Crossing the Line Angela was already soaking. It wasn’t like her to be this sweaty after just one set. The mellow Ohio weather had probably made her a weakling in that regard, or perhaps she hadn’t gotten used to the seven-thirty A.M., scorching Florida sun quite yet. She should’ve, though, as it had been more than a year since she transferred to the team in Orlando. It looked as if she had smeared grease all over her forehead and hairline. The salty dribbles of sweat coming down made everything feel icky and strained. She tried to loosen up, but her muscles were awfully and stubbornly tense. Back at Ohio State, Angela had been the star runner in the hundred meter dash. But that was no longer the case in Orlando. There was another girl, Kate Redmond, who was just as good if not better. The coach didn’t put them up against each other often, but every time he did, it always ended with some kind of bickering concerning who that crossed the finish line first. The petty quarrels had yet to spiral out of control, but sooner or later it definitely would, and Angela feared what the results of it would be. She hated the feeling she had in her stomach going to the track in the morning, knowing that Kate would also be there. Angela tried her best to let it go and zone out; her fingers stretched evenly on the white, starter line. Moments later, she was finally released by the shot. The sound of her shoes hitting the track; the wind blowing against her bare skin; the adrenaline coursing through her veins; it never got old. For the duration of the hundred meter dash, all the bullshit in her life and the world faded away. She pulled away from most of the other runners, but Kate was right by her side two lanes over to the left. Normally, Angela would keep a close eye on her adversary, but she couldn’t deal with that kind of stress this morning and to her disappointment, they finished at the same time again. The slowdown felt extremely heavy on Angela’s thighs and joints. It almost hurt more than it should. Her breath was heavy, trying to recover. Turning around, the other runners had finished. Angela could feel Kate in her vicinity, as they slowly walked back towards the finish line. The sweat washed over the brunette once again. The sweet release during the sprint, that feeling of ecstatic freedom was gone with the wind. The troubles just seemed to pile up faster than Angela could handle them. And to top it off, the coach approached the two girls with the news of who that had finished first. It was the typical trigger that would pin them against each other in one way or another—some days it was subtle, other days they verbally assaulted each other. “Do you want to know the score?” The coach asked. “Just say it,” Angela said. It was too early in the morning to start fighting. They had barely warmed up and it was only the second set. “Kate beat you by a razor,” the coach said. Angela quickly glanced at the blonde before subtly rolling her eyes. “Whatever,” she said. Angela returned to the bench to find her towel and a bottle of water. The brunette had to focus lest she would begin to nag at the situation. She could’ve sworn that Kate released a bit earlier than the shot. Maybe the coach saw it, maybe he didn’t. Either way, the two girls were up against each other in the next set.