A/N/: I started this story a while ago so please tell me what you think.
I own everything, the plot, characters so yeah
Step, step, step, breathe… this is my rhythm, the one thing that never changes. My thighs are burning, my breathing is laboured and I start asking myself why I'm doing this. Maybe it's my competitive nature. Okay, it may possibly be the fact that I can't say no to a bet. Forty-two kilometres is mad, I've done it before of course, but running in the 35°C and 80% humidity is insanity. Damn me and my pride. I have to finish this race, and I have to beat the world's best Olympic female time (2:15:25) on the islands hardest track.
I past the Forty-one kilometre mark. One more kilometre left, 1000 steps and it's over. Music is blasting in my ears, I should have chosen a different playlist this one is two short this has to be the 4th time I listened to Paradise by the Dashboard Light. What? I like Meatloaf, sue me.
I see the finish line. I lost feeling in my legs somewhere around the thirty-eight km mark. I pick up my pace, my muscles scream in response but I don't miss a beat, pulling out my headphones I hear the screaming at the finish line, Byron is holding the timer with a smile on his face.
I cross. Tearing through the ribbon that someone had put up. The boys rush to my sides to keep me from falling as my knee's give way from under me. Byron is still smiling; his caramel coloured eyes are glinting with humour as he meets my own grey ones.
"Two hours and…" he pauses for dramatic effect.
"Just spit it out Stark" I puff out him.
"So little patience" he tsked me, "As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted… two hours and… 4 minutes" he finishes.
Momentarily forgetting my exhaustion I scream and hug him "I told you" I sing jumping round him in circles "You owe me a month's supply of Gatorade, and by the way that's a lot of Gatorade" Turning to the rest of the guys I lift my arm above my head and in victory.
"Way to go, Erin" Dylan says as I hi-five him on my way to the change room.
"Yeah, not bad Air'" Byron says catching up to me as I drain my second water bottle, "but I could have done better."
"Sure you could" I say sarcastically.
"You know I could" I don't reply, he probably could, but that didn't mean I needed to tell him so.
The truth is half the people on this Island could run a marathon, but there are only 100 people living on the Island. You see I go to a special school for sports and I'm the only girl in the student population, mind you there are only eleven of us. We are all science experiments, around eighteen years ago a group of scientists and athletes wanted to see if they could breed and create a group of super athletes, twenty boys and twenty girls who would be trained since the moment they were born with special DNA from world champions. Except child services obviously wasn't happy about it and the ESA (Earth Sports Association) made a deal that every year we (all the kids) would undertake a physical and psychological examination and if at any point we wanted to leave we would be given to a foster home and taken away to live a normal life.
That is what ten guys and nineteen girls chose to do: Leave, and never come back. I have never even considered leaving I never really hung out with the girls when they were here and when the last one left I was a little disappointed at my gender for backing out but I never felt lonely.
The change rooms were huge, and being the only girl I have the whole thing to myself. Certain cool down techniques are needed after running a marathon some of which include an ice bath *cue dramatic music*. After pulling the ice from the mini freezer and filling a third up with cold water I slipped into the water. Frigid water surrounded me up to my neck in its ice embrace my muscles burned from the cold and I set the timer for ten minutes.
Ten minutes later the timer went off and I pulled myself out of the bath and ran across the room towards the showers I cranked up the water to a near boiling point and washed myself quickly off before turning the water down to a less scalding temperature.
Warm water ran down my spine relaxing the muscles as I scrubbed myself clean of sweat and dirt, after shampooing and conditioning my hair I just stood there until the water ran cold.
Quickly pulling on a pair of fuzzy grey sweats, sports bra, white tank top and ESA hoodie. I towel dried my hair and ran to my first class: Core Fittness.
Mr P had us doing Pilates today, quiet music played in the background as we focused on our breathing and the burn in our muscles. After this morning Pilates is a welcome break.
"You watch the world cup last night?" Byron whispers from next to me.
"Yeah, I can't believe Villa missed the shot" I whisper back.
"I know, he never miss-"
"Stark, Caz shut it," Mr P interrupted, "Caz, you need to report to Principal Kurvas after class."
"Wha-what did I do?" I splutter, no one talks to the principal unless something really bad has happened.
"I'm not at liberty to discuss" He eyes soften, "sorry."
The rest of the class drags on I'm not listening or thinking just doing and watching the clock countdown to the end of class.
When the bell goes off I float down the hall and towards the administration buildings, people stare at me as I walk past with so few people it takes seconds for everyone on the island to know about things.
I push through the large glass doors and into the air conditioned foyer, the secretary looks up and smiles, she's young blonde and looks to be about 20, I wonder how much she is payed considering that she has to live basically isolated from the Earth.
"Go right through, you're expected" she says in a too-cheerful kind of way.
Walking past her desk I push open one of the heavy mahogany doors and walk into a large room with a large wooden table in the middle. Seated around the table is the principal, a few board members and two people who I didn't recognize. Everyone was wearing suits; I tugged on my T-shirt feeling seriously under dressed.
"Ah Erin, good to see you," Mr Kurvas cries when he spies me in the door way. Beckoning me in he makes a sweeping gesture to the two people I don't recognise, "this is Mr Smith and Miss Laune from child services." They smile as I look at them with suspicion. I never particularly liked child services and the way that they were smiling at me was more creepy then friendly.
"You can just call me Janie" said Miss Laune in a you-can-trust-me-look-how-nice-I-am way.
"That's ok Miss Laune, what did you want to see me about?" I glanced around the room.
"Take a seat Erin and we'll talk," said Mr Kurvas gesturing to a chair at the table.
Taking the chair I looked expectantly towards the adults. "You see Erin," Miss Laune started taking the seat next to me, instinctively inched away, "Child services is very worried about you" she looked towards Mr Smith, "and you know how you took your psychological last month? Well your answers were somewhat… er…" She looked towards Mr Smith again.
"Masculine." Mr Smith finished. My mouth dropped open as I stared at him, I looked around the room at everyone else they all seemed to be exceedingly interested in the table.
"So?" I managed to out.
"So," Miss Laune said regaining her composure, "you've been living with only yourself and a group of boys for the last three years?"
"Four." I corrected her.
"Yes, sorry, four years. So we decided that you as a young woman must leave the island and complete your secondary education at a school we have selected for you where you will be with girls your own age."
I think my jaw hit the table. My eyes bulged and I couldn't seem to comprehend what she said. "B-b-but I c-an't l-leave" I stumbled over the words.
"Of course you can" she said quickly "Now you leave on the 25th-"
"The 25th?! That's tomorrow!" I all but screamed.
"Yes I suppose it is. Now I think that we should…" The rest of the meeting continued but I didn't listen bells rang, doctors and scientists walked around but I just sat there. Somehow I ended up back in my room so I could pack. Two large suit cases were left open on the bed.
Stripping off my tracksuit pants revealing my shorts underneath, I walked out of the building and started running. plugging in my iPod and let the familiar voice of Hinder flood my ears, after about five minutes of running I broke onto the beach letting the sand squidge beneath my feet making it harder to run I looked out over the horizon when I felt someone beside me.
Looking over next to me I saw Byron, my best friend. I pulled out one ear phone not quite ready to stop listening to The Life. "Did you hear?" I ask my voice flat.
"Yeah, I heard, word travels fast" he said his gaze trained on the horizon.
"I'm leaving" My voice cracked on the last word. This is not good, I refuse to cry. I don't show emotion.
"But you're going to come back, right?" he finally looks at me his gaze piercing mine.
"Yeah of course I am. I mean who else is going to stop your ego exploding?" I smiled at him.
A corner of his mouth lifted "You're going to pay for that" he yelled and I took off.
"Only if you can catch me!" I called back over my shoulder and put The Life on repeat.