Olivia Samia

The National Title

The screeching tires came to a stop. The doors swung open. Twenty girls piled out in navy blue warm-up pants, navy blue and red jackets, white shirts, red Nike sneakers and a white ribbon tied in a neat bow in their hair. There stood a beige cement building, long in length and high in height. Walking to the locker room aside the narrow brick walls, the girls were excited to compete. The hair on the girls’ backs rose from the chill of excitement. Reaching the locker room, the girls laughed to cover up how they really felt. Each beating heart in the room was nervous to set foot in the official arena. With the clock ticking away, each girl carefully slipped on her tights, unhooked the clasps in the back of the racecar-themed competition dresses which slid on each petite body. After that they grabbed a skate in one hand. There was a sound of hollow boots being placed on the ground. Each foot filled a skate. The brown laces that matched the brown spray painted skates were tightly pulled together. Thoughts ran through the young girls' heads with what they have to accomplish when they set foot on the ice. The three minute rule was announced. Tiny make-up kits were exploding with tissues painted with red lipstick marks, black eyeliner and blush. Gel bottles were scattered on the matted floor or any touch-ups for the wisps that might fall from the tightly sowed-in bun. Trembling hands, quivering smiles and loving hugs were passed through the room either emotionally or physically. A single-file line was created by the captains, with nineteen other girls behind them. The leather skates rubbed up against each other, while knees cracked.

Pearly white teeth chattered in the cold bitter air that circulated the arena. Goose bumps rose on the necks, arms, and backs of the girls. The doors to the ice surface squeaked from the rust nails that held it together. Both hands grabbed the sides of the boards lifting themselves on the ice. The ice crunched under every blade that hit the frozen floor. The colorful audience in yellow, red, blue, green, white, black, purple, and orange cheered for the Haydenettes in slow motion. Waving their arms, white flashes of light from the cameras stained their eyes. Spinning skirts, shinning blades, facial expressions connected skaters to the judges. Tears slowly filled both eyes of many girls. With one blink of an eye, raindrop tears slid down each cheek. These weren't tears of sorrow; these were tears of excitement and love for this sport. The girls hit the ending pose. Shaking bodies, an amazing skate was the only thing that stood out to the audience. The sight of every person in the arena standing up to support the Haydenettes with all of the great success and wonderful hard work was finally recognized at the Nationals competition. Loving hugs were passed from skater to skater. There were deep breaths and sighs of relief that it was finally over.

The man on the loudspeaker announced the first, second, and third place winners. His deep voice echoed, while the girls stood in the “kiss and cry” area. All of the girls had their hands locked together. Tight squeezes were passed down the line. Ears wide open, the girls waited patiently. The man announced that the Haydenettes had earned first pace in the National competition for the fifteenth year in a row. Screaming voices, tears of joy, and black eyeliner ran down below many girls’ faces. The feeling of such accomplishment was shared between the team and the audience. One after the other, they girls trembled with excitement, cheering down those narrow brick halls that they had walked when entering the rink, The thick white locker room door that was held open by a wooden block let the girls in. The last body that set foot in the locker room left the door to swing behind her and close with a loud thud. The adventure had ended with many memories to share and pictures to save. The ice might as well have been some of the girls’ homes, a place where they had grown up. On that frozen stage, they warmed hearts.


Copyright 2002-2006 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2006 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.