Julia Takes a Stand
“Julia Takes a Stand” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Zahra Juzer Gandhi, Our Own English High School, Dubai, UAE.
Julia Takes a Stand
At the beginning of the new academic year, everyone in the class was excited about who will be the captain of the house. Real contest was between two front-runners Julia and Ryan. Both were brilliant in studies and equally talented in sports. The previous year, Ryan was the winner of badminton championship and member of the basketball team who won the tournament while Julia won the inter-house swimming competition and she was runner’s up in chess competition.
Ryan was strong and overconfident. He liked nothing more in the world than to win. He loved winning at whatever it may be: sports, art, singing... everything. He was without doubt to become a captain. No one in the school dared to challenge him. However, Julia decided to contest against Ryan to prove that girls are also equally competent in all criteria.
To choose the captain, School Sports Committee decided to organize a competition among these two contestants. They scored equally in the academic, singing, art and debate. Now the decision to pick the captain will be taken based on the outcome of sports competition.
The judges wanted to test them in all aspect. They agreed to give them a chance to prove themselves in a neutral sports event in which none of them were proficient. The contest was to run across the campus to the finish line carrying a jute bag on their head. The jute bag has to be filled with a substance of their choice from the given option of cotton, sand, grass or wood.
On the day of the contest, from students to teachers everyone was excited to watch the competition and anxious to see the winner. Everyone assembled in front of the stand near the playground. The weather was cloudy and both, Ryan and Julia were looking confident in their tracksuits. When the race began, Ryan chose the carry jute bag full of cotton while Julia selected a bag full of sand to carry on her head. As expected, Ryan was leading the race and was an obvious winner for the viewers. Suddenly, the wind picked up as the thunderstorm arrived and drops of rain began to fall. The cotton on the heads of Ryan absorbed the rainwater and became heavy while the sand and rainwater on Julia’s head passed through the holes in the jute bag. This made easier for her to continue running at the same speed while it became difficult for Ryan to carry the heavy load on his head and slowed him down. Finally, Julia won the race.
After winging, Julia told the gathering that she opted to carry the sandbag after looking at the weather around and anticipating an imminent rainfall. She took the race with intelligence and applied presence of mind. Everyone cheered her with applaud. From then on, Ryan who had loved winning gave up wanting to win all the time.