I wasn't sure what to think. She and I had been best friends since I could walk, let alone run in the final race at All County. "Just stay away from me," she hissed before turning away. I didn't get it. What had I done? I found Maris in the locker room. “Can I ask you something? It’s about Betha-”“Whatever it is, can it wait until after the meet? I’m trying to keep my focus.” Maris continued lacing up her sneakers, and didn’t bother looking up at me.“I guess,” I mumbled. I grabbed my gear bag and headed out to the field. I couldn’t explain it but I had the weird feeling that I was forgetting something. I ran a mental check, and everything seemed okay.Ten minutes to go. Coach saw me and waved me over. “You ready? This is it, Melanie. The biggie. It’s what it’s all about – what we’ve all been training so hard for.”I nodded and went over to my starting block. Some of the other girls were already at their places, doing warm-ups and stretching exercises. Maris came out and took her place next to me. She gave me a thumbs up and turned her attention to the track. Bethany was two places away from Maris. She glanced over at me with an angry-looking face and then turned towards the track, too.Well, if Bethany wants to be all pissy for heaven-knows-what, then that’s her problem. I’m here to win a race. Too bad for her.We all took our places and the gun went off.It didn’t take long for Bethany to take the lead, with me in second position. Kamira Patel was in third and Maris was close behind in fourth place. We were all pretty tight at that point. The other four girls were in the race were lagging behind us at the turn. I put on a burst of speed and moved into the first place. I felt rather than heard Bethany coming up on my right. “Bitch!” she exhaled. I pushed for even more speed.What happened next is kind of fuzzy, but this is what I think happened: Lily Chang, who was in (I think) fifth position started to gain on Maris, but somehow managed to cross in front of her and both girls tripped and went down. Maris yelped, because, as it turned out, she sprained her ankle. Kamira and Bethany were just ahead of them when this happened (again, this is just what I think) and I was probably a small distance in front of the two of them. I glanced over my shoulder when I heard Maris cry out, and Kamira slammed into me, with Bethany landing on top of the two of us.“Look what you did!” Bethany screamed. She shoved at both Kamira and me.I somehow managed to pull myself from the pile up and dashed back to help Maris (and Lily.) Maris was my friend too, after all.Bethany stood up and was about to start running towards the finish line, but must have realized what I was doing. She backtracked over to us. By then, Lily and I had Maris up between us, supporting her since she couldn’t put any weight on her foot. Kamira must have still been pretty focused on the race, because she ran to the wire, with the other girls all crossing there right about the same time. At that moment, I wasn’t even sure who won the race.When we got Maris to the bench, we found out that the four of us – Maris, Lily, Bethany and me – had been disqualified, which I guess we all expected. I didn’t care too much about any of that, at that point, but I did want to know why Bethany was so mad at me.She grabbed my wrist. My eyes widened. That was the thing I forgot – our orange and yellow friendship bracelets. They were Bethany’s and my good luck charms. We almost never took them off.“I thought you were trying to jinx the race, not to mention our friendship,” she said.“Oh gosh – Bethany. I am so sorry! I guess I did jinx the race for us, but I swear, it was not intentional. My little brother threw up this morning and he got me when he did it. It was gross! All down my arm. I took the bracelet off to wash it and to clean myself up – and I must’ve left it in the bathroom.”So, in the end, we didn’t get the trophy for the All County race, but I did get my best friend back, which wasn’t a total waste, after all. And you know - I never forgot the bracelet again.
Lightverse, I could see the action happening on the track! Loved it!!!
Cute story! My bff and I had tons of friendship bracelets through the years. Seems like I was always wearing one!