The magic stayed between the two of them. After two years, they kind of got out of their awkward stage towards each other. For two years, they would just hold hands and skate around in silence, to the amazement of Troy's family. When the two first started skating together, Gabriella's and Troy's fathers would joke about how they would get married when they got older. This only fuelled Gabriella and Troy's embarrassment. Eventually it died down and the two became more comfortable with each other.
When Gabriella was ten years old and Troy was twelve years old, their skating went from being some sort of past time, to competitive. The two of them winning first place in numerous regional and sectional competitions. The judges saw what Lucille and Anne saw, raw talent and passion. By the time they were thirteen and fifteen, they were the top contenders for the U.S. Junior Figure Skating Championship or 'Nationals' as they were commonly called.
"I'm not sure about this," Lucille cringed. Troy was so small; they wondered how he was going to be able to perform some of the lifts in the new program. He had been able to lift Gabriella in his arms and such, but now they had debating whether or not to but in more complicated lifts in to raise their level of difficulty. Anne had believed that Troy would be able to flip Gabriella to his back and hold her there completing the lift. Lucille had been nervous since day one and it's not to say there weren't any injuries. Gabriella face-planted into the ice once and almost broke her nose and Troy had bruised and sprained his wrist. Lucille had refused to be in during practice for a while, seeing Gabriella hit the ice too many times. After months of practice, Anne had convinced Lucille to come watch them practice their lifts.
"I can't watch," she said as she covered her eyes with her hands. Anne laughed at her sister and uncovered her eyes, "just watch," she said. Gabriella and Troy glided across the ice gracefully and Troy picked Gabriella up and flipped her to his back, successfully completing the lift. The pair continued to dance effortlessly across the ice.
"Th-they, th- they did it!" Lucille stammered. Anne smiled, "they've had it for about a week, but now it's so much better, Troy does it with ease," she said proudly.
At thirteen, Gabriella had so much poise and grace; it would make a grown woman jealous. It's no to say she wasn't still a thirteen year old girl; she still liked to shop, and hang out with friends and talk about lip-gloss and boys.
One night Gabriella had invited her friends from school for a sleepover, a rare occasion for Gabriella. She had her plate full with school, skating, ballet, and stretch classes. Anne and Lucille had decided the pair had worked hard enough and let them have a few days off.
"So what's it like, you know, skating in front of a crowd?" her friend, Roxanne asked.
"It's nerve-wracking and amazing at the same time, it's the waiting before you go on, your stomach is in knots and you feel like you're going to be sick, but once I'm out there and I'm skating it just goes away and you get like this rush," Gabriella explained.
"I could never do that," her other friend, Jesse laughed.
"But Troy is pretty cute," Roxanne giggled. Gabriella arched her eyebrow, "Eww, he's like my brother, that's weird." Gabriella explained.
"All right..." Roxanne said, "Just remember to invite me to the wedding," she smirked. Gabriella rolled her eyes and smacked her with her pillow.
The last couple of months had been leading up to this. Gabriella climbed into the seat next to Troy in the back. Gabriella's parents were going to drive them to Dallas, Texas and Troy's mom and aunt were going to meet them there. Troy didn't mind though, Gabriella's family had become like a second family to him and vice versa. The two sat in the back, ear buds from Gabriella's Ipod in both of their ears. "Your music sucks," Troy complained. Gabriella laughed, "Not my fault you forgot your iPod, you can either sit and silence or listen." Troy looked at her and couldn't help but smile, "Fine." David and Maria simply rolled their eyes and chuckled at the two kids in the backseat.
After a few hours into the trip Maria had noticed that the car had become silent, the only noise was the faint singing from the radio. She looked back to see Gabriella leaning against Troy's shoulder, both fast asleep. The weather had been a little chilly due to it being in the middle of winter, so Troy's sweater was draped across the front of Gabriella. "Ha-ha, I told you they are going to married some day," David smirked.
Gabriella took a deep breath in as she walked into the ladies change room. Her mom followed her as she took a small corner in the room to put her costume, and make-up, and other skating essentials. She quickly put on her tights and the simple midnight blue dress. She sat down, listening to her Ipod as her mom fussed around with her hair and makeup. Her mom braided the front of her bangs and put the rest into a bun. In her skating bag, she pulled out her skates with pink skate guards and put them on her feet, tying them up tight. Quickly, she put on her black yoga-like jacket on and went out to watch some of the performances. Her stomach felt like it was in knots and her heart was going like a mile a minute. "You ok?" she heard a voice behind her. She whipped around to find Troy standing behind her smiling. That was one thing that you could count on from Troy was a smile. He always seemed to be cool and calm, while she was freaking out over competitions; he was more go with the flow. "Yeah, I'm fine," she stuttered.
She skated out to the middle of the ice, holding Troy's hand. She felt a squeeze of the hand and looked at Troy. Looking into his eyes, it was like they were talking to each other, just by the squeeze of the hand. Just by that squeeze of the hand, he knew that they were going to be ok, and suddenly all those knots went away.
Gabriella paced in the arena's lobby, waiting for the final scores to be released. Her nails chewed down to stubs, she was so nervous. "Gabriella!" Troy called as her ran towards her. "We got second, we're going on to Worlds!" he yelled. "W-w-w-WHAT?" she cried. "Oh my god!" she laughed. Gabriella jumped into Troy's arms as her spun her around.
The next couple of months seemed to be like a blur, the next thing they knew World's was happening and they were on a plane to World's. When they went to the rink for World's, Troy and Gabriella saw many different kids there, and Gabriella's stomach went into knots. Though once again, when they were out in the ice, that squeeze of the hand relieved her of those knots.
She watched as the city of Albuquerque came into view as the plane descended back onto the ground. She waited as all the passengers exited the plane, and when everyone passed, Troy, her parents, Troy's parents, his aunt and she proceeded to get their carry-ons from above them. They made their way out of the plane and waiting in silence as the luggage carousel. David and Jack went and brought the cars around. Troy gave Gabriella a hug and they both went their respective ways. By the time she got home it was about two thirty in the morning. She lay down on her bed and was about to turn of the lamp beside her bed, her phone on the bed side table buzzed.
"Hello?" she answered.
"How's it going World champ? Doesn't feel real, does it?" Troy asked.
Gabriella took a deep breath in and sighed happily, "It feels surreal," she smiled.