The Snowboarder

"He was good at snowboarding and at stealing my heart." Copyright ©

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4. The Snowboard Instructor

School was OK, I guess. Jack was in most of my lessons and showed me around. He's sweet, really. It's weird to think that he could become my step brother, but at the same time, a relief to know someone's going to be around if need them. I've been an only child for the last sixteen years of my life, maybe having an eighteen year old brother would give me some practice to talking to people I don't like ...

Jack's really nice but he gives off this shy, mysterious look at school. Outside of school he'll smile or even talk to me, but inside the corridors and class rooms, he won't even make eye contact let alone talk to me. I struggled to find my way through the school but after being there for at least a week now, I'm getting use to the people and the school. I've made a friend, finally; her names Izzie. She's sweet - wait. No. Scrap that. She's not sweet. She's a feisty piece of work, but she's all I've got and I actually think we could become close friends. I would say BFF's but that isn't like her -. She was going to come round my house today since she needs help with her history homework, which doesn't surprise me since she doesn't do most her homework and now I'm her friend, she wants me to do it for her. (I manage to get my homework done in the classes so I've had free time after school so I don't mind helping her). Anyway, as I was saying, she was going to come round tonight but Mum decided to fill up my spare time with a hobby. She signed me up for Snowboarding in the local snow-dome ...

I mean snowboarding is cool and all, but I don't want to spend my after schools rolling around in snow. Especially when Izzie is knocking on my door right now and asking if I'm home whilst I stand here, freezing my ass of, waiting for this stupid snowboard instructor to turn up. This is not how I expected Canada to be ... 

This is not what I wanted.

"Hey." I look up from the ground and to the approaching figure. I take them in quickly. A boy, probably older than me, treads forwards. He's got two snowboards, one tucked under one arm, the other tucked under his other arm; he's covered in thick thermals from his nose to his toes. The only piece of skin I can see is his eyes; his head and hair has been covered by a hat. I compare what he's wearing to what I am wearing. We're wearing nearly the same thing; I've got the same thick ski-jacket and trousers he's wearing but he's wearing a balaclava to protect his mouth and nose. I've got a hat, but that's the only thing protecting my head. I wince as my cheeks turn redder with the cold and my nose continues to drip. His eyes open wide when he sees me; I flinch.

"What?" 

"I - Ur-" His voice changes. It turns deeper. I narrow my eyes in suspicion. "I recognize you from school." I groan. Great. Just what I need. I just need to have someone from my school watch me freeze every day ...

"Oh." Is all I say and shrug my shoulders. The cold continues to bite at my face; I flinch. "It's cold, can we start moving now?" He looks taken aback, before nodding. Even with his mouth covered, his words are clear as a crystal; I hear every movement of his lips. 

"Sure. We're going to take it easy for the first few lessons and then we can start on the slopes, OK?" I nod and turn my attention to the snow-dome. It's exactly what the name says. A snow dome. It's a dome full of snow. It's got mountains, well, this is only the beginner dome so the mountains aren't mountains. They're little meter bumps resting against the side of the dome with stairs to get up to them. It's quite small but there's still enough space to move around. It's mostly flat, with a few beginner mountains; the advanced Dome, from what I saw when I was looking through the window, looks like a proper mountain. I'm glad I started in the little one but also a little embarrassed. 

I fluster red as the instructor holds out his hand.

"I'm Jac- Ur - e. I'm Jace." He says. I nod, trying to push away the suspicious feeling in my stomach. I just smile.

"Maia." I say and shake his hand. He smiles - well his eyes sparkle a little so I guess that counts as smiling -. For a few seconds he just shakes my hand, before I awkwardly let go of him. He drops his hand but continues to smile. I clear my throat. He snaps out of his gaze and curses himself silently. I giggle and he blushes. 

"Ok, Um. Maia. Let's start on the flat snow." He passes me the snowboard and then leads me down the wooden steps. I step away from the door and my foot steps onto snow. It crunches under my foot; I realize nobodies stepped foot onto the snow yet; it's untouched. I smile as I leave my footprints in the snow, just because I love freshly laid snow. 

"Ok, so Maia," He glances over at me. I try to stop smiling; I can't. He raises an eyebrow but doesn't mention it. "Your board is a freestyle, or technical, board. It's good for beginners ... One second, let me just double check. You haven't snowboarded before, have you?" I shake my head.

"I've weight-boarded; does that count?" He laughs softly.

"They're similar, but sadly, no. It doesn't count." He comes to a stop and puts his snowboard down. He pushes it to aside and I stop beside him. He gestures for me to lay my snowboard down as well. I do. He smiles. "Ok, right. Let's get started. Do you know what foot you lead on?" I shake my head. He shrugs and then steps forwards. "Alright then. I need you to spread your feet out to shoulder length for me." I do. "And put your hands to your side. I'm going to push you gently and what foot you first step onto is the foot you lead with, alright?" I nod. He steps around me. I hold my breath. His hands rest on my shoulders and he pushes me gently. I fall forwards, my right foot comes out in front of me. He smiles and appears in front of me again. "Good. You're right footed. Now, can you just put your feet in the shoes attached to the snowboard please?"

"Ok." He opens the boot for me and I slide my foot in. He bends down to tighten it around; I lose my balance and reach out for something to steady me. My hand rests on his shoulder. He laughs and I blush.

"Sorry." I remove my hand from him but he just grins.

"It's OK. You can steady yourself using my shoulder if you want." I smile and place my hand gently back onto his shoulder. He smiles down at the snowboard and fixes my other foot in. He stands up; I wobble.

"Wooh." I tip over; he grabs my arm just before I hit the ground. He laughs and steadies me again, smirking.

"You OK?" I grip onto his arm, desperately. I shake my head and he grins. He steps back, letting go of my arms. I release him but I don't move my hands away, leaning forwards, closer to him just in case I go to fall over again. My heart beat speeds away in my chest; I feel stupid and also warm inside. He smiles. 

"From what I can tell, you're clumsy, yes?" I laugh.

"A little." I admit. He laughs as I try to stand up properly but instead I wobble, and return to my leaning forwards strategy. "How do you stop? I mean like, if I start to slide down there, I probably won't stop until I hit something." He laughs again. 

"You'll be OK; I'll catch you if you fall." I blush and he takes my arms and makes me lift them outwards to steady myself. He smiles shyly as his hands fall onto my waist and he shows me how to stand. I stop leaning over and straighten up a little. Thankfully, with his hands on my waist, I don't wobble; I can't help but like the way he smiles and helps me even though it's his job.

My cheek go redder than they were; he notices and laughs a little. 

"Ok, so this is a way to balance, as you can tell." His hands fall onto my waist and he guides me onto the ground. The snow is cold on my bum, even with the protective jacket on. I shiver as Jace pulls the snowboard out in front of me. He moves it upwards so the side of the snowboard is lodged into the ice. "This can act like a 'break' if you're on a mountain side. You dig the side of the snowboard into the ice, always make sure it's perpendicular to the slope you're about to go down or other wises it won't work, and you can be sure you won't slide down the mountain." He leans forwards and helps me up. It's a lot smoother than when I first balanced; he smiles. "Ok, so when you're snowboarding, your lead foot will be first." He puts his hands onto my waist; I place my hands onto his shoulder as he turns my snowboard so my right foot is leading towards the flat surface. "Apply a little pressure to your right foot to make you move, this is when you're going down a slope or a mountain," This makes my stomach flip with nerves but I push it away. "but you don't have to lean your whole body towards. Just keep your back straight," His hand gently pushes on the small of my back. I stand up straighter. "and keep your knees slightly bent." I do. He smiles again. "Good! Look at you! You're natural!" He steps backwards and I watch as he retreats. I swear.

"Hey! Where are you going?" I demand. He laughs.

"Just stay where you are Maia. Don't move or you'll fall over." This makes me freeze. He chuckles and quickly runs over to some sort of machine. I don't know what it's called, but he brings back a rope with a triangle handle at the end. He gives me the triangle handle; the rope connects to a wire a least five meters up in the air, which is connected to the machine at the end of the snow-dome. Jace runs back. He's got a button in his hands. "Ok this machine is designed to pull you along, just so you get use to the feel of moving on a snowboard." I nod as he comes over and rights my position. "It's only going to go slow; just relax and let it pull you. Don't pull against it." I swallow hard as he hits the button. Almost instantly, it's pulling me along. I gasp as I fall forwards. I let go of the triangle and crash into the snow. It should soften the fall, but the coldness makes my face burn and feel all numb. Jace is suddenly beside me, rolling me onto my back quickly. He chuckles. "You were putting too much weight on the back of the board, weren't you?" I scoff.

"No ..." I sulk. He laughs and helps me back onto my feet. 

"Don't worry." He smiles. "We've got until five o'clock to master this." I sigh but I have another go on the death machine. 

 

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