Come what may
“Come what may” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Grigoryev Nikita, Master-class, Russia.
Come what may
It was my birthday. Mum gave me new trainers. That was extremely generous of her. They were not just trainers; they were THE trainers I wanted badly. Our PE teacher, Mr. Brooks, has the same model. This is how I saw them first. When I looked at their price tag at the local store, I immediately realized that they couldn’t possibly be mine. Mum doesn’t buy me expensive stuff. She says I grow so quickly, that there is no point in spending a lot on my clothes. They do not last longer than 6 months anyway. It's weird though, because she does buy cigarettes for herself every day. They cost a great deal, and a pack does not last at all. She finishes it the same day. She is not stingy, my mum. Just has too much on her plate.
Anyway, this time she gave me those trainers. And on that very day, they were gone.
My classmates liked doing something on a bet. They didn’t use to, but now they do. I am never given pocket money and usually have nothing to bet with. Neither did I have money on that day, and why I agreed with Peterson to throw a ball on a bet, I can't say. He said he would give me his new sweat suit if my ball landed father. I would give him my trainers, if his ball did. His folks are very rich, I don't think he cares much if he loses or wins. He does it for the fun of it. For me it seemed an easy win though. I am not a sportive guy, but compared with Peterson, I am not bad. Not great, but definitely not bad. Moreover, before that day I had always thrown a ball father than anyone else in the group... Though that time I didn’t... But Peterson did!
When I handed my trainers to Peterson, he did not seem to be very glad to take them. But gambling debts are the debts of honor. I am a noble sort of guy, so I insisted. I just took them off, put them on the floor and left.
Honestly, I didn’t know then how I would feel if I had won. Would I be happy to take Peterson’s sweat suit? Would I really take it and wear it? That was not important. I really worried about one thing. What shall I tell Mum?
Shall I tell her I’ve lost my trainers? She will never buy me good stuff again.
Shall I say the trainers were stolen? Not a good idea. She will come to school and make a fuss about it! Everyone will be involved. And when they’ll tell her what really happened… She will just look like a fool. I care much less that she would run down on me. I just don’t want her to look like a fool. I love her.
'Dweller (that's my name),' I heard Mr. Brooks's voice behind me. 'Help me to pin this on the wall in the main hall, please.' He held a huge poster in his hands.
'And when we are done, tell the rest of your class to come down and read it. It's a running competition the day after tomorrow. They,' he glanced at his trainers, 'are really determined to boost their sales. I don't remember we've ever had such a thing! A nation-wide running completion in all state schools throughout the country on the same day! Prizes are excellent! The winner gets two weeks in one of their sponsored sports summer camps, the second prize is trainers. The rest will also get a little something…’
I stopped listening. Suddenly, things were getting increasingly interesting... I looked at the poster. The same brand, the same model!
I immediately started thinking how I could possibly secure my coming second. Shall I feed the entire school with those laxative pills they advertise on TV? Shall I remove the announcement so there will be fewer competitors? Nothing seemed possible without certain repercussions. Not even executable...So, come what may.
The day of the competition came. I thoroughly looked at my competitors and came to a conclusion that I did have a chance. There was just one guy who seemed definitely faster than me. Steiner, the eleventh- grader. But when we started to run, I fully realized that I under estimated my schoolmates. I thought they were dawdlers, but they were good. Very good indeed! Steiner, to my surprise, was lingering behind.
The distance was quite long. I was almost out of breath; the whole bunch, apart from Steiner, was ahead of me. The finish was very close now. Suddenly I heard heavy panting behind and in a blink, Steiner's sweaty back passed by me on the way to finish. It raised my spirits immensely. In no time Steiner was ahead of us all, I was hot at his heels. Did I run!
I did well. Too well, in fact. Just a fraction of a second, too well…
When Mr. Brooks and that foppish guy from the sportswear company were announcing the results, I could hardly hold back my tears. They all thought I was so happy. Who wouldn’t be? Two weeks in an excellent sports camp! If it was a week before, I would have been on cloud nine…
I didn't want to go home. I did all my homework, and left the classroom only when the janitor came to lock the door. What shall I say to Mum? Turning this question over and over in my mind, I came up to my locker. Right next to it I saw my trainers with a note written in Peterson's hand: Take my little present. Congrats, bro!