The Competition

Published: Thursday, 04 February 2016 Written by Dominique John Phillip

 

 

I could not believe my ears. The announcer had called my name. I had won the $100, 000.00 prize. I stared at the crowd in astonishment as I walked up to the stage to receive the cheque. I couldn’t believe that I had won, even though the reality was right in front of me. I looked at the audience while they applauded and then at the judges and other competitors and even they had huge congratulatory looks on their faces.

Now, as I look back on the competition, it was probably the best moment of my life. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. I was at the back of a taxi on my way to the competition. As clichéd as it sounds, it was a bright and sunny day and showed no sign of any possibility of rain. So there I was, nervous and patiently waiting for the taxi to reach my destination. I was in my own world reviewing my speech when the taxi driver got my attention and made me aware of the fact that we were stuck in traffic.

Not wanting to be late, I quickly put my speech back into my pant pocket, paid the driver and began to walk to the competition. After walking for roughly two blocks, there was a sudden heavy shower of rain, almost instantly soaking me from head to toe. Fortunately enough, there was a sheltered bus stop just a couple feet away. Once shielded from the rain, I remembered that I had my speech in my pocket. I slowly and carefully removed it, knowing that the worst had happened. My speech, carefully printed on crisp plain paper, was now a soggy mess and the words were barely recognizable.

Although filled with grief and disappointment, I continued on the way my destination. By the time I had gotten there, the sun was shining once more and I was completely dry. On entering the building, I quickly went to the receptionist and asked for some paper and a pen and then quickly sat down and began to brainstorm and pretty soon my pen was gliding along the paper desperately trying to rewrite my lost speech.

I continued my desperate writing for the next hour. In that time I had written about four pages and had to go to the building’s auditorium for the competition. At this time, I was very nervous. My hands felt cold, my heart was racing and I was sweating all over. Once everything started and I listened to some of the competitors before me, I started to feel even worse.

My turn quickly came and as I walked up to the podium, I decided that I would fake my confidence, deliver the speech and hope for the best.

 

Finally, the moment I was dreading had arrived. I looked on with a lot of fear and anxiety as the announcer took to the stage with the results in his hands. I closed my eyes tightly and tried to zone out from what he was saying in an effort to tame my disappointment.

Suddenly, I felt someone violently shaking my shoulder. I opened my eyes and noticed that it was another competitor alerting me that I had won first place. I could not believe my ears. The announcer had called my name. I had won the $100, 000.00 prize.

As I sat back in my chair and looked at my grandchildren, the oldest asked, “So granny, what happened after that?” I slightly giggled before replying, “That’s another story, for another time.”

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