Dinah took a deep breath. She fixed her eyes on a point at the pool, bent down toward her toes with arms outstretched, and dove. The water was brittle and icy, as her body broke through the surface of the pool. She soon shook off the shock of the frigid temperature, as she was focused on the goal. She wanted gold. She wanted to win.
Quickly she moved into her learned rhythm. Right stroke. Left stroke. Right stroke. Her arms worked mechanically, as if they were attached to someone else, or perhaps even something else. She cut through the water like a steel knife. Seamlessly and effortlessly, it seemed like her body moved across the pool.
The nearest competitor was just a few seconds ahead of her. Her arms and legs had yet to start burning. She could press ahead, knowing that anaerobic respiration had not yet tried to get the best of her. Just a little faster, she thought to herself. Right stroke. Left stroke. She was almost at the wall.
Then her finger tips touched the tile. Bells and cheers resounded through the room, ricocheting and echoing off the water and walls. She had arrived victorious. She managed to beat her competitor by a sheer few seconds.
As she emerged out of the pool, a towel was draped around her shoulders. She looked out to the stands. Her eyes pored over the excited crowd, and stopped short at the empty seat where they should have been sitting. The accident had cut their life short, just a few months before the final meet. She didn’t know if she had it in her, until now.
“This is for you.” She whispered quietly, while still maintaining a smile for the onlookers.
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