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 The aha-moment

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Angelica Vaughn

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Posts : 25
Join date : 2017-04-16
Age : 26
Location : Belgium

PostSubject: The aha-moment   Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:51 pm

Thursday 27/04
Miami, Florida
Legion Memorial Park


Angelica hated Miami. As someone who was used to, and liked, the chilly temperatures of her hometown of Vancouver, she found the heat to be not only unpleasant but unbearable! Not only that, but she felt lonely. She knew no one here, and other than a road trip with Wülf earlier this week, she had barely even said a word to someone in person. With nothing to do but sit in her motel and think, Angelica felt pretty depressed. She had very few cash reserves left, her XHW debut had been a total disaster, and she’d made a fool of herself wherever she went. And to make it even worse, she wasn’t so sure if things actually looked like they were about to improve.

She had picked up certain things about the wrestling world. Wülf and Ashley Williams had given her some pointers to set her on her way, but it didn’t even cover the tip of the iceberg. The very thought of the upcoming XHW show still sent her into a slight panic every time she looked at the calendar. People had laughed at her during the first episode of Fallout, and looking back on it, they were right to have done so. She’d been a coward, sure… But then again, Sapphire was very, very scary. And with an ‘open challenge’ coming her way this Saturday, she wondered if it had been a smart idea… Quite honestly, the thought of packing it in, quitting, and returning to Vancouver to beg her parents for forgiveness seemed more and more attractive by the day. She was disgusted by her own lack of willpower. She didn’t like this doubt.

Luckily, the running helped. The more oxygen that had to be pumped to her leg muscles, the more oxygen that had to be transported through her body… the less actually had to go to her brain. The more she exhausted herself, the number she felt. And right now, ‘numb’ meant good.
She ran along the pavement of  Biscayne Boulevard, and turned a right, before running through the gates of the Legion Memorial Park and onto Legion Park Path. It seemed nice enough, but had nothing to some of her favorite Vancouver running spots, like Stanley Park, or even Harbour Green Park. She ran past a sign that mentioned an ‘athletics club’ at the back of the park. Curious to see what it looked like, she commenced a sprint, as per her HIIT [high intensity interval training] instructions. The trees whizzed past her, almost like a blur, and it wasn’t long before she happened on the basketball courts and tennis fields that dotted the park.

Angelica paused for a moment, deciding that she had enough of running, because as nice as it was to have her head clear of doubt and confusion, there was only so much her heart and muscles could take. She took a deep breath, resting her hands on her knees, and continued walking. There were a couple of truant high school kids shooting hoops, but other than that the park seemed quite empty at this time of day. At least, that’s what she thought, until she reached the back of the athletics club, which was a massive grass field. She spotted some other girls in the distance, and it looked like they themselves were having a  game of soccer. This caught Angelica’s interest.
She walked over to them, and a spontaneous smile appeared on her face. There were no defined sidelines, no middle circle, nothing of that. Just a couple of gals enjoying a kick in the park, with some hastily put up sticks counting as the goalposts at opposite ends of the poorly conceived ‘pitch’.

Now, before we continue, there is something you must know about poor, delusional Angelica. Soccer was the only sport she had ever practiced. In fact, she was quite good at it in high school. So good, actually, that she could’ve gone to college in pursuit of a (semi-)professional career. Unfortunately, fate had decided otherwise for her, and any hopes and dreams of ever going to college were now stowed away in an occluded portion of her mind. But ‘tis true, soccer (and all the skills that come with it) might’ve been the only thing she was ever truly good at. As a left wingback, she wreaked havoc on any and all opposition, charging down flanks with speed and bravado, and either swinging in killer crosses or cutting inside and testing the goalies. Yes, those were her glory days. It was saddening that, at the age of eighteen, they already seemed to be behind her. But still, she loved the game even though it was looked down upon by many of her fellow Northern Americans, and she was pleasantly surprised to find a bunch of girls practicing here in a random Miami park. Whether they were practicing to compete, or simply enjoying the game as leisure, Angelica found herself staring at them before long.
There were 8 girls, going up 4 against 4, with one on either side as a goalkeeper. Not anywhere near a real setup, almost like a skelly drill in football, but it hammered the point home: this was about fun!

Angelica didn’t truly realize how foolish she must’ve looked standing at the improvised and quintessentially nonexistent sidelines, but it wasn’t too long before the girls realized that there was a gaping fool staring at them. Luckily for darling Angie, they seemed friendly and welcoming; a gesture that was quite alien to our lost, blonde protagonist.

“Hey, you wanna play with us?” The words were simple, but to Angelica, it felt like they were sent by divine design.  Not uttered by a deity of any kind, but rather by a common looking Miami resident girl about the same age as Angie, Angelica nodded her head and accompanied it with the brightest smile she had been able to muster for several months at the very least.
“All right, we’re even in teams, but just pick a side and we’ll swap someone out, I guess.” Angelica was just about to say that she didn’t want to intrude, but she was cut off by another girl, who seemed properly exhausted.
“That’s alright, she can have my spot. I need a break anyway.”
“Right, that means you’re on my team then,” the girl who had invited her declared. “Any preference for position? Like, roughly. Doesn’t have to be sit in stone.”
“I’ll take the left wing then,” Angelica answered. One assenting smile later, she found herself right in the middle of the action.

Angelica felt like she was alive again for the first time in weeks. While the other girls were enthusiastic and quite agreeable, Angelica ripped through them with the ball at her feet, scoring more often than not whenever she received a pass, and never lost it when she played it back to one of her teammates (who were loving it, by the way). Her speed, technique, and nose for goal were clearly far superior than that of the others. Angelica felt a bit surprised. After her flop at Fallout, ‘being good at something’ was more of a concept than a potential reality. Yet here it was.
After about fifteen minutes, the rest seemed to get tired of it, and called for a break.

“Let’ just do some spot kicks taking turns,” one girl suggested, to which the others all enthusiastically agreed. It seemed like a classic way to end the day, with one girl standing in goal, and whoever didn’t score had to take her place (because who likes goalkeeping, right?) Placing the ball at roughly eleven yards from the makeshift ‘goal’, everybody looked at Angelica to take the first kick, as she was clearly the best player in the group. She gladly accepted the opportunity. It felt good t be able to impress someone again, and as she took her run-up walk, she vowed to put the ball in the bottom right corner far out the reach of the goalkeeper, as hard as she possibly could.
But the kick itself was poor. Straight down the middle, right at the goalie. Who obviously was straight in line to catch it.

Except that she did… but also didn’t. The girl in goal reached for the ball, but it slipped through her hands, and hit her right in the sternum, making her fly backwards. The girl landed almost a yard further, loudly coughing and heaving as the ball merrily hobbled along the improvised goal line. Yay, goal?

It seemed a bit alarming, as all the irls rushed over to her while Angelica stood nailed to the spot. A couple of seconds after realizing what had happened, Angie ran over, and apologetically held up her hands, before grasping her cheeks in shame.

“Oh my gosh,” she began, “I’m so sorry! Are you okay?”

The group was largely awaiting the goalie’s response, so that they could follow her reaction. As is known to be common practice amongst teenage girls. Luckily for Angelica, she was a good sport. The girl smiled and extended her hand out, as if to say ‘get me back up on my feet’. Angelica did just that.

“Dios mio, chica, I ain’t never seen nobody kick a ball like that!” She dusted off her knee-length pants, and let out one last cough for good measure. “That ball hit me like a freight train! You’ve got some power in those pale salt pillars of yours!”
Angelica blushed, but she was relived the girl took it as well as she did. Her legs WERE extremely white, ‘twas true. Vancouverites didn’t get to show their legs to the sun all that much… But while her legs might’ve pale, they were also long. At 5’9”, Angelica wasn’t a giant, but she was definitely taller than average for most girls. She was no Sapphire, that was certain, but she rarely if ever had to look up to stare someone in the eye. And as we all know, long legs make for great leverage… and the more leverage, the more power!
“Erm, thanks I guess,” Angelica responded, and the girl laughed, and tapped her on the shoulder.

“First you make a fool out of us on the pitch, then you nearly break my ribs with a simple kick! I don’t know what you do for a living, but you oughta go pro!”

Angelica didn’t know, at that time, that those words would change her life. But they did. It was like she had been staring at a giant jigsaw, and all of the pieces immediately clicked into place. All this time now, she had been trying to copy others, find out what styles worked well for others, see what made others successful, and how others managed to command respect. But while she wasn’t the biggest, fastest, intimidating, strongest, or most athletic person on any kind of roster imaginable, she had her own merits. And she had lost track of those somewhere along the way. Without even knowing what she was doing, she embraced the girl she had kicked to the ground, and held her close.

“Thank you,” Angelica whispered. She meant it. This was her aha-moment. She had found her style, just like Wülf had recommended to her…

Kick’em and choke’em.


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