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On Thin Ice

Chapter Text

  Matilda Montgomery is a budding young athlete who hails from the small town of Auburn, Alabama. A figure skater with big dreams of becoming an Olympic medalist has always dreamed of competing amongst her idols.

Never would have she thought that at fifteen years old that she would get the bid to go compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. After her fifth-place finish at the preliminary events, she was sure that would never get the phone call that would seal her fate.

”Tilly, it’s two in the mornin’ what are you doing awake at this hour”? Her mother Annabelle, asked with much concern.
”Momma, I can't sleep this is so nerve wrackin’ that I don't even know how to relax”. Matilda explains. Annabelle sat at the edge of Matilda’s bed and placed a loving hand on her daughter’s shoulder. ”Tilly darlin’, you did your best that's all you can do and if you get the bid, then great if not, then there’s always next time”. Annabelle explains. ”I guess so, it’s just that I've worked so hard and I placed fifth. I just know it won't be enough”. Matilda said worriedly. ”Now now there, everything will work itself out” Annabelle reassured her daughter. ”Now get some rest you're gonna need it”. Annabelle said before she left Matilda to herself.

*The next day*

Matilda Montgomery, congratulations you have been selected to compete on the U.S. Figure Skating team and will participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

Matilda awoke to the sound of a text tone and sat at the edge of her bed and noticed that she has one unread message on her cellular phone. Eagerly, she grabbed her phone and almost dropped it when she saw the message that popped up. While opening the message, she was awestruck at the thought of actually competing in the Olympics. When she opened the text and read it in writing she shrieked and cried tears of joy.

”Momma, Dad”! Matilda exclaimed as she came racing down the stairway. Both Annabelle and Rufus, her father wondered what could have caused the excitement from their daughter. ”Tilly, what is it darlin’”? Annabelle asked as she saw Matilda come down the stairs. ”Momma, its happenin’”! Matilda shrieked. ”What's happenin’?” Annabelle asked. ”Look at the text”. Matilda exclaimed as opened up the text that said that she had gotten the bid to compete in 2018 Winter Olympics.

”Oh my, Tilly! I don't know what to say other than your father and I are very proud of ya and what you have accomplished and what you are fixin’ to accomplish in PeyongChang”. Annabelle exclaimed as she handed over Matilda’s phone to Rufus to see the text message. When Rufus saw the text message he couldn't believe what he was seeking. ”Well smack my ass and call me Sally. Tilly, congratulations you’ve hit the big time”. Rufus said in amazement.

Matilda went back up to her bedroom and couldn't contain the excitement that she began spreading the word on every social media outlet.

 

  @Tilly_Skates: The Journey to Gold Starts Now! PeyongChang2018 #2018WinterOlympics #JourneytoGold #AllthatGlittersisGold 

Chapter Text

  The alarm clock sounded that morning the same way it always had every morning but today was much different because Matilda was about to travel to PeyongChang for the 2018 Winter Olympics. As Matilda rose, she prepared herself and packed all of the things she would need for the next four weeks. It was a surreal feeling to compete in such a grand event.

”Tilly, got everything”? Annabelle asked as Matilda made her way downstairs to the living room and awaited her ride to the airport. ”Yes, for the next four weeks”. Matilda replied. “Tilly, bring back some hardware girl”. Rufus bade Matilda good luck before she left. *Beep Beep* the car sounded as it rolled into the driveway. Well, I better get going. PeyongChang is calling and I must go”. Matilda added before she left on her journey. “Good Luck and Have a safe trip”. Annabelle also bade her daughter good luck and well wishes.

Matilda waves goodbye as she walked out the door and enters the car that would take her to the airport. After cramming all four weeks worth of items luggage full of daily survival in the car’s trunk Matilda made her way into the back passenger’s seat. ”Auburn University Regional Airport, please”. Matilda requested as she buckled herself in. ”You got it, kid, hey we all heard your story on the local news good luck the whole city of Auburn is rooting for ya”. The driver told Matilda as he was driving to the airport. On the way there, Matilda snaps a selfie signaling a thumbs up and immediately posts it to her Instagram 

@Tilly_Skates: PeyongChang Here I Come! #PeyongChang2018 #BringYourAGame #2018WinterOlympics #AllThatGlittersIsGold

Finally, the driver drove through the airport’s main driveway and dropped off Matilda and opened the trunk so she could gather her things. After gathering her belongings, Matilda entered the airport’s main entrance and made her way to the main desk. ”PeyongChang”? The receptionist asked. ”Yes, how did you guess”? Matilda asked. ”Look around Matilda, you’re a star”. The receptionist  pointed to posters and banners that adorned her name and face wishing her good luck. Matilda couldn't believe her eyes when she saw these pictures all over the place, she was already being treated like royalty and she hasn't even made her Olympic debut yet.

”Okay, Matilda you will be flying Flight 626 to PeyongChang, South Korea”. The attendant said while handing Matilda the plane ticket. ”Good Luck Matilda and have a safe flight”. The attendant said before Matilda left for security. After Matilda made her way through security she awaited her flight to board. As if she didn't already spread the word she kept Tweeting, Instagramming, Snapchatting, and the like while she waited.

”Flight 626 to PeyongChang is now boarding”. The announcement on the intercom sounded and that was Matilda’s queue to get going.

*bloop* Matilda’s text tone sounded as she set foot into the aircraft.

”May the force be with you, Matilda” Matilda receives a text from her best friend from the Fandom Club at school.

As she made her way to her seat she put her carry on bag on the cubbyhole above her and took her seat. She couldn't believe this was happening, Matilda was about to go to the Olympics live out her lifelong dream and become a living legend. The flight attendants went over all the rules and regulations and emergency procedures. After everything was said and done the flight was clear for take off.

As the plane was taking off, Matilda felt a rush of adrenaline coursing through her veins. The sound of Twenty One Pilots filled her ears throughout the entire flight. Matilda was also looking out of her window and admiring the scenery from thirty-five thousand feet above the ground.

Matilda was awestruck at how different things looked like from up above, she couldn't believe her eyes. She sat back and curled into her seat and dreamed of winning gold and becoming an Olympic prodigy.

Chapter Text

  ”Flight 626 for PeyongChang is clear for landing”. The flight attendant announced over the speakers. Eighteen hours later Matilda found herself in PeyongChang. She was still in awe of actually being at the Olympics and competing amongst the best in the world.

As Matilda landed, she was greeted with applause and made her way to the baggage claim. But not before she snapped a pic of the airport’s welcome sign and posting it to her Instagram.

@Tilly_Skates: So blessed to finally be here competing amongst the best in the world! I can't wait to strap in and win! #PeyongChang2018 #2018WinterOlympics #AllThatGlittersIsGold

As Matilda grabbed her bags from the baggage claim she awaited her ride to the hotel room that she would stay in for the next four weeks. As soon as the shuttle bus pulled up, Matilda instantly knew that this was her ride because this was one of the busses that transported all the athletes to and from.

Matilda made her way into the bus she overheard a few people talking, other athletes from other countries speaking in their native tongues. Matilda tries her best to not take it personally even though she couldn't shake off the feeling that they were talking about her. As she took her seat she looked out the window and admired all of the scenery. The ride to the hotel seemed long only because of the awkwardness of the situation. As the bus pulled into the hotel’s driveway Matilda and the other athletes made their way into the hotel.

Once Matilda enters her hotel room she was greeted with a welcome card and banner wishing her good luck. She too snapped a pic of it and added it to her Snapchat. However, before she could even get the chance to unpack and relax she hears a knock on the door. Assuming it was housekeeping, she made her way to the door and took a peek through the peephole to find out that it wasn't housekeeping and it was her coach Petrina Ambrosia.

Without a second thought, Matilda opens the door and unlocked it. ”It's a pleasure to see you again, Coach Ambrosia”. Matilda greeted and offers her sentiments. ”Matilda, allow me to congratulate you on making the U.S. Figure Skating team. But there are some things that I must go over with you”. Petrina announced. Matilda wondered what else could it be she was just ready to lace up her skates and compete for the gold. ”What is it, coach”? Matilda asked.

”Matilda, you aren't the only newcomer on this figure skating team”. Petrina explained. The expressions on her face said that this wouldn't be easy. ”Coach, I know I'm not. But I'm ready to compete”. Matilda pleaded. ”Matilda, I know you are ready that's why you are here. But that’s not what I came here to tell you”. Petrina sighed. ”What is it”? Matilda asked with much concern. ”Matilda, I am pairing you up with another newcomer”. Petrina explained.
”But I'm an individual skater why are you pairing me up with someone”? Matilda asked.

Petrina looked at Matilda straight in the eyes and explained to her just what was expected of her. ”Matilda, I know you are an individual skater and so is he but as a newcomer, it is best to get acquainted with your teammates. When you are not competing you will both be training together under our watchful eyes”. Petrina explains. All Matilda could do was wonder what exactly was going on. ”Okay, well then who is it”? Matilda asked. ”You will be training with Adam Rippon”. Petrina replies.

The name rings a bell to Matilda’s ears. She was at a loss for words though it was the one skater both of her parents warned her about. And they would flip out if they found out she would be training with him. ”Coach is there perhaps another skater that I could train with”? Matilda asked. ”Matilda, there's no discussion on this you were paired up for a reason and I need you to trust our job as coaches of this pairing”. Petrina explains. Matilda looked down on at the floor as she was hearing all of this all the while biting the inside of her cheek. ”Is that understood Matilda”? Petrina asked for affirmation. “Yes, coach”. Matilda sighed.

As soon as Petrina left the room Matilda began unpacking thinking of all the resentment her parents made of this one particular skater. And now she’s going to be paired up with him. She didn't want her parents mad at her but she wasn't about to argue with the coaches. She was just going to have to work with what was given to her.

The next day Matilda made her way to the ice rink to where she was greeted with the sound of Madonna’s “Vogue” blaring through the sound system noting the fact that she wasn't alone. Matilda went into the locker room, set down her things, and began preparing herself for warmup and eventually practice. As Matilda made her way closer to the ice rink she saw the man skating beautiful figures and watched as he skates until he noticed that someone has joined him.

”Well hello there, I take it you are my new ice skating partner”. Matilda awkwardly greeted the man as the music still plays. The man made his way over to the baseboard and came to a quick halt. ”Be careful now, ya would want yourself getting hurt before the big competition”. Matilda remarked. As the music stopped, the man stared at Matilda and looked into her eyes. ”Why yes, in fact, I am your new ice skating partner”. The man replies. ”Oh and by the way. I am careful. I am a witch and you can't kill me”. The man shot back. ”Whatever weirdo”. Matilda said under her breath.

As Matilda made her way onto the ice she was greeted with a triple axel that was perfectly executed that it made Matilda jealous. ”Nice to meet you, I’m Adam Rippon and this is how you axel in the Olympics”. Adam greeted himself the only way he could. “Uh I'm Matilda Montgomery and I think you meant excel”. Matilda replies. ”No, in figure skating we don't excel at anything. We Axel”. Adam replied with snark. ”Now show me your axel”. Adam commanded.

Matilda skated in front of him to make sure he saw what she was capable of ”You got it”. Matilda replies as she prepared herself to perform a triple axel. Matilda warmed up and then executes. ”Whaddaya say about that”? Matilda asks. ”Well, now I understand why you placed fifth”. Adam replies. “What do you mean”? Matilda asks. ”I mean that was sloppy, you take that to the judges and they will take points off”. Adam reprimands. ”Well, I really appreciate your brutal honesty”. Matilda replies and prepares herself to execute once more.

Only this time she didn't make eye contact with Adam and just let it flow. She took a deep breath prepares herself to execute. She executes and then falls. Adam immediately skates over to Matilda and offers assistance back up; however, she wasn’t about to let him touch her in any way. “Are you okay”? Adam asks. “Fine”. Matilda replies as she wipes the ice off of her workout leggings.

”You are not comfortable with this are you”? Adam asked as Matilda was back on her feet. “What gives you that impression”? Matilda asked. ”It shows Matilda”. Adam explains. ”It shows in the way you talked to me, the way you skated, the way you executed your triple axel, and right now you are tense”. Adam explained. “May I ask what is bothering you”? Adam asked.

“Oh it’s nothing, it's just…” Matilda pauses in the midst of her reply. ”Never mind”. Matilda cut herself off before she could give a logical answer. ”Nothing, really because this attitude isn't nothing. I've seen you skate before and you are much better than this what you gave me right now”. Adam sassily pointed to Matilda and reminded her of how much her apprehension showed. ”Can you give me a moment”? Matilda asked. ”Sure whatever” Adam replies.

As soon as Matilda left the ice she was faced with a difficult decision on whether or not to just come right out and tell the truth or keep leading him on as if nothing is wrong. Part of her just wants to clear the air and get it off of her chest and then another part of her was afraid of the reaction he will have once it was out in the open. Matilda was stuck with this man for four weeks she was either going to suck it up and be on pins and needles with each passing day or let her affirmations be known and clear the air.

Matilda made her way back on to the ice and made her way back over to Adam. ”Ready”? He asked. ”Yes. You know everyone in my little small town in Alabama has an opinion and when they voice those opinions word gits ’round fast. Just let me say this, they have a very strong opinion about you and it's not a positive one”. Matilda explained. Adam looked at Matilda and blinked his eyes and placed his hands on his hips. ”Well. You don’t say. They are just fans in denial”. Adam replies. ”They weren't very nice”. Matilda tried to explain the severity of the situation. ”Oh, they weren't? Ask me again why this doesn't surprise me. Typical”. Adam replies with irony. ”If you know what they said do you mind sharing”? Adam asked with genuine concern. Matilda sighs “You aren’t going to like what they said”. Matilda replies.

”I'm waiting…” Adam presses. ”Okay. My family, my friends from Alabama, just about everyone I know warned me about you”. Matilda replies before she holds her breath awaiting the big speech about how they are wrong. ”What about me did they warn you about”? Adam asked. The words sent Matilda’s heart racing. Unsure of how to reply Matilda hangs her head and buries it in her hands.

”Look I understand we come from very different backgrounds and very different cultures and upbringings. But everyone including my parents told me about how your sexuality is a sin and that I shouldn't be associating myself with your kind”. Matilda confesses. Matilda felt a sense of relief now that it was out in the open while also feeling a sense of hurt in Adam’s eyes as he was hearing what she had to say.”Matilda, your friends, and family have no idea what it's like to be in my shoes or my skates”. Adam replies with sass. ”But YOU, Matilda Montgomery, have been given the honor of being my skate partner and knowing that being me isn't a cakewalk”. Adam eyed Matilda as he was giving her the speech. ”I can only imagine how hard it must be you know not being accepted by everyone. Living every day in fear. Not knowing what people have to say”. Matilda replies. ”You think I care what they say, what they think”? Adam scoffs. ”Not one bit Matilda. I don't care. If I did, I wouldn't be at the Olympics”. Adam replies with disgust. ”I'm sorry. Like I am. I didn't mean for that to come out wrong”. Matilda tried her best to get herself out of the hole she has dug herself into even further. Matilda couldn't believe what had come out of her mouth. ”Matilda, you are a prime example of what it's like to be privileged”. Adam explains. ”What do you mean”? Matilda asked. ”Um let's see you have what I don’t. You have the ultimate right to date who you want. Love who you want. Marry who you want and you can all because you are heterosexual”. Adam explained. “As for me and the billions of others like myself don't have that right. Maybe your parents, your friends, everyone back home may have told you a different story about me. About how I am an evil sinner and that you shouldn't associate with me because of who I am but I’m here to tell you that I’m not that person they’ve made me out to be”. Adam explained.

Matilda didn't know what or who to believe, she was raised to not judge anyone before getting to know them but everyone back in Alabama has done nothing but pass judgment on this particular person and they didn't even know him. ”I stand corrected”. Matilda sighed. ”Permission to educate”. Matilda added.

Although Matilda was allowing this man into her life she still has her doubts about what her parents would say, her friends and everyone back home would think about this pairing. But all she had was right now and an entire Olympic event to compete in and didn't have any time to worry about any of that. Matilda came here to skate and compete for gold and maybe come home with a medal, however; she would come home with something much more valuable.


Chapter Text

”Good Evening Everyone I’m Johnny Weir” “And I’m Tara Lipinski tonight the women figure skaters will compete in the single Women’s Short Program where Team USA ’s newcomer, Matilda Montgomery will make her Olympic debut. Earlier in the week, she trained with none other than, Adam Rippon who is also making his Olympic debut in PeyongChang”.

”It's a pleasure to see these two both training together they are surprisingly getting along so well despite acculturations on both ends. Coming from very different cultural backgrounds it was said to have a negative reflection on the team; however, it has made both athletes stronger and better because of it”. Johnny added as they prepared to show the figure skating event part of the Olympics.

”Annabelle ya hear that”?! Rufus barked while sitting on the loveseat awaiting Annabelle to join him as she tidied up the kitchen. ”Well, I must say dinners and dishes have been easier since Tilly’s been away”. Annabelle added as she took her seat next to Rufus. ”Did you not hear what I just said”? Rufus looked to Annabelle as she sat down. ”I heard ya, it's about Tilly she’s gon’ skate tonight”. Annabelle replies as she turned her attention to the television. ”No joke she gon’ skate ya not gon’ believe who she’s trainin’ with”. Rufus remarked. ”Trainin’ with”? Annabelle asked perplexed. “Ya Annabelle, Training with”. Rufus replies. ”Well, then who’s the lucky guy”? Annabelle asked nosily.

”Annabelle. This is our daughter we are talkin’ about not the next celebrity in your garbage magazines”. Rufus reprimanded. ”Well, I suppose I got too excited but wouldn't it be sumthin’ if she brought home a special someone”? Annabelle asked. ”She’s fifteen for Christ’s sakes she doesn't need to be messing around with anyone. Especially him”. Rufus exclaimed. ”Now Rufus, who could she possibly be messing around with that would cause you to get yer knickers in a twist”? Annabelle asked with much doubt. ”I don't know Annabelle maybe the one we warned her about”. Rufus replies. ”Ya don't say”? Annabelle gasps. ”Apparently they were paired up and they are training together”. Rufus explains. ”Let me guess it's that Adam guy everyone’s been talking about”? Annabelle asked. ”Yep”. Was all that came out of Rufus’s mouth.

”But wait… Isn't he the one who openly admitted to everyone that he's gay”? Annabelle asked. ”Yeah, Annabelle and he’s messing around with our Tilly”! Rufus exclaimed exasperatedly. ”No way. I gotta call Paula I got some juicy gossip for her”! Annabelle exclaimed as she rose from the vintage floral loveseat. ”Sit your ass down, this phone call can wait, Tilly is about to come on”. Rufus commanded. ”Aw come on Rufus, it will be quick besides the women’s skiing is on at the moment”. Annabelle begged. ”I suppose you can make a quick phone call. But when Tilly is on, I want it silent”. Rufus ordered.

Annabelle walked over and grabs her cellular phone from the kitchen and dials Paula’s number *ring…ring…ring* the sound of Paula’s phone on the other line sounded on the other end until she finally picked up. ”Hello, Annabelle”? Paula answers. ”Paula. You may want to ya know to come over and bring some wine. I've got some juicy gossip to spill”. Annabelle gushes. ”Is this about Tilly”? Paula asked. ”Yes, it's about Tilly”. Annabelle responded. ”Oh my okay, Annabelle I will be right over with wine and all”. Both Paula and Annabelle hang up and before Annabelle could sit back down the doorbell rings. ”That must be Paula”. Annabelle says while she gets the door. Paula shows up at the Montgomery residence doorstep equipped with Franzia and wine glasses. “I’m ready, spill it, Annabelle”. Paula says as she walks into the doorway and makes herself at home and sits on the loveseat and pours the wine.

**************************************

As Matilda made her way inside Gangneung Ice Arena where she was greeted with good lucks and well wishes from her teammates. ”Good Luck Matilda”. Matilda hears a voice coming from behind her. Quickly, she turns around to find out that it was her teammate, Mirai Nagasu that had wished her good luck. ”Oh Thanks, Mirai you as well”. Matilda thanked her while trying her hardest to cover up the fact that she is nervous. ”Isn't Adam a doll”? Mirai asked Matilda as they waited for their program to begin. ”Oh, Adam. Ohhh him! Yes, he's a riot”. Matilda replies but wasn't sure if it came out right. ”He's so sweet. He's my best friend. Did I mention that he gives the best hugs? You are so lucky to be training with him”. Mirai gushed. But all Matilda could hear was the sound of her own heartbeat as the short program was about to begin. ”Matilda”? Mirai asked catching Matilda off guard. ”Well, let's just say that we got off to a rocky start. But it's all good now. All good in the hood”. Matilda replies. ”Are you okay, Matilda”? Bradie Tennell asked who was also sitting next Matilda. ”Yeah, everything is fine! Don't you worry about a thing”! Matilda replies but in all actuality she is far from okay. She was miles away from home, she was about to perform in front of a worldwide stage and now she was getting grilled about her new training buddy. ”You know, Nathan Chen isn't so bad either I'm training with him”. Karen Chen boasted as she looked into her mirror while she touched up her makeup. ”And no, we aren't related”. Karen added.

“Karen, your makeup is good. You can stop checking it now”. Bradie gently reminded that Karen was a little too extreme with the makeup checks. ”Do you realize that we are about to go on”? Karen asked. ”I realize that, and I also realize that we are all a bit nervous right now. I'm sure it's a nervous habit she has”. Matilda spat as she paced the floors. ”Matilda, you are on first”. Coach Ambrosia announced as she made her way to the ice rink. ”First, but coach”? Matilda questions. ”Matilda, there are no arguments. Natasha Vasiliev from Russia will skate first and then you will be the first American skater to go on”. Petrina explains.

”What a tough act to follow”. Mirai mused. “Tell me about it. She wins gold each time and now I will look like an amateur skating after her ”. Matilda explains. ”Matilda, you are being tested soon you will know the explanation to all of this”. Petrina explains. ”Have I passed”? Matilda asked. ”You will know in due time”.

~*~

Matilda POV

“Representing Russia, Natasha Vasiliev” the announcement over the loudspeaker rang in my ears as Natasha took the ice. All I could think about is how can I compete after seeing this? as Natasha gracefully executed all of her moves and landings with ease.

The music of Les Miserables “I Dreamed a Dream” filled the arena as the audience cheered. Her crystallized burgundy costume just made everything that much more beautiful. ”Matilda, start stretching out you are on soon”. Coach Ambrosia advised. I began stretching out in the waiting room and preparing myself to go on as the sound of deafening cheers filled the arena as Natasha completed her program. “Representing Russia, Natasha Vasiliev”. The announcement over the loudspeaker made note that Natasha was finished and I was about to go on.

”You've got this Matilda”. Coach Ambrosia bade me good luck as I was about to go on. “Representing United States of America, Matilda Montgomery”. The announcement on the loudspeaker sounded and it was my queue to begin.

~*~
”Woot, Woot looks at that that's our girl”!! Annabelle cheered Matilda on as she saw her on the television set. ”I must say for being nervous she’s definitely not showin’ it”. Paula mused as she saw Matilda in her stance before her music began.

The song ”Stand By You” by The Pretenders began playing and Matilda began her program. Matilda performed with grace and beauty and wowed the audience. ”Will Matilda nail her triple axel”? Tara asked as Matilda was transitioning into the jump. As Matilda executed her triple axel the moment of truth came when as she perfectly landed. ”And she nailed it”! Johnny exclaimed as Matilda landed. ”That is impressive as Matilda has admitted on occasion that the triple axel has been the hardest for her to feat”. Tara explained. ”I'm guessing the training with Adam Rippon has paid off well for Matilda”. Johnny mused as they showed the rest of Matilda’s program. Matilda finished off her program with sheer elegance.

~*~
“Representing United States of America, Matilda Montgomery”. The announcement on the loudspeaker as Matilda’s program came to a close.

”Natasha who”? Karen Chen says in awe of Matilda’s beautiful program. ”You forget we still have to go on as well”. Bradie Tennell reminded the others that it isn't over just yet. ”Gosh, what are she and Adam doing in training? Because I could use some tips”. Mirai wondered as Matilda made her way ”Oh you know that's how we figure skaters axel in the Olympics”. Matilda jokes. The other skaters laughed. ”Let me guess that was Adam’s corny joke wasn't it”? Karen Chen asked. ”Yes, it is. That was one of the first things he told me on our first day of training”. Matilda replies.

The rest of the skaters performed their programs and the United States ended up placing third overall in the Women’s Short Program.

”Good Job Matilda. I think Mr. Rippon is helping you perfect your triple axel”. Coach Ambrosia congratulates Matilda on a job well done. ”Thanks, it wasn't easy at first but everything is good now”. Matilda explained. ”What do you mean it wasn't easy, Matilda”? Coach Ambrosia asked with concern. ”Well, Adam and I didn’t get off to a great start but we are fine now”. Matilda sighed. ”Are you sure, Matilda”? Petrina asked. ”Yeah, I'm sure really”. Matilda replies yet she felt as she was being grilled. ”Can you explain to me a little more about how you both didn't get off to a great start”? Petrina asked.

Sweat began forming on Matilda’s palms as she heard the questions Coach Ambrosia was asking her. ”Listen, Coach, when Adam and I both met I had my doubts about him I've heard so many stories. And my family and friends back home in Alabama well let's just say they all have strong opinions about Adam’s kind and I was raised to believe that kind of lifestyle was a sin or whatever it is”. Matilda explained. ”So when I was paired up with him I had reservations about him which lead to an awkward meeting”. Matilda added.

”Matilda, Adam is a well-rounded and talented young man. I don't think to discuss his personal life is helping you any with figure skating”. Coach Ambrosia reprimanded. ”Look, I understand that it’s just that we needed to clear the air to end the awkwardness of the situation, just so that both of us were on the same page”. Matilda explains. ”Matilda, you do understand that Adam is gay right”? Coach Ambrosia asked. ”Yes, Coach I knew that already”. Matilda replied. ”If you knew already then why was it an issue when you met, in person”? Coach Ambrosia asked.

Matilda hesitated for a moment before she could come up with a response. ”Because of my reservations about him. I just didn’t want to upset my family if they were to find out about our pairing”. Matilda replied. ”Your family, Matilda? What about your family? I think your family is very proud of you”. Coach Ambrosia asked. ”They are super conservative they have their beliefs and they will flip out if they were to find out I was, you know, training with a gay man”. Matilda explained. ”Matilda, the figure skating world is diverse there's going to be all people from all walks of life. Are you going to let one person that might just be a little bit different from yourself intimidate you”? Coach Ambrosia asked. ”Absolutely not Coach, Adam and I are on better terms now that we’ve cleared the air”. Matilda replied. ”Well, that’s good to know because of you, we claimed third place Congratulations, Matilda”. Coach Ambrosia congratulated her yet again before parting ways.

Matilda was at a loss she was both excited about placing third but she felt both mentally and physically drained between the training, competition, and now the grilling from her coach. *bloop* the text tone sounded from Matilda’s phone. Before she left the ice rink, she hears her phone’s text tone. Gleefully thinking it was one of her friends congratulating her she ran over to her duffel bag and began digging for her phone. What Matilda didn't expect was what the text read.

”Good luck training with that fag, keep that up and you will go to hell along with him”.

Gasping for air, she quickly tossed her phone into her duffel and silently left the ice rink and back into her hotel room. Back in her hotel room, she stared at her phone reading the text which had an unknown name and number. She had no clue who this was yet they were attacking both her and Adam. Matilda didn't have time to worry about this or who the person that sent the text but it worried her.