“Oh, shut up.” Rainbow moaned as she tried to pull her favorite jacket closed, hoping to hide her bulging figure. But even that simple feat was impossible to do now. What used to be a pretty comfortable fit now only hung open around her chest, no longer able to be zipped up. After a few more tugs, she finally gave up and left it as is. “Whatever.”
She walked down the hallways of her school in search of Coach Spitfire’s office, still aching from the tryouts despite having the weekend to recover. Her fat body bouncing along with each step certainly wasn’t helping relieve any of the soreness. Before Friday, she hadn’t realized just how rusty her athletic skills had become. She definitely got an earful about it from the coach. It seemed like her New Years’ resolution wasn’t exactly going as planned. It wouldn’t surprise her if she already gained another pound. But right now, she had other things she needed to deal with.
Navigating through the confusingly disorganized room numbers, Rainbow tried to make a mental checklist of what she needed to ask her new coach. In the span of just a few days, she went from stressing out about failing the tryouts to being confused about how she even passed it at all. Now, after a few days of clearing her head, she just wanted answers.
After a bit of time, she soon came across an open door. Although it didn’t have a name or a plaque anywhere, it was decorated with a bumper sticker with the words ‘CLOUDSDALE PROUD’ printed in bold lettering. Definitely the coach’s office.
Rainbow peeked in and found Coach Spitfire sitting behind her desk, typing away on her computer. Scattered throughout the room were various boxes, some opened while others were still sealed up. Seemed like she was still unpacking her things. Reluctant to interrupt someone as hot-tempered as her, Rainbow gently knocked against the door. “Hi, ma’am. Can I speak with you for a moment?”
The coach looked up and actually smiled back. “Oh, hey, it’s you! Sure, come on in!”
She certainly wasn’t expecting that. After having such an aggressive voice shouting orders around, Rainbow was really surprised to hear it with a much friendlier tone. Now feeling a tremendous weight off her shoulders, Rainbow stepped in. “Yeah, I was at the tryouts on Friday. I’m…”
“Rainbow Dash. Yeah, I already know all about you.”
“Yeah, I was just looking through your file a moment ago. As soon as I saw that hair of yours, I knew you had the one and only.” She explained as she got up and reached her hand out. “Pleased to meet you.”
“Oh, thank you, ma’am!” Rainbow smiled back as they shook hands. It was very brief, but she couldn’t help but notice how fit and firm the coach’s grip was. It made her own hands feel quite soft and doughy by comparison. In fact, Spitfire looked pretty trim overall as Rainbow watched her circle around her desk.
“You know, I even caught a few games you played last year,” Spitfire added, crossing and leaning back casually on her desk. “They weren’t kidding when they said you were the fastest on the team.”
“Well, they don’t call me Rainbow DASH for nothing,” the young athlete said with a cocky smirk on her face. And she knew deep down that she truly deserved that title.
When she and her friends came across those magical geodes during their stay at Camp Everfree, they were each granted their own special abilities. And for Rainbow, that was super-speed. Though she’s been tempted many times, she’s never used it once during practices or events. Not only was out of good sportsmanship, but she also wanted to earn her way to the top. After hearing praise from a real Cloudsdale Academy graduate, Rainbow felt a whole new sense of pride.
“It’s a shame you let yourself go, though,” the coach then remarked rather indifferently.
And just as quickly as it came up, her sense of pride began crashing back down. “Oh, yeah. About that-”
“Thinking back, you were actually pretty sluggish during the tryouts.”
“I know that, ma’am. But-”
“I mean, ten minutes in, and you looked like you were gonna keel over like a land-whale. Felt so sorry for you, I almost wanted to throw you a doughnut or something,” Spitfire chuckled as she gave Rainbow’s flabby gut a poke. “It was actually kinda sad to look at. And a little funny. Actually, it was mostly funny.”
“Alright! I get it,” Rainbow interjected, trying not to let her frustrations get the better of her. “But that’s what I wanted to ask you about. I mean, you saw that I was 15 pounds over the required weight. So I don’t get why you let me on the team.”
Spitfire shrugged. “Well, you may be lagging on everything else, but I have a feeling you still got some of the quick moves we need, even if you’re not as light on your feet anymore. So, I decided to bend the rules a bit.”
Rainbow felt her confidence rising up once again, though it was more of a bittersweet feeling this time around. “You have no idea how awesome that is to hear that. I’ve been so excited to play again!”
“That’s good to hear.” Spitfire happily winked before immediately flipping her tone a complete 180. “But don’t think I’m gonna go easy on you just cause you can’t put the fork down, fatty! Cause with me in charge, food’s gonna be the last thing you’ll be thinking about! GOT IT?!”
“Tomorrow morning, 0600 hours, I’ll be whipping this whole team into shape, especially you, goalie,” the coach barked as she prodded Rainbow’s fleshy shoulders.
“Goalie? But I always played midfield!”
“You used to play midfield, just like how you used to weigh two hundred pounds lighter. Times change, Thunder Thighs. You’re built like a tank now, so you may as well act like one.”
“And what about the rest of the team? They can’t be in that much better shape than me!”
Spitfire rolled her eyes before turning back towards the clipboard on her desk. “Let’s see…” She took a second to skim through her notes. “I have Velvet Sky listed here as the second heaviest on the team. Strong legs make up for lack of speed. Perfect for forward position. 237 pounds. 63 less than you. Need I go on?”
Rainbow simply sighed, seeing no point in arguing any longer. “No, ma’am.”
“Good. Anyway, I can’t have you getting any softer than you already are. So you better start watching your diet. Not gonna have you turn into a half-ton blimp on me. Got it?”
Her nerves were settling back in once again. “Yes, ma’am.”
“Good. You’re dismissed,” the coach ordered as she turned back to her seat.
Rainbow wanted to retort, but feeling drained from this emotional rollercoaster of a meeting, the only thing she could utter was another apathetic “yes, ma’am” before turning to leave.
“Oh, and one more thing,” the coach stopped her before Rainbow even set foot out of the room. “If you don’t mind, call me Spitfire. Hearing ‘ma’am’ all the time just makes me feel kinda old.”
Rainbow turned back towards her and smiled. Maybe, with all things considered, this new coach won’t be so bad. “Alright. I’ll see you tomorrow, Spitfire.”
“Hmm… On second thought, call me ‘ma’am’. Sounds more powerful.”
“Oh, uh… sure thing, ma’am.” Or maybe this whole thing’s gonna be a disaster.