Instinctively I turn toward the stands, searching for Ophelia. She and Cam are battling their way through the crowd trying to get to me. The commentators are saying something, but all I can hear is my girl screaming my name.
She gets to me just as the score is announced. It’s perfect. A perfect f**king score.
Holy shit. I won. Everyone has one more shot, but there hasn’t been another perfect score this whole competition. I f**king won this shit.
The crowd is going nuts, and so are we—Luc and Ash, Cam and Ophelia. I try to maintain just a little bit of swagger, but it’s no use. I can’t stop smiling. I don’t think I’m fooling anybody, and you know what? For the first time, I don’t care. Nothing has ever felt this good.
My girl is in my arms.
My friends are all around me.
And there is a perfect f**king score on that board up there.
If I never have another day like this, it’ll be okay. Because I have this moment and that’s everything.
My phone rings, but I ignore it. Nothing and no one is as important as right now.
“We’ve got to go,” Luc says after a couple of minutes, when my phone rings a second time. “We’ve got to get back up there before we’re all DQ’d.”
“I know, I know,” I tell him, then lean down and kiss Ophelia one more time.
“Thank you,” I whisper against her lips. “Thank you for giving me this.”
She shakes her head and cups my face in her hands as tears roll down her face. Before she can say anything, though, Ash grabs me by the collar and pulls me toward the lift. “Later,” I mouth to her.
She nods, her smile so big and bright that I’m nearly blinded by it.
We’re almost at the magic carpet when Ash’s phone rings. “It’s probably Mitch,” he says as he reaches for it. “Wanting to congratulate you since you won’t answer your phone.”
But he looks confused when he sees the number.
“Who is it?” I ask, suddenly feeling uneasy, though I don’t know why.
He shrugs. “I don’t know.”
“Don’t answer. If it’s important, they’ll call back.”
But it’s too late. He’s already dragging the phone open. “Hello?”
He doesn’t say anything else for long seconds, but his face slowly drains of color.
“Ash? Man? What’s wrong?”
Luc crowds in, too, looking as worried as I feel.
He doesn’t answer, but the phone slips from his grasp and hits the ground, hard. Seconds later he does the same thing.
“What the fuck?” I glance at Luc, but he’s as baffled as I am.
“Ash?” I say again as I crouch down next to him. “What’s wrong?”
“My family,” he croaks.
“Accident on the way up here. Logan’s in surgery and my mom and dad … My mom and dad are dead.”