True Success

Riley Anderson is training for the Winter Olympics. She needs a break but doesn't find one until she bumps into Andy Davis, an ice resurfacer and a World Vision volunteer, who's trying to make in San Francisco.
The more their jobs collide together, so do their lives. But as their relationship grows, will it stay as their jobs get busier by the minute? Find out what will happen to these two Pixar kids.

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11. Chapter Eleven

“What were you playing at, Anderson?” the manager roared.

            Riley was trembling as he towered furiously above her. She had played her very hardest for the last two games, but she kept feeling that she had played very poorly. She had been slipping on the ice, failing to hit the hockey pads and getting knocked down once too often. She didn’t know why this was happening to her. She didn’t need to see that America had been dropping from first to fifth or the manager to tell her but as usual it happened to her.

            “You used to be America’s best ice hockey player this season,” the manager went on, “but now you’re playing like a court jester! You got anything to say for yourself?”

            Riley took a deep breath. “I don’t know, sir. I know I’ve let you and America down and we’re going down the league table. I’ve been trying to follow all the advice you’ve given me, but I just don’t know what’s wrong with me.” She could do with more support and less lectures and pressure.
            “It’s the last ice hockey day of the season tomorrow, Anderson.”

            “I know that, sir. And I won’t let you down.”

            “I know you won’t. You won’t be playing tomorrow.”

            Riley gasped. She felt that her entire collection of dreams had been crushed like a lemonade can hit by a sledgehammer.

            “You will sit on the extra bench and think yourself lucky to even be there.” And, with that, the manager walked away.

            Riley sat back down on her bench in the locker room and began to cry.

 

 

Sadness had her hands on the console for a long time.

            “I think you made Riley sad long enough,” Disgust told her.

            “No, I think she needs to be more sad,” Sadness protested.

            “But how is making her sadder going to help her?” Fear asked.

            “I don’t know. I just think she needs it, that’s all.”

            All the emotions started to fight over the console, except Joy.

            Joy had never been under pressure since Riley and her family moved to San Francisco. It was the first time since Riley was born she had to take time off. She was too tired to even stop the other emotions from stressing Riley out. She didn’t know what to do with her at all. Then she had an idea. She thought it was crazy and couldn’t guarantee success but she thought it could be the only thing to save Riley.

            When it was night time and when Riley was in bed, Joy volunteered for the night watch so the other emotions could catch up with their sleep. She immediately started meddling with the memory orbs of her and Andy.

 

 

Riley woke up in her hotel bed. She checked the time. It was one in the morning. It wasn’t too hot to sleep either. She only had a single sheet on top of her so she couldn’t understand why she wasn’t sleeping well. Even though it was highly unlikely she would play tomorrow, she didn’t want to arrive at the last game of the season looking tired.

           Then something took over her mind. She began to think of Andy. She was expecting herself to be sad and remorseful about Andy after what she said to him last time he came to visit. But then she started to smile. She was enjoying the memories. When she met him, how he helped her practice in that basketball court and all the times he came to see her play.

           The more the memories played, the more Riley realized that Andy was not holding her back but rather helping her push her forward. She needed him in her life. Then she realized that she was playing so poorly at ice hockey was because he wasn’t around to support her or make her feel good. Then she realized all she needed to help her with her ice hockey was to think of their good times together.

           Riley got her phone and tried to call him, but it went to voice messages. Instead, she just sent him a text saying, ‘I’m sorry. I really love you.’ And she really meant it.

           Feeling better for sending Andy a text and regaining the happy memories, she went back to sleep and dreamed of him.

 

 

Riley decided that she had to think of Andy as much as her ice hockey, but not clash them together. That was what she tried to do while she watched the Americans play against the Danish.

            She was disappointed that America was losing to the Danish. The Americans tried their hardest, but they kept getting knocked down and teased by the rival players. That went on until the end of the first half. America had only scored two points, nothing compared to the Danish points of nine.

            By break time, the manager was shouting at top of his lungs in the changing room. “I know you guys have been playing as hard as you can, but come on! We need to do better! We only have one half left before the whole season is over. We can still put America on the top if we give it our very best and work our hardest ever. What do you say?”

            Every player stood up and cheered as if they had just scored a goal in the net.       

            Then the manager went to the players and picked who would play and who would not. By the time he was approached near Riley, there was only one spot left for one player. Riley wanted so desperately wanted to be picked. She would have sold her soul to the devil for this chance. But the manager walked past her and her face fell. Then her eyes saw the feet of the manager and she looked up.

            “If I pick you, Anderson, will you not screw up?” he asked.

            Riley stood up and promised.

            “Don’t make me regret this.” Then he turned to the rest of the players. “Now let’s go out there and show the whole world what America is!”

            Riley cheered with the other players as they made their way back to the ice.

 

 

Joy was pleased that Riley had perked up and she was focusing on the hockey. Then she noticed that Fear was trying to touch the console, but Anger and Disgust were holding him back.

            “Joy said you can touch the console after Riley’s game is over, not before,” Disgust told him.

            “What if she gets too happy that she can’t even focus on the game?” Fear pointed out.

            “Don’t worry,” Joy called over, without looking at them. “I’ll make sure she stays focused.”

           

 

Riley was glad to be back on the ice. She felt that she was where she belonged.

            When the second half started, she immediately caught the hockey and whacked it in the net, scoring America its third goal.

            The Danish caught the pad but Riley whacked it to another American player who caught and fired it into the Danish net.

            As the half went on, the Americans scored more points and they were catching up to the Danish. Riley was feeling very good that she playing not just as good but better than she had ever played. It was all thanks to thinking about Andy that was helping her get through the big day. Even if America didn’t win and she never played ice hockey ever again in her life, she would be grateful for playing on this last day.

            Five minutes before the game was over, both the Americans and the Danish were in a tie. Then Riley got pushed down. As she angrily got up, she heard the referee blew his whistle. Then he told her to take a penalty shot to the net. She saw on the large clock that there was only less than ten seconds left. That didn’t give her a lot of time to study where to whack the pad. She did as quickly as she could and gave it a mighty whack. She closed her eyes, too afraid to see what she had done. Then loud cheering made her open them again. She saw that the pad went into the net and that America had won this year’s Olympic season.

            Riley couldn’t believe it. In all her years, she never once dreamed that she would score the final goal of this season. The American players picked her up and made a fuss of her.

 

 

Ten minutes after big cheering from the entire United States of America, the Olympic Ice Hockey ambassadors went on the ice to shake hands with the American players. After the US ambassador gave a powerful speech of how he was of his country to win and all thanks to the players and their manager. Then it was the time for him to give the medals out. He gave the bronze medal to Mr. Jacob Kingsman, the silver medal to Miss Lucy Ticker and finally the golden medal to Miss Riley Anderson. She was overjoyed when it was planted onto her.

 

 

So were her emotions. They felt like they had completely accomplished her dream. They celebrated their success with their favourite drink: tasty milk.

 

 

Riley took a deep breath before she went into the female changing rooms.

            “SURPRISE!”

            Shocked, Riley jumped but was immediately moved that everyone was cheering and applauding. The American players were there as were some special guests from the audience.  And the one who approached her first was Andy Davis.

            “Well done, Riley,” he said.

            Riley smiled nervously. “Thanks, Andy. Listen, I’m sorry about what I said three days ago. I didn’t mean a word of it. I was just under – ”

            “It’s all right, babe,” he said. “I’m sorry I haven’t been the most supportive boyfriend in the world. If you give me one more chance – ”

            “Just shut up and kiss me.” Then Riley brought Andy’s lips close to hers. Everyone started to applaud as they watched them.

            They both smiled at each other. They felt like they found each other again.

            “Guess who else came to see you today?” Andy said.

            Riley was surprised to see the whole gang of orphans from his orphanage. They ran to hug her and saw how amazing she played today. She thanked each and every single one of them.

            “You really inspired me today with what you did,” Jenny told Riley. “After not playing for the first half but wanting to get out there, you never gave up hope and gave it all you got, persisting in front of your fellow players and America to defeat the Danish. To me, that’s really motivating.”

            That really moved Riley forward. She bent down and put her hands on Jenny’s shoulders. “If you have it in your head and more importantly your heart, your dreams will be achieved.” Then she hugged her.

            Then the ice hockey champ was congratulated by Andy’s mom and sister, Molly. They both enjoyed watching her. As did her own parents and the rest of the ice hockey players.

 

 

Riley’s emotions were very happy with how they helped her get through the end of the season. They were watching her enjoy slice the victory cake with Andy and passing it to her family, friends and players.

            “Well, I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like her hard work, dedication and persistence has paid off,” Joy said.

            All the other emotions agreed.

 

 

Andy approached Riley again. “Now that your season is over, are you planning on taking a vacation?”

            “Yeah, I’m free,” she said. “Where did you have in mind?”

            Andy just smiled. She smiled back, as she knew she could trust him.

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