Author's note: First of all, I would like to tell to you who have read my other Strawberry Eggs fanfic. It is still on hiatus. When the computer's hard drive had crashed due to extreme overheat on the sensitive microchips, all the data were destroyed and unrecoverable. The newest chapter of my story "Aftermath" was among those lost data files. Before my hard drive's unfortunate crash, I had written over 10 pages in a few months. I am trying to remember what I had written and to write the story again, but it will take several more months to complete the chapter. However, I suddenly had an idea for a new fanfic centered on Fuuko Kuzuha. And this is it.
Summer 2008 Olympic games in Beijing China
On a bright sunny morning in the stadium, a brown-haired female runner representing Japan felt slightly nervous standing as she stared in awe at the track field where the other participants are assembling. She visited the track and field stadium several times for practice when she arrived in China before the Olympic races start officially. But practice and real competition were two different things. She felt a hand pressing on her shoulder, a hand she knew belonged to a very special person.
"Are you nervous?" asked the person behind her. She scanned the field widely once again with eager eyes. She closed her eyes and shook her head. "No, sensei. I mean, just a little." She said with an air of false confidence. It's that it's my first time in the Olympic games."
Her sensei replied in a gentle, reassuring tone. "I understand. But you've come so far, after winning the Japan Nationals Tournaments. You are the Japan's greatest hope of winning a gold medal in the Track and Field Athletics."
She nodded. "Yes, we've registered me into a 200-meter race, haven't we?"
She swore she felt his warm gaze could touch her cheek. The voice crackled with a timbre of wry humor. "Is there any problem with it? It's too late to change your registration to a 100-meter race but we can forfeit this race if you want."
She craned her head to look into his sparkling cerulean orbs. She shook her head. "And embarrass Japan in front of a few billion pairs of eyes? No way. I mean, I am just remembering that this race is four times as long as the 50-meter dash I had to pass at the Seito Sannomiya School when I was fourteen years old. Which I would never have achieved without your wonderful guidance. I gained a bit of self-confidence from it."
He nodded with a sincere smile.
She continued, "I'm glad you came with me all the way to China as my personal coach."
"No problem. Why would I miss the chance to watch my best student compete in the Olympic Games. Nothing makes me prouder than watching you run in an Olympic race.
I mean, I never thought in a million years that I would have trained an Olympic-level athlete."
She sighed, "I can't believe, this is my first time I am here in the Olympic games, all was because of you, sensei."
"Nonsense. I've only opened your true potential. You were the one who has realized it and known what to do with it."
She snickered back. "Yes, if you hadn't opened my potential, I would've probably become the world's clumsiest nobody."
As he spoke again, his melodious voice vibrated with a beautiful resonance. "Yes, that was, like, four years ago."
Nodding, she added. "That was when you helped me complete my first 50-meter dash. I am still glad until today that you were there when I needed a good teacher. I was glad to have been your best student."
"And my first student, too," He beamed an enthusiastic grin at her. "You were a kid back then. A clumsy and indecisive junior high schooler."
She laughed softly. "A clumsy and indecisive junior high schooler without a path to embark on until you've given me one. Now I'm eighteen years old, have just enrolled in college and I am right here representing Japan in the Olympic games, thanks to what you've taught me."
"After the Olympic games, what career will you decide to major in at college? Although you're still a freshman."
She looked back and forth at the track field. "You know, I've been considering to major in athletics coaching."
The man didn't look a bit surprised. He shook his head and shrugged. "That's something I would expect you to say."
She spoke, "By the way, I was happy that you returned to the school a year after your dismissal and continued teaching us. Do you remember our memories together in the school?"
Her teacher said, "Yes, I remember, that you founded an athletics club at school and encouraged other students to participate in the athletics, particularly track and field."
"Of course. I invited you to help me train my juniors, although you're the one who instilled quite a passion in them," confirmed the woman jubilantly. "You were amazing back then."
"Well, please don't credit me too much. In fact the half of that hard labor was yours," replied the teacher. She commented, "How modest, but you're quite right. We did good together."
Chuckling, he continued, "When ou announced you wanted to compete in the prefecture Track and Field competition, I supported you. As did your classmates."
"Yeah, too bad my dad didn't support my participation in the Prefecture Track and Field tournaments."
"Not at first because he never expected you to be a great runner you are today," he agreed. "But as you won not only the prefecture competition, but also the regional games and the national tournaments as well. It convinced your father to become one of your most ardent fans. "
"Yes, I was able to win all those tournaments and to get accepted as one of Japan's Track and Field representatives in the Olympics competition all because of your teaching and support."
"Don't forget the support of your friends and your father," added the teacher.
She agreed. "Yes, sensei, it made me pretty happy and proud."
They heard a sudden announcement screech through the loudspeakers all over the stadium. "All runners, please come forward on time to your positions on the track immediately. The race is about to begin in ten minutes."
The two people exchanged tenderly lovable glances at each other. "I'd better go, sensei. Wish me luck, okay?"
"Sure." Without hesitation, he pulled the 18-year old runner's arms towards himself and leaned his lips forward her face. She closed her eyes, wrapped her arms around him and accepted the kiss eagerly. As their lips locked simultaneously, she sighed and felt his clean breath come into her mouth.
He pulled back and broke the lingering kiss. He looked into her bright ruby-red eyes. "How did our kiss pass as good luck?"
She made a broad happy smile at him. "Yes, sensei. This is my first kiss. The one I have been waiting four years for." She then took the next step and was ready to climb up the stairs.
She glanced down at him again. "I shall dedicate my first Olympic competition to you, Hibiki Amawa-sensei, the best teacher I've ever had."
"Of course," he replied with a snicker. "At the hotel's restaurant tonight, I've made reservations for both of us. There will be a grand dance there. Want to go there with me?"
Without looking back, she responded, "Sure, I'll be looking forward to it."
As the Japanese runner stepped out into the field, the looming sun shone on her face and she basked in the warmth of the sun and crisp cool air while walking towards the track, At first she performed warm-up exercises. Then she positioned herself in her assigned place on the track along with other runners. She heard the announcer reading each runner's name, number and nation aloud.
"The number 9 is Fuuko Kuzuha of Japan, 18 years old." This announcement gratified the Japanese Olympic representative because it meant to her that she had achieved so far, so hard to become a track and field representative of her country in the Summer 2008 Olympic games. She owed it to her teacher, Hibiki Amawa.
She looked around again and saw Hibiki's land lady Ruru, the principal of Seito Sannomiya, school, her father, her former classmates including Fujio, Miho, Seiko, Akira, Aoki, Shyoichi, etc. up there sitting in the benches across from her. They all waved their arms at Fuuko and some of her classmates raised a long white banner saying in the Japanese kanji, "DO YOUR BEST, FUUKO-CHAN." She was extremely happy, that not only her teacher came to witness her first Olympic race but also everyone she knew came. She waved back at everyone who came all the way to China and supported her. She turned back around and saw Hibiki standing from afar, wink and flashed a thumbs-up sign at her. "Do your best, Fuuko-chan! Show the world what you've got!" he thundered boisterously. She cheerfully winked back at him and turned back to her position.
She bent herself low, pressed the hands on the floor and flexed one leg while straightening the other in a starting position..
"Get ready, runners. Let's start in 10 seconds," bellowed the referee standing beside the track. "10…9...8...7...5...4...3...2...1.…GO!"
Hearing the last syllable, the adrenaline-excited Fuuko Kuzuha quickly sprinted from her position into the running action. There went the shy, clumsy, unconfident girl who transformed into a strong-willed, mature, assertive woman and the Japan's fastest runner with an ambition of winning her first Olympic gold medal.