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Lying on my couch enjoying the last days of summer evenings I watched as Cinderella was swept up by her prince charming. Sighing I wondered where the heck is my price charming to come and save me? Not that I particularly want to fall in love and have guys do everything for me. It would just be nice to feel that somebody was out there just for me.
“Lily!!! Have you fed the dog yet?” My mother called loudly from upstairs.
“No!! I will go do it right now!!!” I shouted back rising from the comfy sofa. Walking across the family room and into the kitchen I filled up Mr. Pickles’ bowl with food and water. Mom thumped down the stairs carrying a large basket full of dirty clothes. “You know I don’t know why we have a dog if you can never remember to feed him,” She griped as usual. “By the way remember you have your first cross country practice tomorrow at six. Your father will have to take you because I have to work,” She continued on in a friendlier tone.
“Kay,” I answered back shakily. I had never been good at making new friends; my social skills really sucked. Plus with my sick sense of humor and fickle emotions I was hard to talk to.
I just quit doing competitive skating due to injuries and economic issues. After ten years of being there it was hard to let go. Everybody there was basically family to me and they understood me completely. Opening up to a whole new different group was going to be extremely difficult.
My mom took my shakiness as worry about keeping up with the rest of the girls. “Don’t worry, honey, you will be fine. Just remember to breathe and don’t compare yourself to the other girls.” She started walking down the stairs again heading down to the laundry room.
I turned to rub Mr. Pickles behind the ears still pondering about what will happen tomorrow and then went back to my Disney show. All that was left was the credits so I flicked the T.V. off with the remote. Tiredly I crept upstairs and went into my bedroom. Flouncing down onto my bed I soon fell asleep.
Next morning I got up still fretting over the whole cross country thing. What do I really have to worry about anyway? I thought to myself repeatedly the whole day but I never really came up with a reasonable answer.
Finally after getting ready my dad drove to cross country practice. He pulled up into the parking full of kids of all ages. “See you in an hour, kiddo. Good luck.” My dad wasn’t as perceptive as Mom so he didn’t see my face slightly pale.
“Bye, Dad.” I climbed out of the car and squared my shoulders readying myself. Most of the kids there didn’t even notice me. Some might have glanced my way but never really said anything or gave me any invitation to join their group. I almost gave up hope thinking that I was already being ostracized when I heard a warm voice behind me.
“Hey, Lily. Do you remember me? I was a friend of your sister’s. You met me once before I believe.” I spun around quickly to see a girl with sandy blond hair and brown eyes. She looked vaguely familiar. Smiling, showing her braces, she laughed lightly saying, “You look like you are a deer caught in the headlights. That’s okay. I probably looked exactly the same when I came here. The name is Brenna, Brenna Thorn.”
“Nice to meet you. I’m Lily Cope. Though I am sure you knew that,” I answered formally and a little stiffly. Brenna just smiled in response as another girl came up beside her.
“Lily, I didn’t know you were going to do cross country! We are going to have to get to know each other better.” Rachel had been in my class since first grade but she was only an acquaintance. She swished her strawberry blond hair around her head as she jumped up and down.
I wasn’t quite sure how to answer this enthusiastic greeting. Thankfully I was spared a response because of Brenna. “ All you need is a miniskirt and a pompom and you could be a cheerleader right now. I know how it has always been you’re life long dream to become one of them,” Brenna said jokingly nudging Rachel.
Rolling her eyes at Brenna she stopped jumping. “Hey, how do you know Lily? And don’t disk my future family. It’s rude,” She said playfully.
While Brenna was explaining how she knew me we started doing a slow jog for a warm up. The rest of the practice passed quickly and without much other conversation besides “ Hey can you pass me my water bottle?” because we had started to run harder now.
When I was lying in bed that night after a long cold shower to clean away all the sweat and dirt, I realized that I was accepted. I wasn’t excluded like I feared. Both Brenna and Rachel had welcomed me with arms wide open with out even knowing anything about me. Feeling like I actually found a place in this world besides at skating I fell asleep with a smile on my face.
The rest of the warm sunny summer days passed quickly and soon school started. I was now very comfortable going to cross-country. Rachel, Brenna, and I had become inseparable in a matter of weeks. We talked laughed and giggled about almost everything. By cheering each other up when we had a horrible day or listening intently to secret crushes we grew together as friends. Maybe it was the fact that we were all huge fans of Taylor Swift or that we were frustrated with the complications of algebra that we became such great friends in a matter of weeks. Whatever the reason I was glad.
Our first meet for cross-country was the first weekend after school started. Anxiety gnawed at my stomach as I stood on the starting line in between Rachel and Brenna. The coach reminded us to stay together as a pack as we whispered words of confidence to each other. The starter holding the gun in hands reviewed the starting commands and the course that we would take through the hilly terrain to complete our two mile race.
“ On your mark … Get set,” Yelled the starter. BANG!! The whole line shot forward. I was more concerned with trying not to trip than trying to go fast. By the end of the first mile I was heaving. I had no clue how I was going to survive the second mile. Obviously I needed a lot more practice. I continued to chug along the second mile and wheeze my way past the finish line.
I collapsed right after I got my card that had my place on it. Mom and Kiki, my sister, knelt beside me and gave me my water bottle. Guzzling it down quickly I soon felt energized. Rachel’s mom, Mrs. Smith, collected Brenna’s, Rachel’s, and my card.
“You know I could hardly tell you guys apart from each other out there. I could only distinguish Lilly because of her blue visor. You guys fit together like… like Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo,” She said laughing.
“Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo? How do they fit together?” Rachel asked.
“You know from Cinderella. You can’t say one of the words with out the others,” Mrs. Smith explained.
“I kind of like it. I call dibs on Boo,” Brenna smiled surprising us because usually she made fun of things like that.
“Aw man! I wanted to be Boo,” Rachel complained.
“Too bad!” Brenna cackled.
“I guess I will be Bibbidi then. That leaves you with Bobbidi, Lilly,” Rachel decided.
“Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo,” I murmured quietly to myself. What a coincidence I thought to myself laughing.
Months flew by. Apparently this first meet was only the beginning of a whole bunch of them leading up to the last big meet: CYO. On that meet we go up against every team in our division. Our coach trained us harder and harder as the meet approached. With school, and cross-country, I was hardly ever bored.
The last week of practice before CYO Brenna reminded us that this was her last week of cross-country with us; next year she was moving to high school. Rachel and I were melancholy and made Brenna promise to e-mail us everyday. She just laughed and made us promise the same thing.
The morning of CYO Brenna, Rachel, and I all put our hair in our famous turned in ponytail hair do and wished each other luck. We were too nervous to talk more than that. The coach gave us a promising pep talk and told us we had a good chance of winning this if we all ran our best. No pressure there.
I was just as nervous if not more nervous than my very first meet. Brenna, Rachel, and I all slapped hands and then got back into our racing positions. The whole line stood frozen waiting to hear the gunshot that began our race. “ On your mark … get set,” Yelled the starter. BANG!! The whole line shot forward.
Adrenaline raced through my veins and I was flying. I could hear the crowds cheering and my feet slapping the ground. One of my favorite workout songs was playing over and over again in my head encouraging me to run faster.
Though my adrenaline had gotten me through the first mile it didn’t last for the second. I could feel burning in my legs now and my hard breathing soon became hyperventilating. Hopelessness coursed through me as people passed me. Giving up suddenly didn’t seem like such a bad idea. No you got to fight! I thought to myself. Ignoring the pain searing through my legs and chest I sped up.
Six hundred meters left to go I thought to myself encouragingly as I rounded the corner going into the sunlight. I could hear my dad screaming at me, “Lily you have to pick it up now. There are some guys from the other team right on your tail! Come on Lily! Move it! Only four hundred left to go.”
He was right I could see their shadows creeping towards me and I could hear their labored breathing, which meant they were fairly close. Pouring on the speed I raced up the finishing hill. Unfortunately they wouldn’t let me go that easily.
We were all neck and neck sprinting to the top of the hill. Crowds were screaming at us. I couldn’t feel my legs anymore and I was gasping for breath. Seeing the finish line seemed to give me an extra burst of speed. Racing for my life I sped past my opponents and crossed the finish line with them on my heals.
I was handed a card that had the number fifteen on it and then I was herded toward a table. I sat panting and feeling dizzy. I gave all I had toward that race and now I felt like I was going to puke. Somehow I was able to write my name and school down onto the card and hand it to Mrs. Smith who congratulated me.
Sauntering down to my team I grabbed my water bottle and came up to Brenna and Rachel whom had both finished before me? “Hey, Great job you guys! I can’t believe it’s over! Do you have any clue if we won?” I said greeting them.
“Great job, Lilly! I think we are going to win!! Brenna came in third! She was the first girl! I was the ninth. Oh my gosh I can’t believe that this will be our last meet together!” Rachel gushed.
“Me neither! It seems hard to grasp. I know one thing though, we will always be Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo no matter how far apart we are,” Brenna vowed solemnly her voice cracking a little at the end. Rachel and I nodded in agreement and hugged each other.
All of my fears at the beginning of the year seemed ridiculous with Brenna and Rachel here with me now. At the beginning of the summer when I was sitting on the couch watching Cinderella I realized I never really wanted a prince charming to come and save me or even a fairy godmother. The only thing I needed was a little bit of Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo and now I would always have that with me wherever I went.