a mix of Ashtanga yoga and meditation; hence, it was the one day of the week they could all catch a break.
Over at the dorms, Lindsay Taylor, Naomi Tang and Sasha Petrova all stepped out their doors and down the front steps like three of the hottest rock stars to ever hit Lake Placid. They were young, in top shape, and had a career that at a young age, most girls could only dream of. Lindsay had her place in the front of their trio, slightly walking two steps ahead to appear as if she was indeed their leader. Appearances were everything and she made it a point never to walk side-by-side with her minions; it made her look weak in front of the public. Naomi, always the good little maid in waiting, was all smiles as she followed her dear leader, sporting a funky high ponytail and knee high striped socks. Her pleated miniskirt flirted in the wind, giving a tiny sneak peek to the group of male skaters in the parking lot. She smiled and waved with her old familiar wink. Sasha, looking miserable in a flowing tank and sweatpants, followed the two along, almost struggling to keep up with their brisk pace.
“Ugh. Hurry up, Sash. What’s wrong with you today?” Lindsay snapped abruptly as she gave her the once over, noting her frumpy sweatpants and sneakers. “Good of you to wear your best,” she added sarcastically. Lindsay was in an all white Dior outfit her mother had brought back for her from her last trip to the Hamptons. Neither of the girls had the nerve to tell her she looked rather ridiculous; it’s not like they were going to Diddy’s party or anything.
As the girls pulled up to their favorite salon, Rainbow Nail, for their weekly mani/pedi ritual, they found their best trophy gay and fellow Junior level skater, Thaddeus Moore, waiting for them brusquely. He was tapping his toe and scanning his watch. Thad always said what was on his mind and didn’t have any problems taking a girl down a notch or two.
“You’re late. I’ve been waiting here alone just looking like a complete mess for about three minutes,” he stressed as he air hugged each girl in succession. He was clad in designer wear from top to bottom; or rather, all the way down to his Gucci loafers. “Dang Sashy, way to dress up,” he added. Taking a glance at her scuffed up Converse, Sasha simply rolled her eyes and followed the gang inside.
“Ohhh…my fave-oh-at cus-to-mah!” screeched a high-pitched voice that was distinctly Thai. It was Lani, their favorite manicurist. Lani was always one for any and all gossip, and had the dirty habit of always immediately translating everything they said over to her coworkers in their native language. Her translations were always different from what really happened, considering it was difficult to translate “dirty vile slut” or “chunky whore” into Thai.
Lindsay took the seat placed in the very middle of the row, forcing her friends to each fight over the chairs directly next to her. Sasha easily lost and was made to sit on the very end outside of Thad, who would always tell a juicy story with his back turned towards her. This should be fun.
"Ahh, I just love a good cucumber mask," Thad announced.
It had been a few minutes and everyone was now sporting two slices of freshly cut cucumber over their eyes, except for Sasha, who was engrossed in the latest rag mag. She knew that each bite had roughly 3 calories each, and boy, do they add up quick.
"Tell me about it," Naomi replied. "It really makes me hungry though," she giggled.
BING! Lindsay's phone had a new text message alert. She took off her cucumber slices and picked up her phone.
"Ugh, Tyler's texting me again," she complained, while taking a bite out of one of her cucumber slices. She was doing the whole “pretend like I hate the attention” act, while clearly getting a rush off of every text she got from him; it fed her ego. "Doesn't he get the message?" she said under her breath as she furiously texted back.
"You had better be careful, Lindsay," Naomi warned. "He could seriously turn into one of those creepy stalker types that becomes obsessed with your beauty. You know what I mean? I could totally see that happening," she shuttered.
"Stop sucking up, Nomes. It’s completely unattractive,” Thad bitchily snapped. He then turned to Lindsay. “Honestly sweetie, I think he's gay," Thad whispered as he removed both cucumbers from his eyes. “You can do SO much better,” he finished with a glance to Naomi, who gave him the stink eye and began to pout.
"You think everyone is gay, Thad," Sasha quietly remarked under her breath. Thad was immediately at arms.
"SAYS the girl who has the boyfriend that's fruitier than that bag of skittles you scarfed before yesterday’s freestyle," Thad smirked.
Sasha's eyes became unglued from her magazine.
"You know I only suck the coating off of them and then spit them out afterwards," she huffed rapidly. She had told him of her candy indulgence yesterday in complete confidence.
"I spit after I suck too. I guess we both like tasting the rainbow," Thad said with a laugh. Sasha was clearly not amused and let it be known by covering her face with the magazine in a huff. "Relax! It was a joke! I don't know why you're so self conscious about what you eat anyways. You're practically wasting away to nothing," Thad pointed out while eyeing her clavicle that seemed to stick out of her wrist like a nasty mutation. Sasha couldn’t help but smile a bit from behind the pages. She loved it when Thaddy stood up for her. From down below, Lani couldn't help but crack a tiny laugh as she eavesdropped on their every word. She quietly continued her work on Lindsay’s toes.
"I cannot believe that Addison Albright is back," Thad began again. "Didn't she have like cancer or something?" he asked. Naomi nodded.
"I heard she is trying to make a comeback and compete again," she piped in.
"You know, it really must have sucked for her. To be the Junior National Champion and then all of a sudden get cancer and have to give up everything you’ve worked for. I really think she could have made it," Sasha divulged. It was as if she had just word vomited and accidentally said everything she was secretly thinking. This didn’t go over too well with Lindsay, who didn’t like to be challenged.
"Who. Are. You. Kidding? She wasn't that good," Lindsay declared, her words cutting like knives through the silence. Sasha was suddenly frightened, but decided to buck up and sat a little straighter in her chair.
"Well…Lindsay is the reigning Junior champion now," Thad proclaimed, staring daggers. Naomi was quick to agree with Thad.
"Yeah, you are so much better than she ever was Linds," Naomi added provokingly.
Sasha, now angry and frustrated at her “friends” who had so quickly ganged up against her, was suddenly beginning to tire of Lindsay and her “queen bee” attitude.
“The way I see it… Addison won when she had just turned fifteen and if I recall correctly, you came in ninth that year. Right?” she asked pointedly. Suddenly, there was complete silence in the room. One could have heard a pin drop, the tension was so thick. There was even an audible “Uh, oh” from Lani who always knew when a fight was about to go down.
"How DARE you, Sasha!? Who died and made you the queen of knowing everything?" Lindsay fired back. "Addison just got lucky. That was it! Just like you did. Quite frankly I think that if your parents hadn't won the Olympics, you would be an absolute nobody in the skating world. Just like you are in our group," Lindsay barked off irrationally.
Sasha wasn’t ready to back down.
"Don't act like the judges don't hold you up Lindsay. Winning Juniors without a triple lutz isn't much of an accomplishment at all. Besides, let's not forget that I was assigned Senior Grand Prix events this season, not Junior," Sasha bragged with a calm sense of pride to her voice.
Her final words brought the argument to a stand still as Lindsay got ready with her final blow. Sasha had completely challenged her queen, and Lindsay was not about to relinquish her crown to this peasant.
"We'll see who makes it to the top first, Sasha Petrova. And something tells me, that you'll be the first to throw it away and give up,” Lindsay said slowly, with a rather evil smile. “Oops….I meant throw it up and give up," she finished satisfactorily. And with that, Lindsay made her dramatic exit, fuming, with her toes spread and all in her white stilettos. Naomi and Thad, frozen in their tracks, waited a second or two before stumbling after their leader without even a look back to Sasha, who had clearly just been publicly dismissed. Lani continued her work without a word. She would later tell her coworkers every detail.
Monday mornings were the beginning of the work week for most of the skaters in Lake Placid. Addison was gearing up for her second practice session of the day. She breathed out a steam of visible cold air as she diligently weaved her laces in and out of each gold buckle on her old skates. They were certainly beat up, but they had served her well like an old friend for so many years. She could never part with the old things no matter how dingy they looked to the other girls, who snickered about them in hushed whispers in the locker room. Addison knew that what really mattered most was the drive and focus that she had always been known for; it was about that rush she could only feel when she was on the ice.
As her fingers clutched for the necklace from Whitney and Jackie, the coldness of the silver shocked her fingers, giving her a sudden burst of energy that instantly warmed her entire body. It was that old familiar adrenaline rush again; she loved it intensely. With her laces wrapped tight like a cinch on her ankles, Addison stepped onto the ice, every feeling of stress and doubt melting off and away from her with every stroke. She felt right where she needed to be.
The rink had about a dozen or so skaters running through their programs, practicing new jumps, or working with coaches who had them on the dreaded harness for the day. She noted how lucky she felt to just be free to skate for the day, without Eva, who had needed to work with another one of her girls for an upcoming ice show.
Addison decided to work on some double axels, which she considered to be her “Everest” when it came to jumps. They always frustrated her more than anything else because they take off skating forward and required that tricky, extra half revolution. She suddenly thought how crazy it was to think that most of the other girls were working on triple axels! Regardless, if Addison wanted to compete she would need to fearlessly take on this jump, which was an absolute requirement in the short program. A few falls and a couple of two-footed landings later, Addison took to the boards for some water.
From the bench, Addison noticed Sasha and her partner, Parker, who had been on the ice for a good two hours before her, as she could tell by the look of utter exhaustion and sweat dripping from both their faces. Sasha looked rather pale and kept bending over between jumps to catch her breath and regain some energy. Her mother, Svetlana, wouldn’t relent and continued to scream at her daughter after the tiniest of mistakes; the woman was an absolute terror.
Addison continued to watch the two skaters, suddenly gaining interest in her old friend who had so unfortunately gone to the dark side during her absence. She didn’t understand how Sasha could have ever cared to hang around Lindsay and Naomi. Addison remembered how when they were younger the two would refer to them as having “toxic energy.” She giggled to herself as she remembered the fun times they used to have together making fun of how unusually tiny Naomi was as a pre-teen, often referring to her as a baby, which would instantly bring that familiar pout to her lips. And Lindsay, who they had both grown up with since they were kids, was always troubled but seemed to be able to keep things together, until her loss at Junior Nationals to Addison. Addison never knew whether to blame herself for the terror Lindsay had become soon after and suddenly began to wonder if she should have been there for her. She quickly wiped the thought away.
All of a sudden, just as Addison got back on the ice to get back to some jumps, she heard a distinct “POP!” noise down around her right ankle. She looked down just in time to see one of the golden buckles from her skate break off, landing precariously close to a girl with braids, Madonna Berg, who was practicing a sit spin. Addison was suddenly reminded of skipping rocks every summer by the lake at her grandmother’s cottage; one time she had accidentally hit a frog lazing on a leap pad. Addison breathed a sigh of relief as it landed just shy of the skater’s spinning blade. That would have been ugly.
"Shoot," Addison sighed as she fumbled towards the glinting piece of metal that seemed to lie abstractly against the stark white ice. As she bent over to pick it up, Madonna, who had now finished her spin, glanced at her with pity and snidely rolled her eyes.
“Watch where those things are going. They’re practically ancient,” she said with a quick toss of one of her braids. She was dressed expensively.
Addison brushed it off and skated off the ice, with the tiny bracket in hand. She would have to get this fixed immediately; any delay in her practice was a delay she couldn’t afford. She needed every minute on that ice to get to her best.
As she looked down at her skate, which was now completely unlacing, Addison felt completely distraught at the thought of having to buy new skates. It just wasn’t something that seemed possible right now. As she began to lay her head in her hands, Addison shot a glance at the silver skate necklace from Whitney and Jackie dangling around her neck. Of course! The Pro Shop would be able to fix the buckle quickly, and hopefully at a cheap rate. She grabbed her left skate and headed out the locker room door to "The Edge".
"The Edge" was a monster of a pro shop. Skates lined the walls, in the pattern of some sort of unique piece of art, and there were multiple racks of hockey gear and skating outfits. She wondered at the beautiful colored dresses and glittered skirts that filled the store window. On her left, there was a shelf that contained skate guards in every color of the rainbow; on her right, was a mannequin in a glass case dressed in a crème colored Vera Wang number. She suddenly thought of the girl in braids, who seemed to be a walking ad for the shop. Addison made her way to the empty counter and rang the little bell that sat next to the register.
"I'll be with you in just a moment," answered a voice.
Addison could see a figure in the back room stocking a new shipment of skating boots.
Seconds later, the figure appeared, now face to face with Addison; he was definitely the hottest guy she had ever seen. Suddenly, the world around her became a daze, like a scene in a movie playing out in slow motion.
“Hi. I’m Cameron,” he said, as he flashed her a 100-watt smile. Cameron had thick, tousled brown hair and a smile so dreamy, it could only have come from a perfect combination of insanely high cheekbones and two deep set dimples, one on each cheek. He was Abercrombie caliber.
Addison was taken aback, and her heart was racing. Cameron's piercing blue eyes captivated her in sort of a trance and she felt paralyzed.
"Snap out of it Addison, snap out of it!" she thought to herself as she tried swallowing the distinct lump in her throat.
"Are you ok? Can I help you with something?" Cameron asked. Every word from his lips had a certain charm about them.
"Ummm. Yes. My skate. It's..." Addison fumbled for the right words to say. "The lace. It broke," she finally sputtered out.
"Ahh. No problem. It looks like you broke your eye too," Cameron said observing the skate that she had placed on the counter.
"Huh?" Addison replied. She self-consciously glanced in a nearby mirror with a sudden panic. Was her mascara running again??
"Your eye; the hooks on your skates. They’re called eyes. One of them popped off. It's a quick fix," Cameron spoke with confidence. He grinned at her. His teeth were as white as ice; they almost seemed to sparkle in the fluorescent lights above them.
"Oh! Right!" Addison responded nervously. "Perfect. How much do I owe you?" she asked.
"Don't worry about it. It's on me. Come back in about an hour and I should have it done," Cameron said with a wink. He grabbed her skates and started to head for the back.
Addison could only smile and nod at this point. As she turned to leave, she looked back to get a final glance at Cameron and clumsily fell head over feet, crashing into a rack carrying a load of clunky hockey pads. A falling hanger nearly poked her in the eye on the way down. Beet red, she quickly got up and ran for the exit.
"Careful, I can't fix those eyes," Cameron chuckled to himself. Addison was completely smitten and couldn’t help but blush as she rounded the corner out of the shop. She was in complete girlish wonder and couldn’t get Cameron’s pretty blue eyes out of her head.
“Addy!” a voice whispered violently out from behind her. “Addy, it’s me,” it continued. Addison, who was still completely red in the face, turned to see Sasha, peeking her head out from behind the shop door. “Are you ok? Why are you so red?” she continued.
“Oh. It’s nothing. Just a little chilly I guess,” Addison said, quickly trying to cover her tracks. Sasha instantly furrowed her eyes and took a deep breath in before she spoke.
“Look. I saw you in there talking to Cameron,” Sasha began. “I want to tell you this because you’re a sweet girl and I know how Lindsay can get,” she approached with caution. “In all seriousness, stay AWAY, from Cameron Davis. Lindsay has eyes for him and she already has her sights on completely destroying you…and if she finds out the two of you are talking to each other? Well, it’s no bueno,” she fired off rapidly.
“Wait, why are you telling me this? I thought you guys were best friends?” Addison inquired.
“Well…we sort of had a falling out today. Let’s just say, I’m over her. I’ve got to concentrate on everything that I’m doing right now, not her problems.” Sasha finished with a weary sense of pride.
“Wow. Well thanks for the warning, I guess. But honestly, I don’t have anything with Cameron; I mean look at him, he’s gorgeous. I really don’t think he even noticed me. Don’t worry, I won’t talk to him again,” Addison said with a calm sense of sadness. Her eyes glanced back at the shop window for just a millisecond; the second she saw him again, the butterflies were back again. She was completely infatuated, but no one could ever know. Her skating was just too important to be distracted by a guy. Plus, she knew it would be World War III with Lindsay, if she ever found out they even knew each other.
“Look, I gotta go Addison, I’m not feeling too well. But I’m serious about what I said. Stay. Away,” Sasha repeated intensely. Addison noticed her cheeks looked just as flushed as hers; what was going on with her? With a final look to Addison, she suddenly turned and walked briskly down the hall towards the bathrooms.
Addison, who was taking in everything she had just heard, was completely irritated by the whole Cameron situation, but couldn’t get Sasha’s pale skin and red cheeks out of her mind. She looked a little dazed in the eyes, like she had gone a few nights of insomnia and now had a case of extreme sleep depravation. Consumed by her curiosity, she quietly made her way towards the women’s bathroom that she had seen Sasha quickly slip into. She silently peeked her head in the door and peered around. It seemed to be completely empty; the only noise was a rhythmic sort of dripping coming from the faucet.
Then she heard it. Sasha was on the floor of one of the stalls, coughing and violently clearing her throat. She then began to gag uncontrollably. It was the same noise Addison would make during a strep test when the doctor would shove that wooden stick down her throat to get a sample. Addison couldn’t help but let out an audible gasp. A moment of absolute silence followed. Addison shut her eyes, hoping that her shock hadn’t given her position away.
Like a whirlwind, the door suddenly swept open and there was Sasha, a look of absolute terror on her face. Her eyes were sunken in and mascara was running and smeared across her cheeks.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!” Sasha screamed, her voice echoing throughout the bathroom walls.
Addison froze. She couldn’t move a muscle. She looked at her friend, who had a crazed look in her eye, tears now streaming down her face.
“Are you spying on me, you crazy snitch? Don’t act like you’re Little Miss Perfect,” she spat out with such an intense sense of hatred, that Addison was instantly frightened. Sasha’s hand was shaking uncontrollably and the bone was sticking out even more than Addison had remembered from last time.
“I’m so sorry,” Addison whispered. As she silently clicked the door shut, she could hear the distinct sound of Sasha’s muffled sobs, all the way down the hall.
“What I’ve seen, I can never forget, but like Queen Elizabeth, I know
‘Her mantra has always been ‘never explain, never apologize’. And that is exactly what I intend to do.”
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
“I will always remember that summer when I was a little girl and rescued a small bird in the bushes that seemed to be sick and had a broken wing. I nursed him back to health that June and by September, he was fully back to health, ready to spread his wings and fly. Now it was my turn.
Addison woke up that morning refreshed and with a strong case of butterflies twisting her stomach into knots. Today was the day she would move back into the dorms at Lake Placid Ice Academy to begin her transition back into training. Although she felt as nervous as ever, she knew in her heart she was ready.
She quickly threw on a pair of sweats and a flowy T-shirt and tied her blonde hair back into a loose ponytail. Downstairs in the kitchen, George, her father was already up making breakfast.
“Hey superstar! Made my little girl a special treat for training day,” he said with a grin. He turned back to the stove and flipped two Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes with a quick flick of his wrist. Addy smiled as she pulled up a chair at the table.
“Dad, you know I can’t eat like that anymore now that I’m going back. You should see those girls; they look like models. Like those European ones. Especially Sasha,” she responded with a small sigh. Addy knew how hard staying in top physical shape was, while still attempting to remain a healthy, teenaged girl. She took in a big whiff of the sugary goodness wafting through the kitchen. “But I guess one last treat couldn’t hurt,” she added with a wink. George smiled back at her, happy to have his little girl there for those last few moments.
Suddenly, Jane, her mother appeared in the doorway, coffee cup in hand. She was looking at her daughter as if it were the first day of kindergarten again, camera in tow and a worried expression on her face.
“Honey, Are you sure you want to go through with this? I really think it's too soon. You've got so much school work to make up to finish on time with the other kids and I just worry you might be piling too much on your plate” she said with a sip of her coffee. She always took it black with no sugar, opposite of George’s heavy love for anything sweet. The two had always been the perfect parents, always seeming to balance each other out.
Addison knew that she was taking on a lot, but she didn't care. It had taken a lot of convincing to make her parents believe that returning to skating was in her best interest. She wasn't giving in now.
"I'll be fine mom," Addison retorted as she poured a dollop of sugary syrup over her pancakes. George gave his wife a reassuring pat on the back, as they set in with the fact that their little girl was indeed growing up and leaving the nest.
“Ok, now smile!” her mother added, as the camera abruptly flashed. Addison smirked nervously through a mouthful of pancakes.
It was a long and bumpy ride to the little city of Lake Placid from her home in upstate New York. She was driving in the junker car George had passed onto her on Addison’s seventeenth birthday; she had aptly named it Sput due to the way the engine would sputter whenever she took to driving on any highway road. Addy didn’t look back once, even though she knew her dad was waiting by the phone for her halfway point “I’m safe,” text she had promised to send to him and her mother. She was always her father’s little girl. With a sudden feeling of indescribable freedom, she popped in a mixed CD entitled “Comeback” and turned up the volume to overpower the sounds of the old engine.
Addison couldn't get there fast enough. After a halfway point rest stop and a quick drive-thru to get a shot of espresso at a coffee shack along the highway, she had finally made it to Lake Placid.
The dorm building from the outside had a sort of quaint feeling to it. It was four stories high, with French windows and a small wooden sign out front that read “Ice Academy Lodging” in bold, black lettering. A few of the windows had American flags taped in one of the corners. The units were small and homey, on a quiet street that was just a few miles from the rink she had trained at for so many years as a child.
As Addison pulled her heavy luggage through the front door of the dorms, she scanned the hallway looking for any signs of life. It was only 7 PM and the place seemed to be completely empty. All of a sudden, a rather thin girl in pajamas flew by.
“Excuse me!” Addison fumbled as she waved down the girl. “I’m new here. Do you happen to know what room Whitney Lipton and Jackie Arnold are in?” she carefully continued. The girl turned for a mere second and apathetically pointed to one of the rooms in the middle of the hallway.
“Uh….thanks!” Addy called after her as she immediately disappeared into a neighboring room. She suddenly missed the friendliness of her own neighborhood back in the comfort of her parent’s home. With clammy palms, she quietly knocked on the door of Whitney and Jackie’s room. The door instantly flew open.
“Oh. My. God! Addy! You’re here!” Whitney’s familiar voice echoed. She was eating a granola bar and had some residual crumbs resting on the front of her flannel shirt. “Jackie and I were just watching some old skating footage on YouTube! Katarina Witt's second Olympic free skate is on right now. She’s totally my idol!” she excitedly buzzed. From the door, Addison turned to see Jackie on the floor completely engrossed in the computer screen. She had pen and paper out and was scribbling notes down furiously.
“How the hell did Katarina get such height with those boobs?” Jackie said, without even a glance upwards. She was wearing maroon colored tights and a matching thick headband that made some of her shorter hairs stick up a little crazily on the back of her head. Typical Jackie.
“Come on in. Make yourself at home,” Whitney went on as she pulled Addison into the room. It was a small space for the three girls, that contained only two small beds, a couple of side tables, and an old box shaped TV with a wiry antenna on top. The walls were covered with pioneers of figure skating. From vintage Kristi Yamaguchi to a montage of Johnny Weir’s different fashion forward outfits, they were all there. “You can share my bed with me, I don’t mind. I’m sure you don’t want to sleep on that,” she said as she pointed to a small, rather dusty cot in the corner. Addison dropped her bags neatly in one spot by the door, as she eyed her new living quarters.
“Actually, that’ll do perfect. I rather prefer sleeping alone,” she smiled, as she took a seat on the cot. Jackie still had her eyes glued to the computer.
“Whatever suits ya. Sorry about Jackie, you remember how she gets on the weekends. Practically no social life!” Whitney spastically burst out.
“No worries, I’m completely exhausted anyway. Gotta train with Eva early in the morning. Mind if I pass out?” Addison asked, as she started to unpack some of her necessities for the next day. She laid out an old practice dress. Although it was old, she knew it would work just fine until she could afford to buy some new outfits.
“Totally. I gotta hit the hay too. Coach Leslie has been making us skate laps if we are even a minute late to session. So, if Jackie would turn down the volume maybe we could get some sleep around here!” she said as she threw a pillow, hitting Jackie in the back of the head.
“Ok, fine! Geez,” Jackie grunted back, always the tomboy. “Night ladies,” she finished as she shut her computer off just as Surya Bonaly had done a backflip over the boards.
“Night,” Addison and Whitney chirped simultaneously. As Addison set her alarm clock for 5:30 AM, she happily smiled at her new surroundings, ready for tomorrow to come. She quickly dozed off.
Instantly, Addison’s pillow took flight from her tiny cot and she was swirling in a flurry of snowdrops through the clouds to an ice castle, miles above the stars. It was always the same dream every night. She landed in a palace made solely of ice, where a beautiful dove would place a diamond tiara on the top of her head. She would endlessly skate for hours in her nightgown.
“BEEP BEEP BEEP!” Addison’s alarm clock screamed loudly. With a startle, Addy suddenly awoke completely confused as to where she was; she was still in her dreamlike daze floating above the clouds in paradise. The room was pitch black and her clock read 5:45 AM on the dial. Suddenly, she remembered that she was back in Lake Placid, with Jackie and Whitney, and was about to be late to her very first practice with Eva.
“CRAP!” Addison whispered as she hastily began to get dressed in the darkness. All of a sudden, from behind her she heard,
“Morning sunshine! That alarm clock of yours been goin’ off for about 15 minutes now. Didn’t want to wake you,” Whitney said, through bites of a breakfast muffin. “Thought you might want some extra sleep, since Jackie literally snored the entire night!” she continued, as she pulled her hair into a tight bun. Jackie rolled her eyes, in the midst of a downward dog yoga stance. She was already up, and ready to go.
“It’s fine. Gotta go, see you guys at the rink,” Addison finally retorted as she zipped up the front of her jacket, racing out the door. Whitney tossed her a strawberry protein bar just as the door clicked shut.
The state of the art rink was different than Addison had remembered it. While it was considered the number one figure skating arena in the nation, everything just seemed a little more normal than she had dreamed it to be from her hospital bed back in New Jersey. The rink always seemed to be a lot bigger and more fantastical, like the ice palace she visited frequently in her dreams. Here, in reality, it was nothing more than a square pod of frozen ice mixed with sets of monotonous, gray bleachers. She quickly gave herself a reality check and reminded herself how lucky she was to be back in the famed Lake Placid Arena.
Team Leslie was already on the ice. This team comprised of Coach Debbie Leslie’s army of girls clad in matching red warm-up suits and over the boot tan leggings. They were all simultaneously doing circles and stretches by the boards and around the rink. Whitney was already there working on her footwork sequence and Jackie was doing laps. Addison suddenly wondered how the two girls could have possibly beat her there.
Coach Leslie was doing weigh-ins by the bleachers. Addison knew this routine all too well from when she had coached her. From afar, she eyed Madonna Berg, a stout girl who winced as she stepped off the scales, her eyes down towards the floor.
“Madonna, you better check yourself! Have a Luna bar instead of that Frappucino next time. I’m watching you. Ten laps!” she barked as she slapped her butt with the side of her clipboard. Coach Leslie was almost like a man, she seemed to have an excess of testosterone and liked to show her physical dominance with all the girls. It wasn’t strange in the slightest to get a little friendly tap on the rear from her at any time. Addison noticed as a few of the girls passing by Coach Leslie walked with their rears tight up against the boards.
Over by the snack bar, Lindsay Taylor and Naomi Tang were making there way to the ice, stopping to chat it up with a few of the hockey players that were getting warmed up for practice. They were sweaty and smelled strongly of testosterone. Addison seemed confused as she all too quickly remembered the altercation that occurred between the two of them over Tyler Clarkson only that past weekend. Lindsay was leading the flirtation, while Naomi coyly twisted her hair between the fingers of her mittens; the boys were showing off their hockey sticks. As the girls “oohed” and “aahed”, Tyler, their captain suddenly joined the group with that all too confident swagger.
“Hey girls,” he said with a wink at the girls. “You’re both looking beautiful as usual,” he continued.
Lindsay instantly furrowed her brow.
“Get REAL, Tyler. We are SO over you, right Nomes?” she said, eyes pierced on Naomi.
“Yeah, ew. Gross, Ty. We’ve moved on,” Naomi quickly added.
With an absolute look of embarrassment, Tyler blew it off and took off towards the other side of the rink to where the remaining hockey players had started their practice. Naomi and Lindsay instantly went back to their rather racy conversation with the rest of the players.
Addison put her bag down on a bench and began to take out her skates, when she suddenly heard a very loud and brash voice from the bench next to her.
“Na-omi! Na-omi! What you weigh this time?” the voice, which had a thick Chinese accent, screamed in a craze.
Addison flit her eyes up for a mere second to get a good look at whoever was shouting out so loudly next to her. With a quick glance, she saw a rather stout, middle-aged Asian woman with tightly curled hair and a red jumpsuit that said “Team Leslie” across the back. She sported a Louis Vuitton scarf around her neck and was using tiny hand weights to fervently do aerobic exercises by the boards. This was little Naomi Tang’s mother, Julia Tang.
As Naomi quickly took to the ice and skated towards her mother away from the guys, she dejectedly gave her the thumbs down sign, indicating she was over at her weigh-in and seemed to get ready for the wrath that would immediately follow. Like clockwork, her mother began to bark.
“Na-omi! What I say? It’s cause you like-ah too much rice! No more rice for you!” Julia Tang robotically griped, not once stopping her exercises.
“Shut UP mother!” Naomi whispered back furiously. She sighed and shook her head at the sight of her mother, who seemed to always embarrass her at every practice.
Just as Addison was finishing up the final double knot on her skates, she heard the warm, familiar voice that was her coach and mentor, Eva. She looked a vision in her dark grey fleece and black pants, her beautiful brown hair flowing around her shoulders.
“Eva!” Addison exclaimed as she jumped up from the bench. The rubber warmers on her skates made her hug a little unbalanced and wobbly.
“Addy! You made it here in one piece!” she replied back, balancing her back out onto both feet. It felt so nice to be back here with Eva, instead of as one of Coach Leslie’s girls who looked miserable as they continued their laps around the ice. “So, I figure since it is your first day back, we would just try a few things to get your mind back in the swing of things. Nothing too crazy,” she said, trying to comfort a very nervous looking Addison. Addison flashed back to her mother dropping her off for her first day of grade school; everything was so new. All the girls had seemed so popular and so, ahead of her. She was absolutely petrified.
Sensing her fear, Eva thought it best if they took a minute to simply watch some of the girls try a few jumps before she physically got out on the ice. Addison quickly obliged. The two watched carefully as some of the girls from Team Leslie began to run through their practice warm-up jumps. Jackie landed a triple lutz on her first go. On the opposite side, Sasha Petrova, who was having her single skate session, just as easily landed a triple toe loop. Her partner, Parker, was also on the ice spinning and jumping. These skaters were good.
As Addison was just about to start freaking out at her situation, both Eva and her watched in horror as Naomi Tang attempted a triple loop and took a sharp edge, landing hip first onto the ice.
“Na-omi! WHAT was that?? If Piper were here, she would LAND!” her mother immediately screamed, stopping her lunges. Piper was Naomi’s older sister who had tragically been killed over two years ago in a fatal car accident. She had been a figure skating Olympian and the apple of the Tang family’s eye. Naomi always seemed to be constantly trying to live up to her older sister’s success, even from her grave.
Hearing her mother’s rants, Naomi furiously picked herself up from the ice, all the while wincing from intense amounts of pain. Addison could see she was slightly bleeding under her tights.
“Well, Piper’s not here anymore, IS SHE?” Naomi disdainfully scorned. She really knew how to hit her mother where it would hurt the most.
“Whaaa?” Julia Tang immediately gasped. “Wo zhen de dui ni shi WANG LE!” she said pointedly as she turned her back and walked away towards the locker rooms. It meant that she was very disappointed in her daughter in Chinese. Addy and Eva looked on in shock.
“See, Addy? Everybody falls. At least you don’t have to deal with Julia Tang when you do though,” Eva said with a chuckle as she pulled Addison up off the bench. “It’s time,” she finished carefully.
A couple of the girls were taking a break from their rounds, and Addison knew this was the perfect time to get on the ice. As she put her water down and took off her jacket, she felt ready, or, at least, as ready as she was ever going to feel.
Addison felt good as she took to the ice and did a few preliminary laps, dodging through other girls as she gained her speed. She felt alive and she suddenly felt right back where she belonged. Eva was smiling from the sidelines.
After a few singles, she felt ready to try her first double jump, a double toe loop. As she picked up more and more speed, she felt absolutely exhilarated as she quickly turned and swung her left leg back in preparation. She jumped as high as she could manage, and began to spin beautifully. Just as she was about to land, her foot spun out slightly too far right and suddenly, she felt a whip of cold air and a punch to her lungs as she fell out of her spin and landed with a loud thud on the ice. Embarrassed, she quickly got up before anyone could see her lying there, her arms flailed out to both sides. Eva was there in an instant behind the boards, ready with words of encouragement.
As Addison began to brush off the chips of ice that had stuck to her leotard, she suddenly felt a cold slew of ice hit up and down the front and sides of her right leg. Lindsay Taylor had just skated up and done a quick stop creating a flurry of shaved ice to hit at all angles.
“Ugh. Program! You're in my way,” Lindsay shouted. Her voice was completely cold. Addison’s cheeks instantly turned a bright colored fuchsia. “Oh, and by the way, I love your outfit,” she said as a few of the other girls laughed, skating by. “It’s just so fashionable,” she jeered as she skated off into the distance. Addison watched her go, seeing the bold lettered “Team Leslie” stitched into her back, thinking it should read something more like “Team Bitch”.
Eva only worked Addison for another half hour or so, before she pulled her off the ice after another hard fall on a double loop. She didn’t want her to get too completely discouraged on her first day back. Coach Leslie curiously watched her old student fumble by the sidelines as she picked herself up off the ice, whispering into the ears of her team with narrowed eyes.
“Addison Albright, such a shame training with that washed up Eva Barts. She's really cutting her neck. It’s too bad,” she said, shaking her head at the girls. “She’ll never be back at the level of Team Leslie,” she finished proudly.
Feeling rather upset and her feet already swollen and numb, Addison took a seat on her usual bench by the ice, head in hands. Eva enveloped her into a huge bear hug, whispered a few words of encouragement into her ear, and quietly slipped out the back door of the rink with a worried eye.
After only a few moments, Addison felt a thud as someone landed heavily on the bench.
“Hey babe!” it was Whitney, all smiles and stuffing her face with a granola bar. She could immediately sense the sadness in her old friend. “I saw you out there. You looked great!” she added.
“Right,” Addison grumbled, her eyes remained glued to the floor.
Suddenly, Jackie joined the two girls on the bench. She had headphones in her ears that were blaring rock music a little too loudly. As she popped one earbud out of her right ear, she elbowed Whitney softly in the ribs.
“Didja give it to her yet?” she whispered conspiratorially.
“No, not yet.” Whitney muttered through her teeth as she pulled a small box out from the pocket of her jacket. “Jackie and I got you a little something from the pro shop to welcome you back. They have great stuff there you should check it out sometime if you need some new practice clothes,” she said as she handed the package to Addison.
With a look of shock, Addison slowly opened the tiny box and gasped as she saw an absolutely beautiful necklace of a silver figure skate encircled by a glowing heart. She was instantly touched.
“We both have one too,” Jackie said as she unveiled her matching necklace underneath her long-sleeved shirt. “It reminds us always to skate from our heart, not from our heads,” she said proudly.
“Look, I know it can be frustrating sometimes and some of the girls can really be… pieces of work,” she started. “But the Addison I know, skated for the pure joy and love of it, never for what other people thought and their opinions. It was only for how it made you feel inside. THAT is what you need to bring back to the ice, Addy,” she finished calmly. She popped the rest of her granola bar into her mouth with a grin.
“Thank you, both, so much. You’re such good friends. I will forever cherish it,” Addison replied as she looked up at them both with a smile. She grasped the necklace firmly in her palm.
Whitney was right. It didn’t really matter what any of the other girls thought about her or what place she took in regionals. She had come this far and that was an act of pure bravery in itself.
“I watched as the tiny bird spread its wings for the first time again in almost six months. It was such a beautiful sight. It didn’t matter how clumsy and choppy his flight was, his wings fluttering spastically in the wind. It was that he was flying at all; that was the real feat.”
Stay tuned for an all NEW chapter of Private Ice next week!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
"I hadn't felt such an amazing feeling from within my soul in a very long time. So free, so alive. Whenever I was on the ice, I felt like I was flying above the clouds where no one else could even touch me. All of my fears and worries were non-existent and my mind was at ease."
Addison's feet felt a little shaky underneath her as she took to the ice. She felt like a newborn baby deer in its first stages of learning how to walk. It didn't take long for her muscle memory to kick back in, for after only a few strokes, she seemed to easily regain her rhythm. Gliding around the rink effortlessly, she was the definition of graceful. Her spirals were breathtaking and her spins were just where she remembered them. As she attempted her first layback spin in over a year, she instantly became a part of the ice and every care and feeling of pain stored up over her time away from skating, melted slowly off and away from her, never to return.
It wasn't long before Addison was drifting off into another one of her fantasies. Suddenly, the ice rink transformed into a frozen pond before her very eyes. The skaters morphed into beautiful swans and the entire rink had become a fairytale like forest. It was something out of the pages of Swan Lake. Addison was in her own little world, captivated by the music. She felt every note and took in every moment.
Reality check. Bam! All of a sudden Addison found herself lying flat on her back. Everything seemed to go blurry for a moment and she felt a sharp pain in the left side of her hip. What happened? She could vaguely see the outline of someone standing over her.
"Addison? Addison?" asked the voice.
It took a moment for her to comprehend.
"Are you okay?" repeated the voice.
Addison could now make out the figure above her. It was Sasha Petrova, kneeling on the ice alongside her, grasping her mitten-covered hand.
"I think so," responded Addison, still a little uneasy.
"I'm SO sorry. We were both skating backwards and I didn't see you!" Sasha explained, scared that Addison might be a little more easily hurt than others. She didn’t really know all the details on her recovery yet. Addison noted that Sasha looked noticeably thinner than she had remembered, almost as if she were withering away to nothing.
She began to sit upright regaining her composure. Sasha helped her up off the ice and back to her feet.
"No, it's my fault. I wasn't really paying attention," Addison said, flashing a smile. Addison was always the forgiving kind, who tried to make the best of any situation, a glass half full kind of girl.
Sasha's face was overcome with relief.
"I'm glad to see your back," she said with a wink.
Before Addison could respond, she was cut off by a thunderous voice that echoed throughout the entire rink. It was Sasha's mother, Svetlana Petrova, a former World and Olympic pairs champion and Sasha's coach. She was dressed all in mink and there was an ice-cold disposition about her.
"Sasha! Back to work NOW!" Svetlana demanded in her thick Russian accent.
"I gotta go. I'll see you around Addison," and with that, Sasha was off, business as usual.
The session was nearing an end and Addison had decided to call it a day. Despite her collision and her now sore hip, it had been a successful one. She grabbed her skate guards and her wrap sweater before exiting the ice.
In the distance and out of the corner of her eye, she spotted notorious Coach Debbie Leslie towering over Lindsay and Naomi. She was giving one of her painfully gruesome lectures about their “public display of personal issues”, that Addison had remembered all too well. No one wanted to be in those girls’ position. Coach Leslie's lectures were always the same, a nasty guilt trip into making you feel like you were the absolute scum of the earth. She strived for perfection. Nothing was good enough; it could always be better and failure wasn't an option. Addison remembered those horrific feelings she had when she was the one in the hot seat. It was like jumping into a small pond full of crocodiles. There was no winning.
Addison made her way back to the locker room, feeling two pairs of eyes following her in the distance. She glanced over to the unwelcoming sight of her two former rivals, Lindsay and Naomi. They simultaneously shot death stares at her from across the boards.
Meanwhile, back on the ice Sasha was warming up for her next freestyle session. This time she was joined by her pair partner, Parker Winters, who was 17, tall, and had an angelic face with blonde curly hair that was reminiscent of a Greek god.
Sasha skated twice as much as the other girls since she competed in both disciplines. She was utterly exhausted from her previous solo session and suffered from a lack of enough protein to last her through the next few hours. But it was time for a double run thru of her pairs program with Parker and she knew there was absolutely nothing she could do about it.
The duo took to the center of the ice and struck their opening positions. Coach Svetlana started the music and overlooked with a critical eye from her comfortable position behind the rink-side boards.
Paganini began to play and the pair began to accelerate to top speed in mere seconds. They had built tremendous power as they attempted their first element, the side-by-side triple toe loop. Parker nailed it, while Sasha took a hard fall onto the ice, sliding into the boards.
"Get up!" Svetlana shrieked without so much as a blink of an eye.
Sasha immediately bounced back as if nothing had happened and joined hands again with Parker as they entered their next element, the throw triple loop. Parker easily tossed her into the air with one strong heave and instantly, Sasha lost control and toppled over like a paper doll in the wind. This time she didn't get up.
"Get up!" Svetlana yelled robotically. She felt not the least bit of remorse for her daughter.
Sasha was in immense amounts of pain and was doing all she could to block out the constant screams of her mother commanding her to “get up and try again!” She remained motionless, her face glued to the ice. Disgusted, Svetlana stopped the music and barked at Parker to take a little break while she dealt with her “lazy dotchka”.
Infuriated, Sasha lifted her aching body up off the ice, numb with cold, and skated off on her own. Frustrated and exhausted, she kicked the boards with her toe-pick, an earthquake of emotions swelling inside of her.
"Enough!" Svetlana shouted.
Sasha skated back to the boards, hands on her hips, to where both mother and partner were waiting for her.
"Are you done being a little child now?" her mother asked.
She didn’t respond and couldn't seem to make eye contact with her disapproving and rather harsh mother. Her cheeks were red and bruised from cold and also, a deep feeling of shame.
"Sasha, you need more inclination on your triple. Parker, not so much force this time on the throw. The timing was way off. Now take it again from the top," Svetlana dictated.
"No," Sasha said coldly and abrupt.
"Excuse me?" Svetlana replied, looking somewhat stunned.
"I'm done. I'm getting off. I'm tired," Sasha proclaimed.
"I don't think so," Svetlana laughed. "You have Cup of Russia in less than five months and you are no where near ready. Do you want to make a fool of yourself in your first Grand Prix event? The other teams are looking strong and are performing more difficult elements. You need to get back to work," Svetlana declared.
Sasha didn’t listen. She grabbed her water bottle and stormed off the ice.
"SASHA!" Svetlana yelled after her in a bitter rage.
There was no stopping Sasha, and she knew that if she even took one glance back at her mother, she would never make it out those front doors. Parker and Svetlana were left alone on the ice.
Back in the locker room, Addison sat quietly drying her blades off, when choreographer Eva Barts entered. In her late twenties, Eva had the body of a ballerina and her beauty was worthy of any magazine cover.
"Well, look who it is," Eva smiled.
Addison jumped up into Eva's arms, overcome with joy. Eva had been her very first coach when she had started skating and was her former choreographer before she got sick.
"How are you feeling, kiddo?" Eva asked rubbing her fingers through Addison's hair.
"Eight months into remission and I'm not too bad. A little tired still, but good," replied Addison.
"Well, your beautiful blonde hair has almost fully grown back," Eva pointed out. "I was watching you out there, Addy. Nothing has changed. Still the same beautiful skater," Eva bragged.
Hearing those words brought back a tiny sparkle to her eyes.
"Addy, listen to me. I really think you should seriously consider coming back and training full time. Regionals are coming up shortly and I know you can get back in shape," Eva encouraged.
"I don't know," she sighed. "I moved up to senior before all of this happened. There's no way I would be ready to even come close to competing against any of the girls," she admitted doubtingly.
"So what? You love to compete. It would be good for you to get back out there," Eva replied.
This all sounded very enticing to her. She loved to compete and perform in front of the crowd, but she still had her doubts. Her parents already had financial troubles before she got sick, and after she got leukemia, the insurance bills replaced and nearly doubled her skating costs.
"Listen, I could coach you for free. It would be a fun project for the both of us. There would be no pressure and we would have exactly enough time to get two programs together before you would need to compete. What's the worst that could happen? You get dead last? Who cares? There's always next year. This is what you were born to do Addison," Eva said. It was a strong closing argument.
Addison didn't know what to say. It was as if Eva could read her mind.
"Think about it," she said as she headed out the door.
And she did. All Addison could think about on the drive home was the conversation between Eva and her at the rink. She was right. This was her dream. Addison loved the thrill of competing and performing for a crowd. She wanted to come back more than ever now, but so many thoughts continually raced through her mind. What if she got sick again? What if she couldn't handle the training like she used to be able to? What if she made a complete fool out of herself? She had been the Junior National champion at age 15. What would people think if she couldn't even make it out of regionals now?
At the dinner table that night Addison didn't make a sound, nor was she that hungry. Returning to the ice today felt so good, but it wasn't enough. She knew in her heart that she needed to go back full time. It was her destiny. But honestly, who was she kidding? The harsh reality of it all began to set in.
"Is everything okay, honey?" her father asked sensing his daughter’s thoughtful mood.
"I knew you shouldn't have gone skating today Addison," her mother worriedly announced. "It might have been too soon," she added.
"No, it's not that. I feel fine. I was just thinking about something, that's all," she replied with a half-hearted smile.
As Addison lay in bed that night, she looked up at the moon and made a wish. She imagined herself at the top of a giant podium, a crowd cheering and throwing confetti over her in the background. She glanced over at the giant bookcase filled with medals and pictures from a past life of win after win of major events on the junior circuit. All of a sudden, a fire inside of her was heating up. She was feeling stronger, and her strength seemed to be growing rapidly by the second.
"That's the moment I decided I wasn't going to look back. I did it once. I could do it again. Anything was possible. I couldn't spend my whole life worrying about failure. I had the opportunity to follow my dream again and I wasn't going to let it get away. If I die in the process, at least I would go down doing what I love."
She had made her choice. She would return to the Ice Academy immediately and embark on a new journey. Nothing could stop her now.
Stay tuned for the exciting third chapter of Private Ice next week!
Monday, November 8, 2010
"It felt so good to walk through those double doors again. The smell of the cold air, seeing familiar faces. I felt like I was back where I belonged".
Addison Albright wheeled her skate bag behind her as she made her way through the lobby of the prestigious Ice Academy in Lake Placid, New York. It had been over two years since she had last been here and she missed every sight, smell, and memory since that initial checkup at Dr. Tripp's office that had so changed her life. As she walked towards the locker room, each person she came in contact with gave a smile or a nod, some even making a break for their Blackberrys to quickly send a BBM alert, stunned at the sight before them. Could it be? Was it really Addison Albright? It was.
Addison eventually made her way to the empty locker room she used to visit on a daily basis. She took her usual spot on a bench next to a locker that she used to occupy for so many years. Taking a seat, letting out a long sigh, she sat in silence taking it all in. She was ready.
Just as she was about to lace up her skates, someone else barged into the room.
"Oh. My. God!" the girl screamed. It was Whitney Lipton, a fellow skater that Addison had trained with since they were little girls. She had dark curly hair, a stunning face and was slightly overweight for the figure skating world. I.E. a normal sized girl with curves. Addison was equally as excited to see her.
"Whitney!" she shouted. The two ran towards each other and embraced in a giant hug. It was nice to see an old friend.
"Finally you're back! When did you get here? How long are you staying for? Where are you staying? Sorry! So many questions. How are you?" exclaimed an overly excited Whitney.
"I'm good!" smiled Addison. "I'm just... driving back and forth from home right now," Addison fumbled, not trying to give too much away.
"No! You need to come and stay in the dorms for the summer! Jackie and I have space in our room. It would be so much fun," Whitney said trying to convince her.
Addison looked away.
"I don't know if I would be ready for that yet."
At that moment another girl busted into the locker room.
"Everyone come to the lobby quick! FIGHT!" the girl shouted. She closed the door, but then reappeared seconds later. "ADDISON?" she asked. "Oh my god!" said the girl, running over to them and embracing Addison into an overzealous hug. She didn't remember them being that close.
Jackie Arnold, another old friend of Addison's, was the exact opposite of Whitney: plain and seriously undernourished. Not the most fashionable girl, she's sporting the Hillary Clinton haircut and hot pink skating tights. Jackie grabbed both of their hands before they had time to say anything. "Come quickly. You guys have to see this," she urged pulling them out the door.
"Want to know one of the biggest problems in the skating world? Let's rewind just a little bit to earlier this morning."
Lindsay Taylor was standing in the girls bathroom texting away on her iPhone. She was the exotic beauty that everyone envied. Her BFF, Sasha Petrova, was in one of the stalls gagging.
"Are you almost done in there?" Lindsay asked with a roll of her eyes. No response from Sasha who's still hacking up a lung. Lindsay returned to her phone to find that she had received a new text message that read "URGENT".
Sasha emerged from the stall rubbing her head. She was a dashing blonde who was all legs. Around five foot seven, she was considered supermodel tall in the figure skating world.
Embarrassed, she quickly headed towards the sinks.
"I think it was... that salad dressing I ate earlier. Never again."
With a scoff and a wink, Lindsay spat out,
"Guess you still can't keep that food down." Lindsay always had a way of making you feel grateful for any sort of attention from her, even a bitchy comment such as that.
Bored, Lindsay checked her new text. It read: "Check out Naomi's Twitter! ASAP!". Always one for gossip, Lindsay immediately opened her Twitter app on her phone and clicked on @Naomi4gold, scrolling through her tweets. She finally found what she was looking for.
@TylerClarkson Soooo much fun last night! Thanks for helping me! xoxo, Naomi.
Heart suddenly pounding, Lindsay then clicked on @TylerClarkson and began to read.
@Naomi4gold Had fun too. Let's chill soon. ;).
Oh NO they didn't! Lindsay was fuming and she let out a scream of death to prove it.
"What the hell is wrong with you?" asked Sasha.
"SHUT UP Sasha!" Lindsay screamed as she threw her phone into the mirror, creating a lightning bolt shaped crack right down the middle.
"Jesus!" Sasha exclaimed. Lindsay bolted out of the bathroom door. Panicked, Sasha rushed out after her.
"Lindsay! Wait up!" Sasha shouted. Lindsay was already halfway down the hall leading into the lobby of the Ice Academy. She was a woman scorned and on a mission. Sasha finally caught up to her, blocking Lindsay's path.
"Ok. Talk to me girl. What's wrong? Is this about the tweets?" Sasha said trying to calm her down.
"WHAT??!! You knew?" Lindsay implored. Sasha was speechless. She didn't know what to say.
"Why don't you go back to throwing up the rest of your lunch, Sasha," Lindsay taunted as she shoved her out of the way.
Meanwhile, Naomi Tang, bubbly, cute and Asian, was stretching in the lobby alongside hockey player Tyler Clarkson. (A.K.A. Lindsay's boyfriend of the week). He was completely gorgeous and a complete player. Naomi lifted her leg parallel to her head and held it there effortlessly.
"What do you think of this position?" she asked him with that Naomi-like sparkle in her eye.
"Wow. You are really flexible Naomi. That's impressive," Tyler responded. Naomi then bent over into a full on Charlotte position. It would have been rather revealing, had she not been wearing any tights.
"What about this one?" she continued.
"Verrryy nice," Tyler replied as he observed carefully. She could feel his eyes on her.
Lindsay had now made her way into the lobby where the two were together, Naomi still in position. She stormed over, about to really lose it.
"YOU!" Lindsay pointed to Tyler.
"Oh hey, my-y honey b-banana bear! Naomi was j-just showing me some of her new moves," Tyler sputtered out. He'd be crazy to try and pretend like he wasn't afraid of his own girlfriend. Without so much as a blink of an eye, Lindsay cut Tyler off and shoved him out of the way, making a b-line for Naomi. Lindsay grabbed her and in a craze, pinned her up firmly against the wall.
"Ouch! Let go of me!" Naomi yelped. "What the hell is your problem Lindsay? You're going to rip my brand new Capezio tights!" she screamed as she pushed Lindsay off of her. Naomi quickly made a scan of her legs to check for rips and clocked Lindsay's position.
"Don't play dumb with me, bitch. Just because I don't tweet, doesn't mean I wouldn't find out eventually. Hanging out with MY boyfriend behind MY back? He's off limits," Lindsay scolded. Naomi couldn't help but smirk. She knew the rules about skaters dating hockey players. It was forbidden.
"Tyler's a big boy Lindsay. He's free to do as he wishes. I can't help it if he enjoys my company. Besides, nothing went on," she said nonchalantly. "And we surely wouldn't want Coach to find out about you two, now would we?" Naomi jeered with a fake pout of her lips. Lindsay was fuming. This girl had pushed her last button.
She lunged for Naomi, grabbing her by her black satin ponytail, but athletic Naomi quickly rebounded by grabbing Tyler's hockey stick and striking Lindsay square in the leg. She instantly dropped to the ground in utter pain. She looked like a butterfly after you touch its wings. Beautiful, in her pink and purple tutu, but sprawled out and convulsing like something completely ugly and near its death. Tyler fainted at the sight of all the drama. Right before he closed his eyes, he silently wished that there were no spying witnesses that would send a relatively embarrassing Twitter blast about his fainting episode. Coach didn't like weak players.
Head coach, Debbie Leslie, a stout, forty-something woman in a fleece pullover, sporting the longest hippie hair you had ever seen, ran over after witnessing what had just happened.
"That's enough! Break it up. BREAK IT UP," she yelled as she ripped the two girls apart. "You had better start explaining yourselves or the two of you will be doing laps around the rink for the rest of the day," Coach Leslie threatened.
"Why don't you ask Tonya Harding over there?" Naomi pointed.
"Me? Whatever, you nasty bitch," Lindsay shouted through tears from the searing pain shooting up her thigh. The two girls continue to bicker back and forth, while a growing crowd began to form around them.
"And we're back to my question. So what's the biggest problem in the figure skating world? Definitely the lack of straight single guys".
In the distance, Whitney and Jackie watched with a look of horror. It was the same expression they had when they had seen two tigers play fight at the zoo. It was completely animalistic. Addison began to trail off into a fantasy, much like the ones she would fall under during her long bouts of chemo. The lobby of the rink became a stage resembling a Maury-like show. Naomi was pregnant and Lindsay was dressed up like a trashy stripper. Coach Leslie was now in a full business suit, holding a microphone a la Maury.
"The paternity test results are in. Tyler, you ARE the father," Coach Leslie announced. The audience was going wild. Naomi leapt out of her chair and approached Tyler.
"What did ah say? What did ah SAY? I told ya'll that you was mah baby's daddy," Naomi preached in her now Southern accent. Meanwhile, Lindsay was crying hysterically in her chair. She jumped up and started to attack Naomi in typical trashy talk show fashion.
"Homewrecker!" Lindsay shouted.
"Homewrecker! Homewrecker!" the audience chanted over and over until:
Addison abruptly snapped back into reality, but the two girls were still going at it.
"I can think of a few things that I didn't miss about being here though. The gold medal isn't the only thing these girls are after. It's to be the best. Second place, just isn't going to cut it."
STAY TUNED NEXT WEEK FOR AN ALL NEW CHAPTER OF PRIVATE ICE!