CORY GATHERED THE dirty clothes from the bathroom floor and headed back to her room. Jess sat cross-legged on her bed, scrolling through the screen on her phone. She glanced up.
“Hey, you must be excited about tomorrow.”
“Excited’s one word for it.” Cory stuffed her dirty clothes in the hamper.
Jess set the phone aside. “What’s the matter?”
How could she explain? “I dunno. It’s just that a lot’s riding on this, and . . .” She struggled into a sweatshirt and zipped it up. The air conditioning was freezing.
“And what? You’ve been doing great.”
Cory perched on the edge of her bed. “Thanks. But that’s the thing, too. Epi feels a little weird lately, like not herself. Tonight when we were practicing over some simple jumps, she tripped.”
“Maybe she was tired. You guys have been working pretty hard lately.”
Cory scooted back and leaned against the wall. “Yeah, could be. But if we don’t do well, I’ll feel like I let them all down.” She thought about the piles of bills on Vee’s kitchen table and the fact that Angela was always waiting in the wings to make them—but especially Vee—look bad.
Jess grabbed Cory’s leg and gave it a shake. “Hey, you’ll do great. What was it you told me once? Oh, yeah, you were born to do this.”
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