How To Impress A Boy

Cover Image

It was a chilly day in the ice rink. The zamboni was just leaving the ice. The condensers quietly hummed away until someone added a radio station to the near silence. Skaters swarmed the ice, adding the swishing of blades to the background, creating a symphony of noise.

I stepped onto the ice and added the sound of my blades to the metal section of the symphony, breathing in the smell of the cold air. All ice rinks smell the same. It’s a mixture of frozen gym with a hint of mold and propane from the zamboni.  I took a few laps around the rink, letting my muscles slowly warm up with each stroke. Coming to a stop at the boards on the opposite side of the rink, I hoisted my leg up on them and began to stretch out. Stretching always serves multiple purposes. Not only could I stretch out my legs to avoid injury, but also I could scope out who was on the ice this hour. The majority of the people on the ice during this hour were girls I had always considered ahead of me. They had been working on their double jumps when I was just starting to skate. Now, five years later, I had mastered all of my double jumps too. As one girl went up for a double toe loop and came down on her tailbone, I winced in sympathy and I thought to myself, maybe they aren’t so much better than I am after all

From the other side of the ice he caught my attention, a boy about my age, with light brown hair and eyes that made my knees go weak. While he was amazingly handsome, that was not what made me really melt. It was his accent. This boy was from London. His smooth, soft-spoken, British accent made my heart jump right out of my chest and at him. I think his name was Chris. 

It’s time to start jumping, I thought. After a few combination jumps, an idea began to catch hold and grow in my mind. I should do something to catch his attention, something impressive. I loved to jump, the rush of wind as I flew through the air, the feeling of flying. It was this love of jumping that drove me to jump higher and farther than most of my friends. Surely a nice big jump would be impressive, but I would need to build up some speed first.

I turned around backwards to gather the needed speed. I went around one end and began down the long stretch. I would pass right in front of him and then jump at the end. I would jump so high he would think I could fly. A third of the way down the long stretch, my left heel caught my right toe pick. Down I went, down onto my back. With as much momentum as I had, I didn’t just hit the ice and stop; I slid. I sat up as I slid backwards past Chris and down towards the end. I’m not slowing down enough, I thought. As I approached the goalie box painted under the surface of the ice, a new fear entered my mind. Usually there was a nice sized puddle of frigid water around the goalie box and I was headed straight for it. Please let the ice be dry today, I prayed. Please oh please! I slid through the goalie box and gently bumped into the boards. I was still dry. 

My head dropped and my cheeks burned with embarrassment. Maybe no one saw my spectacular slide, but how could anyone have missed it? This was what I got for trying to show off! Surely everyone else on the ice, including Chris, was laughing at me.

I sighed as my mind raced. Maybe I could pretend it didn’t happen or that I meant to see how far I could slide backwards on my butt? I heard a pair of skates approach where I sat leaning against the boards. I glanced up and saw a pair of black figure skates in front of me.

A voice with a smooth, soft, British accent said, “Are you alright?”

“Yeah, only my pride,” I said as I looked up at him.

Chris smiled. “That was bloody brilliant!”

Created: Mar 27, 2012


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