See me when you look at me

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I need...

-Samantha's POV

''My qualification is what now?''

''They recalled your qualification, Samantha.'' coach Osako says.

I slam my hand against the fence and I ignore the startled looks of the other students.

''I jumped through every hoop! All the tests came back negative, so they know that I'm not on something. I'm clean, I'm sober and I train four hours every fucking day! With my times I shouldn't even have to qualify and still I did it. I did everything they asked and they recall my qualification?''

Again I slam my hand against the fence and it hurts like hell, but I don't care. I rather feel this pain then feeling like a complete failure. I never felt like a failure as Red and I'm starting to think, that I made a huge mistake.

My sponsor Titan wanted me to represent them in the Golden League. They send me the their newest line and I didn't even bother to try anything on. It was all too short, too tight and too sexy. I had nothing to do with running or sports in general, so I said they could send me new options or start looking for someone else.

Haven't heard for my sponsor in weeks now and the same thing goes for the model agency. Lionel, my agent, was already furious at me for refusing to do any lingerie shoots. I was missing out on high paying jobs because of that and me dying my hair back to my natural colour, didn't do anything for me. According to Lionel I was now one of many, a plane Jane.

I needed a chance to prove that the clean and sober Samantha, was better then Red. I needed a chance to prove that I could still win races. I needed a chance to prove that even without my red hair or sexy looks, I was anything but ordinary.But I start to believe that I'm never going to get that chance.

''The union says it has to do with the fact that you didn't competed for over more then a year. That's why they want you to come in for complete evaluation and they want to test you again. Apparently my word or that of the doctor is not good enough anymore,'' coach Osako says annoyed.

''When can I come in?'' I ask and I start to pace. ''The first competition in in two weeks, can we do it before then? I'm ready and I don't have anything to hide, so is it possible?''

''I already made an appointment, but...,'' coach Osako says.

''That's great! Then this would be the last annoying hoop they make us jump through.''

''The first appointment I could get is in three months, Samantha. Until then you are not allowed to reenter the Golden League.''

I stop and I look at my coach.

Then it's over, I'm done.

''I'm done, Osako. Their is no point for me to continue if they want me to wait three months. I will never be able to place in the top five, because I didn't compete in halve of the races! You know that and I know that, so why should we continue to waist our time?''

Coach Osako stays quiet and I bow my head in respect.

''Thank you for taking a chance on me and I'm sorry that it has to end like this. I hope you consider staying for the tournament this weekend. I know it will mean a lot to the girls.''

After that I grab my bag and I jump over the fence. I'm done with everything.

''Sam, where are you going?'' I hear Millie yell.

I ignore her and I just start walking in the direction of the parking lot, while I grab my phone. I text my aunt that I would pick Emma up and spend some time with her in town. I put the rest of my track suit on and start walking.

Emma's school is close, so it only takes me ten minutes to get there. While I wait for her my phone starts buzzing like crazy. Millie is trying to call me and so is Isabella. Tyler texted me and Alexander, but I ignore them all.

All I want is to see Emma and spend time with her, but I still have to wait an hour. At least now I had some time to clear my head and think about my next move. Returning to the Golden League was no longer an option. It would mean that I would lose my sponsor deal and if I didn't accepted any offers from the agency soon, I would lose my contract with them too.

''Maybe that's a good thing,'' I whisper. ''I don't have to prove myself to any of them.''

That was the truth, but it was not that easy. I wanted to prove to myself that I was more then Red. I wanted to prove to myself that I was better off without her, but I'm not so sure anymore. At least as Red I could enter in any race that I wanted. I would not have cared about doing sexy shoots or issues with the clothes that my sponsor send me.

I would simply get the job done, get paid the big bucks and move on. All I do now is waiting for others to give me a chance, but as Red I would create my own chances. Maybe I should do that again, but I know now that nobody was going to give me that chance.

''Sammy, you are here!''

Emma hugs me tightly and she grabs my hand.

''Yes, I wanted to do something fun with you.''

''Like what?'' Emma asks.

''We could take a trip, just us two. Perhaps go back to that amusement park or go to the beach. We haven't been there in ages.''

''Beach!'' Emma yells excitedly and then a frown appears on her face. ''Sammy, don't we have school tomorrow?''

''You only have a halve day on Friday, so don't worry about it. We need some time together and a long weekend is not too much to ask, don't you think?''

''No!''

''Then what are we waiting for?''


-Samantha's POV
''Millie told me what your coach said. I'm sorry, but can you please stop ignoring my calls?''
''You do know that you can call or text him with the device that you are holding in your hands.''
I look up and I see that Gabriel is holding up a drink for me.
''It's a smoothie, don't worry! Our Bloody Mary days are way behind us.''
''That's not the only thing that is behind us,'' I mutter.
''Stop the pity party, S,'' Gabriel says firm. ''So you have to wait three months, it's not like the world is ending.''
''It means not getting into the top 5, Gabe! I can get over the fact that I will lose my deals, but I wanted to prove to myself that I could still preform at that level. I wanted to win as me, because I never got that chance before. I need a win as me!''
''You already won, you blind idiot.''
Gabriel takes his sunglasses off and I can tell he is pissed.
''You are still alive, that's a win! You are still sober and clean, that's also a win. You found a way to get you and your sister away from your mom, that's a huge win! You did all of those things as you, not as Red.''
Gabriel pulls out his phone and he shows me a picture. I see the fiery red hair and I want to look away. I don't want to be reminded of that girl, but Gabriel grabs my wrist.
''Really look, S, and tell me what you see.''
I glare at the picture and I already start to feel nauseous, but I do it. Fiery red hair, piercing blue eyes and the heavy make-up. This was the Red that everyone loved and couldn't stop talking about, but then I see it.
''I look miserable,'' I say softly.
''You did, but you were just very good at hiding it. Just like you were good at hiding the fact that you were high or drunk. I believe that in this picture you were all of those things. Miserable, high and drunk. So stop saying that you need a win, because you are already a fucking champion!''
''Then why do I feel like a huge failure?'' I groan.
''Because you are failing in so many things, S. Just not in the things that you are thinking of.''
''What do you mean by that?'' I snap.
''That you suck as a friend, a girlfriend and most of all as a team player. Your team has an important tournament coming up this weekend and that's the moment that you decide to ditch your coach, ditch on practice and ditch them? How about that you get over yourself and just be there to support them?''
Gabriel grabs my phone and he shakes his head.
''Millie called you like twenty times. She is worried out of her mind and you don't even take a moment to reply to her that you are fine. Isn't she your best friend there?''
''She is,'' I mutter.
''She is the one friend that you told everything, S. She deserves so much better then this and the same thing goes for Alexander. You already broke up with him over a text. Then you checked yourself in without telling him anything and now this? You don't need a win, S. You need a reality check!''
I want to throw my drink in Gabriel's face. I want to get mad at him or walk away, so I don't have to keep listening to him. I want to do all of those things, but I can't. Not if everything he was telling me was the absolute truth.
Dammit, what the fuck did I do?
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