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Victory – A short story by Amira Akhtar, 2018

“Ouch!” Tom cried, waking up from his bed. He had hit his head on the concrete wall.

“What a great way to start the day”, he sarcastically mumbled under his breath to himself.

He did his morning routine not having any troubles. Making his way to the door, he watched as everyone cycled on their bikes happily to school. He sighed heavily and started his journey to the school entrance.

“Hey, did you practise for the race that will be held today?” Tom heard someone ask from behind.
It was Mark, his best friend.

Tom just replied with a wary nod and a weak smile. He had been practising for months. His legs hurt from all the practices, but he held on. Knowing that he was tired, Mark just gave a small pat on the back to make Tom feel more encouraged. Tom smiled gratefully and continued to make his way to school with his friend by his side.

Upon reaching school, they sat down at their respective places. The principal who gave an incredibly long speech was now making her way to the school field. Tom looked excited, but only nervousness filled her brain. Shaking the feeling off, he slowly made his way to the field not looking back. As he made his way to the starting line, he felt someone tap his shoulder. Mark gave Tom a thumbs up while smiling widely.

“Pew!” the starter blew his whistle. Tom ran without hesitation. He felt someone tap his shoulder. Mark gave Tom a thumbs up while smiling widely.

Suddenly,” Plop!” Tom fell down, having tripped over something. He looked up and saw Mark smirking as he took off running. Tom could not believe it! His best friend had just betrayed him. Tom got up calmly and started with a slow jog then suddenly, ‘Zwoop!’.

Tom ran like there was no tomorrow.

Racing past everybody, he felt an energy boost. He was neck and neck with Mark. Mark looked at Tom, surprised. Ten metres away from the finishing line, Tom dashed with high speed. Sweat trickled every part of his body.

“Pew!” the finisher blew his whistle as Tom dashed across the finishing line. Out of breath, he laid himself down. He had won. ‘How unexpected of me,’ he thought to himself while smiling. Was he supposed to be happy?

He was not. He did not feel happy. He felt betrayed. Tom got up and did what was right. Eventually, the teacher struck Mark out of the race. Tom smiled while receiving the trophy. Victory tastes so sweet after shedding so much blood, sweat and tears he thought happily.

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