Chapter 22 - Go The Distance

Second Chances by Emily


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Synopsis: Day 10 - Despite dealing with heartbreak, Christina must still focus on today's track meet.

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Thursday, October 2, 1997



As I woke up to my alarm clock, I was still clutching the cordless phone. I had dried tears around my eyes. The events of last night came flooding back to me. It was such a good day until I screwed it up at the last possible moment.


I slogged out of bed and forced myself to get ready for school. I pulled out a blue skirt and tossed it onto my bed. I wasn't feeling happy. I really wasn't into looking cute right now. So I pulled out a black t-shirt and tossed that on top of the skirt. I grabbed the first bra and underwear I could get my hands on.


I went through the motions getting into the shower, washing up. Hair, makeup, getting dressed. It was colder than I thought it was so I added the black pantyhose to my outfit.


When I went out to the kitchen I sat down. I didn't have much of an appetite.


My dad, sensing my depression, decided to talk about happier things. He handed me a folded up newspaper page. "Are you excited?"


The paper was the scholastic page of the sports section. Right there in the middle was the schedule of track meets. Sure enough our meet at Central was listed there for 3 PM.


A slight smile did form on my face. But it didn't completely heal my heartbreak.


"I know you're hurting right now." he said. "But time heals these types of things. I know. I've had my share of heartbreak."


Yeah, me too, Dad. In my past I've been friend-zoned. I've been dumped. I've done the dumping. I've been divorced. Sure sure, this is the first time the other person was a guy.  But every time it happens, it never hurts any less. In fact, I think each time gets progressively worse. Knowing that your years of experience should have prepared you. Knowing that you're not getting any younger. In fact, this time it feels exponentially worse. Knowing that I sabotaged something that was looking so bright. Then I remembered my marriage. I destroyed that too. I wonder how many of my other failed relationships were my fault. "Thanks, Dad." is all I could manage to say.


"So about this afternoon." he said. "I'll be leaving work early so me and your mother can be at the meet. Whatever happens today, I want you to know that I am so proud of you. It's exciting that you are getting out of your comfort zone and are trying new things."


I smiled. But I couldn't get that excited for this afternoon.


"OK" he said. "If that doesn't get you out of your funk. This will. I remembered to record last night's episode of Voyager for you."


I chuckled. "Thanks Dad."


* * *


When Cindy and I got to my car I noticed the shopping bags from last night that I never brought into the house. I took the track cleats out of the box and placed them into my gym bag.


Cindy noticed the other bag. "You went to Victoria's Secret without me?"


"Sorry" I replied. "It wasn't planned."


"Next time don't forget me!" she said with a smile.


"Will do" I replied with a smile.


She started rummaging through the bag. "Oh these are cute! I love polka-dots.  I’m gonna have to send Julie and thank you note."


Cindy and I rode to school together. Since I had a track meet today, Ron wasn't coming with us this morning. I was hoping the guardian angel would pop into Cindy at some point during the drive. That never happened. Instead we sat in the car silently while listening to the radio.


When we got to school, Cindy gave me a hug. "Good luck! I'll be there cheering you on. I'm catching a ride with some friends who want to see the meet too."


"Thanks!" I said, returning her hug.


As Cindy walked off, I remembered that I wanted some motivational music for the bus ride. I grabbed my Discman. I found the cheap earbuds that came with the Discman that I stashed in my center console. I grabbed my case of CDs. I stuffed them into my gym bag. Happy with my loot, I closed and locked my car and walked into the school.


When I got to my locker, a very chipper Julie was waiting for me.


"Good Morning, Chrissy." she said. "Wait - Why do you look gloomy?" I saw the way you and boy-toy were ogling each other. You're so cute together. I thought you'd be floating around these halls."


I didn't say anything.


"Oh no, What happened?"


"We got into a fight after we dropped you off." I said looking down. "Then he stormed off. I think I really fucked it up. I haven't talked to him since. He didn't return my call last night."


"Oh." she said. "I'm sorry. I didn't realize." She paused for a moment for me to look up. "But you know what. Keep your chin up. You have so much more going for you. A guy around your arm is only a cherry on top. Today is not the day to be worried about guys. We have a meet to win. Me and you have been working for today for over a week."


"Thanks." I said. "I'll try to focus on the meet."


"By the way. That outfit rocks. Metallica tee over a skirt. That outfit screams, I'm a girl and I like to rock out."


I looked down. Oh - I guess I did put on a Metallica t-shirt today. I thought I had grabbed a plain black shirt.


* * *



The rest of the morning was mixed between me feeling sorry for myself and my friends wishing me luck at today's track meet. Fay was the first to wish me luck, followed by Jess. Val heard about me making the track team too, who was also excited about my first meet.


When it was time for lunch, Ron and I went to the pizzeria. It was the first time I've seen Ron since last night.


After getting two slices and a diet soda I sat down at a table. Ron joined me shortly after.


"Have you talked to Chase since the date?" I asked him.


"No I haven't." he replied. "I wound up just crashing into my bed when I got home."


"Well we got into a fight after we dropped you off."


"What happened?"


"I made an issue about his bike. I didn't expect him to take it badly."


"Why did you do that? Everything was going great with him?"


"I don't know anymore. All I know is I want a do over."


"It can't be that bad." he said. "Last night, when you ran off to the bathroom, he told me that he really likes you and he can see you two getting serious."


"Really?" I said. That sounded nice and all. "But that was before our fight."


"All I'm saying - is that there's a possibility he will forgive you."


My smile wasn't nearly as forced as it was this morning. Everyone was trying to cheer me up. It was working a little bit.


* * *


Gym class is where I finally felt like myself again. All it took was... Amber. I know - right!


She didn't ask why I was gloomy. She didn't talk to me. She didn't try to cheer me up. Instead she just played hard against me again. Harder and more aggressive than yesterday.


We were still playing soccer today. A team-mate had passed me the ball, and I half-assed tried to take it down the field. Amber came right up and stole it from me. That woke me up from my haze. I chased after her. The moment I stole the ball away from her, I heard her yell "Bitch!" at me. I took off with the ball and scored. I finally had a legitimate smile. It felt good.


At band class, we were extensively practicing our field show for tomorrow. The band teachers really wanted a flawless show. It was homecoming after all. They had us start and stop and restart just to clean up some sloppiness.


While playing sports helped to work out my emotions and anger. Playing music certainly allowed me to take my mind off of everything. Track. Chase. The mission. It also allowed me to think. It allowed me to focus.


Why was I so upset? I was a 37 year old and I was losing focus of what was important. Was this all about Chase? Was it about my ex-wife? Was it about the poor decisions I've made over the past 20 years? Maybe it was all of that. Maybe I didn't expect fate and destiny to push back. I was given a second chance. And drunken escapade aside, I was kicking ass and taking names. I was putting myself out there. I was taking risks. And I was winning. I just didn't really expect Chase to dump me on the spot.


OK. So maybe I got cocky. I got cocky Friday night too and look how that ended up. I'm sure there's a lesson in here somewhere that the guardian angel will no doubt gloat over.


* * *


After band class, I was busy putting my saxophone away when Fay pulled me aside. "You asked to see me, Tony?"


The guardian angel - this time in Fay.


"Where were you?" I said slamming my instrument case closed. "I was looking for you all night and all day."


"You weren't ready to have a civil conversation." she said. "When you finally calmed down during gym class, I had to wait until you were alone with one other person."


"So you know what happened?" I asked.


"Yes." she said. "And I warned you about that."


"How so?"


"I told you not to try to intervene in Chase's future. It's not your mission."


"I had to try."


"I know you did. But your approach- left a lot to be desired."


"Just send me home. Right now, all I want to do is return to 2018 and curl up under a rock and die."


"Now, now. You have a mission to do. You do that, you can go home."


I sighed. "I can't go home without trying to save his life. Now he won't even talk to me. Any chance I had at having a relationship with him is ruined."


"Is this about a relationship or about saving his life?"


"Saving his life." I replied. "I had figured the best way to do that is to have his girlfriend nudge him into giving up that bike."


"Yeah - that approach might have worked if you didn't try it after date two. It may have worked if you were actually his girlfriend."


"Yeah - well you only gave me two weeks. I did what I had to do."


"I'm going to remind you that there's nothing you can say or do in these two weeks that will make a difference in a decision he will make 8 years from now."


"So you're saying I have to stay here in order to make a difference?"


"Perhaps. We haven't run the simulations on that. Remember, that's not why you were sent here. But please. Do not let that factor into your mission. There's so many things that can change in the next 8 years. Staying here does not mean you will be able to save his life."


I sat there for a moment looking down at my instrument case. When I looked up Fay was gone.


* * *


I went to the girls locker room carrying my gym bag.


I found my usual locker spot. There were other girls from the track team there. I was longer shy about getting dressed around other girls. I took off my Metallica t-shirt and bra and slipped on my sports bra. The track shirt was a mesh tank top with "North" printed in red block letters across it.


I pulled down my shorts and pantyhose and replaced them with the red track shorts. Thank God they didn't have anything written on them. I've only been a girl for 10 days. I don't think I'm ready for block betters on the ass like early 2000's fashion.


I put on my gym socks then I pulled out my brand new shoes. I put on my normal gym sneakers so that I can wear them to the bus. I stuffed the cleats back into the bag and brought the bag with me and I locked my school clothes in the locker.


Before I could leave Julie showed up. "Sorry. I was running late. Wait for me?"


"Sure" I said as she started getting changed.


We walked to the bus together. I saw the rest of the track team lining up to get on the bus. Julie and I sat in a seat together. I rummaged through my bag and pulled out my Discman and headphones. I found the "Rocky 4" soundtrack on CD. This was my go-to work out music. I have it on my iPod in the future and I play it every time I run. There's no better montage music for working out than the Rocky 4's training montage music. I pressed play and closed my eyes. I kept repeating the same thoughts in my head.


I can do this.


I am a Champion.


Before I knew it, the bus was at our destination. There wasn't much chit-chat before the meet. Normally Julie would be talking my ear off. Even she was silent. I changed my sneakers into cleats and we got off the bus.


As we walked onto the field, I looked up into the stands. I scanned the bleachers. I found my parents and Cindy waving at me. I didn't find Chase. Did I really expect him to come out?


After 15 minutes of waiting around, the announcer on the PA called for the 100 meter runners to line up. This is my event. A week of try outs and training has led to this point.


"You got this." Julie said. "Just pretend you're running the bases in gym class. You would have beaten Pierce and Miller during your tryout if you had the stamina. You have the stamina now. You've worked harder than anyone else since then. You've got this Demarco."


She held out her first and I fist-bumped it back.


I went to the starting line and lined up with my opponents.


I hit play on the soundtrack in my head.


I can do this. I am a Champion.


I got into the starting position. I closed my eyes. I focused. I reopened them.  There was a stillness in the air.  I could see the finish line 100 meters ahead of us.  I took a deep breath and exhaled.  I tuned out the crowd.  It was just me and that finish line.


The gun-fire sounded and I took off sprinting. Since I've only been doing this for 3 days, the other runners were off to a head start. This didn't deter me though.


I can do this. I am a champion. I pushed harder.


I saw the finish line. This may not be what I came here to do. But I am going to win this race. For Tony. For Christina.


I pushed harder. Faster. I tuned out the other runners. I focused on the finish line. Nothing is more important during these several seconds than this finish line.


I poured every emotion I had into sprinting.  Everything I had.


The music in my head came to a crescendo. I pushed my legs harder and faster than I've ever run.


I could see the finish line. I could feel the burn in my legs. I knew I was at my limit. But I had more in the tank to give. So I gave it all.


I crossed the finish line.


I slowed down and stopped to catch my breath. I wiped the tears from my eyes. I gave it my all.  I looked up to see the bleachers cheering for the runners.


I started walking back and I saw Julie jogging toward me then hug me. "That was awesome! You did it! You came in 1st!"


"I did?" I said, trying to hide the emotion from my voice. The time keeper came up to me. "12.70 seconds." he said.


Julie's jaw dropped.


"Is that good?" I asked.


"That's awesome!" she replied. "No girl in our school runs the 100 under 13 seconds!"


"Until now" I said smiling and winking at her - still gasping for air, still hiding the now-happy tears that refused to stop.


The PA announcer called for the 200 meter runners to line up.


"That's me." she said jogging back to the starting line.


"Good luck!" I yelled back.


I walked back to the center of the field. My parents were standing and cheering. I still didn't see Chase at all.


* * *


Our school won the meet. Julie won her race. Apparently my 12.7 was a season best for our division.


Before we got back on the bus, I met up with my parents and Cindy who all gave me hugs and congratulated me.


On the bus ride home. I gave Julie all of the credit for training me. For pushing me to run. For motivating me.


When I got home I sat on the couch. My legs turned into jelly at some point during the bus ride home. The euphoria of the track meet was still mixed with depression about Chase.


Cindy sat next to me and put on the TV and smiled. "My sister, the champion. Crazy."


Cindy was flipping channels looking for something good on TV. I was staring off into space when the cordless phone rang in front of me. The vibrations on the coffee table were loud and triggered something in me. It brought back a memory I was trying to forget.



I am sitting on my couch watching American Idol with my roommate. We've been living together for a year. I had an open room to sublet so I put an add out on Craigslist. After meeting her at the house, we hit it off. Of course she friend-zoned me pretty hard. After all, I was her roommate. I was currently trying to claw my way out of the friend-zone. Tonight was American Idol night. Nothing like sitting around with my cute roommate drinking wine and watching reality TV.


"I think she's going to win it all!" she said referring to Katharine McPhee who just finished singing.


"Nah." I replied. "Chris Daughtry is going to win it all. A rocker has never won this show. One is due."


"More wine?" she asked motioning to my empty wine glass.


"Sure". I held my glass up and she poured more into it. I took a sip. It's not my preferred wine, but since it's my third glass it'll do.


I put my wine glass down and leaned back against the couch. I was only inches from my roommate. Maybe if I scoot over we'd be touching shoulders. Maybe if I was better at flirting I wouldn't be debating on inching closer on the couch.


My cellphone rings and vibrates. The vibrations on the coffee table make a loud grating sound. I grab it and I look at the caller ID. It's Ron.


I open the flip-phone and answer it. "Hey man," I said. "What's new?"


"Hey Tony” he said.  I could tell something was wrong.  He sounded depressed.  “Do you remember my friend Chase?" he said.


"Yeah, sure." I said. "He was your best man at your wedding last year."


There was a pause on the end of the line.


"He and his girlfriend died in a motorcycle accident this past weekend." Ron said. "Head on crash"


I was shocked. Stunned. I dropped the phone in my lap.


My roommate looked at me. "Tony, is something wrong?"


I could feel tears forming. Chase was not someone I liked. I was jealous of him. But he didn't deserve this. I felt guilty that I disliked him when he did nothing wrong to me. Those feelings of being powerless and being embarrassed came flooding back again.



"Chris?" Cindy said. "What's wrong?" She reached over and silenced the phone without answering it. "Is this about last night?" She put her hand out and touched my shoulder.


I think I must've been emotionally numb for a long time, to block out these feelings and these memories. At first I was thinking it had to do with being bullied. But maybe that was the initial catalyst. It seems that I've been walling off parts of my memories where I was emotionally vulnerable.


I looked at Cindy. She's waiting for an answer.


"It's been a crazy week." I said to her. "An emotional roller-coaster ride. I've unlocked something in myself. I'm slowly coming to terms with the things that have held me back."


The walls inside of me have come down. It's letting out my demons. But it's also letting out a stronger me. Someone to face these demons head on.


I can do this. I am a Champion. I will not lose.


I picked up the phone and dialed Ron.


He picked up on the second ring.


"What's up?"


"Real quick. Where's Chase playing tonight?"


"The Java Joint I believe." he replied.


"Thanks!" I said hanging up.


It's time to fix this. I stood up from the couch. "I need to fix what I broke last night." I said to Cindy.


She smiled. "Go get him!"


I can do this. I am a Champion. I will not lose.



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Emily

Hi, I'm Emily and I'm writing Gender Transformation Fiction! This site is a place for my to keep all of my stories in one place. I'm also a software developer in the daytime, so this site will also be a proving ground of cool new features that pop into my head. Feel free to message me on Twitter or at my Discord Server! You can also find me on TGStorytime.com and FictionMania.tv.

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Krammy

"I am a mighty warrior." - Onward Loving the series so far
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Emily

Haha. I'm wondering if I wrote this chapter before I saw Onward.
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Krammy

"I am a mighty warrior." - Onward Loving the series so far
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