Going For The Gold

Chapter 7

2 Months Later

Gabriella sat curled up on the chair beside the window. She watched as the world went by her front facing room. Fluffy pink slippers sat on her feet to match the rest of her clothing. She wore purple sweatpants and an oversized black sweatshirt that had holes in it and stains from bleach.

"Honey, why don't you go hang out with your friends, get out of the house? I know Roxanne and Jesse are in town. I'm sure they would love to do something with you." Her mother asked as she walked into her daughter's room, setting down the fresh laundry on her dresser.

"I don't want to," she answered monotone. Her attention went from the kids riding their bikes up and down the street to the navy chipped polish on her fingernails.

"Alright," her mother answered. She stood in the doorway for a second and then finally left the room.

Her recovery had been going fairly smooth. The doctors said she was progressing nicely, but it wasn't going fast enough for her liking. She missed the cool air and the feeling she got as she glided over the ice, feeling as though she was flying.

She left her sightseeing spot and went over to her bed. She picked up her phone and went to her contacts scrolling to the familiar number. Her finger hovered over the call button, but ultimately she hit end and threw her phone to the bedside table.

In any situation the first person she would call would be Troy. If she had a bad day, he'd be the first call, if she had a good day, he'd be the first call. But this wasn't just any other day. She knew that he was in Salt Lake City, training still and she was back in Albuquerque. She didn't want to phone him up and be like 'Hey, I know you're probably busy but can I just unload all of my problems on you?' She couldn't do that.

Troy gulped down the blue Powerade and wiped the sweat from his brow. He looked over to his bag and debated whether or not he should call Gabriella. But every time he went to go call her, something stopped him. He didn't know what to say, he knew that she wanted to be right beside him, skating. He didn't want to tell her all about the training, he felt as if he was just rubbing it in her face.

The last three months hadn't been that great. Without Gabriella, his partner was a hockey stick and a bag of sand, that he had affectionately named Betty and Karen.

"Troy! Back to work," Elena barked.

Troy threw the bottle back into his bag and returned to the middle of the ice.

Gabriella sighed as she flipped through the clothing racks in the middle of the department store. Her mom had finally convinced her to leave the house and go and hang out with her friends.

"So I was thinking we should go to the Steak House, we could have that Chinese food you like and then go see a movie or something." Roxanne asked.

"I guess," Gabriella replied. Roxanne and Jesse awkwardly went to the counter to pay for their items, with Gabriella following behind them, silently.

Gabriella tied up her pristine white skates as tight as she could so her ankles were secure. She stood up and bounced on her heels to loosen up her legs. After having dinner with her friends, she had claimed she had a headache and that she was going to drive herself home, but she went to the ice rink instead. That way she wouldn't have to worry her mother, because she thought Gabriella was still with her friends.

Gently, she placed her skate on the smooth ice. The rink was putting on public skating, but there weren't many people there due to a hockey tournament in the other rink. She slowly skated around the rink, her legs really stiff and she was definitely feeling the after effects of her surgery. But what returned was not the pain but that passion for skating. Sure, she loved skating, but it was a lot different from when she was a little girl. As she skated around she could feel the cool breeze flowing through her long locks. The next few days Gabriella would sneak out before anybody was awake in her house and skate for an hour or so. Gradually, day by day, she built up strength in her leg.

It was the beginning of December when Gabriella finally returned to the ice. It was decided, or rather Gabriella decided, that the two would train in Albuquerque for a few weeks before returning to Salt Lake City to save Gabriella from the embarrassment she would feel training all over again.

Gabriella pulled her little blue car into a parking space in front of the rink. She picked up her skating bag from the backseat and headed towards the door. There wasn't much traffic, so Gabriella ended up being the first one to arrive at the ice. Gabriella stood in the player's box, just staring at the white sheet in front of her. The rink was so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. Gabriella snapped out of her daze when she heard the heavy door to the rink open. She whipped around to see her sandy brown haired, blue eyed partner standing there.

The two stood in silence for a minute, before Troy made his way over to the box where she stood.

"..Hi," Troy said.

"Hi," Gabriella said as she looked at her feet. Gabriella shuffled her feet as she stared at them and Troy spun the ring that sat on his right hand.

"So how are you?" Gabriella asked nervously.

"G-Good," he got out.

"That's… that's good," she replied.

"Yeah…." He trailed.

Before they could have anymore awkward conversation, Elena burst through the door with a flourish.

"Gabriella, sweetheart, how I've missed you," Elena spoke in her heavy accent, pulling Gabriella into a tight hug.

"All right, enough hugging and let's get to the skating," Elena ordered. The pair laced up their skates and stepped out onto the ice. Gabriella could skate pretty well, she didn't look like Bambi or anything, but she was still pretty rusty.

When Elena ordered the two to skate together, it was tense and awkward. Looking at the two of them you could clearly see it. No longer were they the pair that could communicate through looks and simply squeezes of the hand. The relationship that the two of them had built was destroyed in a matter of a few months.

The next couple of weeks Gabriella had built up her legs again and was skating more like herself before the surgery but not quite to the level she was at before. What had not repaired was Troy and Gabriella. No matter how much time they had spent together, the relationship was not what it used to be. It was like they were the two little kids they used to be again.

"Come in!" Elena shouted to the pair that was on the ice. "Now don't think I haven't noticed the two of you. You two used to be so close, what happened?" She looked as the pair just shrugged. " Now what I have decided is that the two of you will be attending marriage counselling together."

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