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After she hung up the phone, Coach Jenkins knocked on the door.
“You need to eat something. Tom and I are going to Mc. Donalds. Want to join us?” He said.
Suzanna wasn’t really hungry and she really didn’t want to spend any time in the same place with Tom, but going out would keep her mind off of Todd so she agreed. As usual Tom was as annoying as ever.
“It will be so nice to add the Olympic gold medal to my enormous collection. I have a place for it right next to my Worlds championship trophy from last year. I can’t decide on what I am going to do to celebrate though. I thought of calling up one of my old girlfriends and having a private party, if you know what I mean. I’m getting my own apartment you know. What do you say? Would you like to help me celebrate my medal. After all we do have a history and it would save a phone call. You could afford a blemish on your perfect record. No one would have to know and we could go on hating each other afterwards if you would like,” Tom said.
Suzanna stood up and said, “Tom I wish you would just stop pestering me. I will never go out with you and I wish that you would just go away and I wouldn’t have to see your face again.”
“Temper, temper. You know anger becomes you. What would daddy say to your childish display of anger,” Tom said sarcastically.
“At this point I don’t care what my daddy would say. I am tired of you trying to push me into doing something that you know is wrong,” Suzanna said.
“I guess you’d rather sin with someone else. Doesn’t the Bible say something about not being yoked to an unbeliever? Yes, I believe it does. The Bible also says something about all sins being the same. Isn’t dating a Non Christian just as bad as spending time with me. After the Olympics you will never see Todd again, but I will always be here,” Tom said as he reached for her.
Suzanna stood up and left the restaurant. Coach Jenkins came over and asked what had happened.
“All I did was ask her out,” he said innocently.
“Listen, this little feud has gone on long enough. Your jealousy for Todd is going to get you in trouble. Suzanna clearly doesn’t want anything to do with you, so just stop bugging her,” Coach Jenkins said.
As Coach Jenkins left the restaurant Tom smiled. His plan was working well. He had succeeded in breaking her down and it was only a matter of time before she was his again. He walked out of the restaurant quite pleased with himself. The trip back to the hotel was very quiet.
The next morning as Suzanna got ready for practice she thought about what had happened with Tom so long ago. It made her angry and she tried to get it out of her mind. He had hurt her so much and ruined her reputation to. She got up before Monique and left early for the rink. Even though her heart wasn’t in it she took a few practice laps around the rink. The only thing that kept her going, was knowing that her daddy would be there to cheer her on and she would get to see him again in a few days. Todd came in and skated over to her.
“Good morning,” he said.
“Good morning Todd,” she said.
There was a lot of tension between them as Todd helped her skate. Suzanna was so nervous about being with Todd. What Tom had said to her had really made her scared. Todd wasn’t sure what to think. Here was the best girl in the world and he couldn’t even look at her without her tensing up.
Todd stopped Jerry after practice and asked if he would like to join him for a burger. “Sure, Monique has a lot of catching up to do on her homework and if I have to spend anymore time with Tom, I think I might kill him,” Jerry said.
They got in to Todd’s car and drove off.
“So what do you think of our routine? Maybe you can tell me where the problems are. We just can’t seem to make Coach Grant happy,” Jerry said.
“Well, I think you are doing just fine, but you are holding back,” Todd said.
“What do you mean?” Jerry asked.
“It’s obvious that you like her because you are too careful with your throws. You won’t drop her and if you do, she won’t break. I dropped my sister lots of times and she is fine. Your throws lack the height they need to win an Olympic medal,” Todd said.
“How can I be sure that I won’t drop her. You probably wouldn’t want to hurt your best friend either,” Jerry said.
“No I wouldn’t, but you have the strength to catch. She’s really light and she’s good at landing. You just have to stop being so worried about it,” Todd said.
“Okay I guess I can give it a try,” Jerry said.
“What’s up with you and Suzanna?” Jerry asked, “She just seems so nervous around you.”
“I’m not sure. Has Monique told you anything about it?” Todd asked.
“Nope, but maybe she just doesn’t want to get hurt. I know something went on with her and Tom, but I don’t know what it was. Maybe getting involved with you scares her because you haven’t exactly been Mr. Perfect all your life. Maybe she just doesn’t feel safe with you,” Jerry said.
“I’m through with that kind of stuff. I don’t know what I need, but I know that I like Suzanna a lot and if I could win her over maybe I wouldn’t feel so lonely,” Todd said.
“No you don’t need her to fill that void. You need someone else,” Jerry said.
“Who?” Todd asked.
“Well, you need God. He loves you and he died for you and he wants you to become one of his people. Why do you think he has surrounded you with so many Christians these past two weeks,” Jerry said.
“Maybe you are right, but I still need to think about this some more,” Todd said.
“Don’t think too long. There might not be a tomorrow. You could die today,” Jerry said.
There was a long silence as they pulled into the parking lot at Mc. Donalds.
Each day the tension mounted, and one afternoon Monique ran into the rink and said, “Someone come quick! Tom and Jerry are fighting in the parking lot.”
Todd was the first one there and he managed to break up the fight.
“Okay, what is going on?” Coach Jenkins asked.
“He tried to put the moves on Monique,” Jerry said.
“I did not,” Tom said.
“Monique, why don’t you tell me what happened,” Coach Jenkins said
“Tom asked if I would like to go get some lunch with him after practice to which I said no. He kept pestering me and finally Jerry told him to back off and leave me alone. Then Tom told Jerry that he should mind his own business and just because we skate together doesn’t make us a couple. Tom still kept bugging me, so Jerry told him again to leave me alone. Then Tom hit him and before I knew it they were on the ground, fighting,” Monique said.
“Is this true?” Coach Jenkins asked. Tom looked at Coach Jenkins and walked off.
“There is a lot of tension here and you guys need to settle down. I’ll agree that Tom is quite pushy and arrogant, but he does have talent. He’s our shot at the gold in the men’s competition. Monique and Suzanna, you need to just ignore him. Todd and Jerry, if you are having trouble with him Coach Grant or I will take care of it.” Coach Jenkins said.
Everyone agreed and things got a little better. The next day everyone had a light practice and just enjoyed taking it a little easier. Suzanna’s dad was coming and she was really looking forward to seeing him.
The next day was bright and sunny and a little warmer. Monique and Suzanna decided to have room service delivered for breakfast. As they were finishing up their breakfast there was a knock on the door. It was Jerry.
“Monique,” he said, “I want to talk to you about something.”
“Okay,” she said.
“Why don’t we go for a walk. It’s a nice day, only a little cold,” he said.
“Okay, I’ll be down in a few minutes,” she said.
After Monique left Suzanna spent most of the morning in her hotel room reading her Bible and praying. She read Psalm 23 and she sang some choruses. It felt good to just spend time alone with her God. She prayed for her father’s safety and for the Olympics. She prayed for each of her team mates, even Tom. She prayed for Todd and thanked God for meeting him and for his help in her coaching. She prayed for him as he worked out things with his family and through tears she prayed for his salvation. She prayed that if this relationship was to be that God would work it out. When she was done she felt as if the tension was gone and she had found a new hope.
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