Either of the choices offered was bad. Thus, Debbie chose neither. Among all the principals in their university, Curtis Lu, the elder son of the Lu family, took charge of all things regarding management. Pissing off a principal was the last thing she wanted.
Nonetheless… Debbie clicked her tongue. Compared to the principals of other universities who were in their fifties, their principal, Curtis, was really appealing.
Being only thirty, Curtis had already been working as one of the principals of the university for two years. That went with the fact that he had gained plenty of admirers. How wouldn't you fall for someone with such charming looks and stellar competency?
If Debbie were to be in opposition towards Curtis, her list of arch-enemies would lengthen and she didn't want that.
Furthermore, he was one of Carlos' confidants and just like him, Curtis was also part of the four wealthiest families in Y city.
Messing with any person who had contact or relations with Carlos meant trouble for her.
Comfortingly, Jared and her other friends had signed up for the half marathon, too.
It lightened her heart to know that she wouldn't be alone throughout the whole race.
Speaking of 13.1 miles, Debbie turned sour. 'Oh God, why did I let my anger get the best of me…' Debbie sighed deeply. 'I feel like I'm going to die and I'm sure I will.'
Then, what Gail had said to her echoed inside her mind. 'You know, there's always another way if you don't want to race. You can just shout "Carlos, I love you!" ten times, and then I'll let you off, ' Gail had told her.
Groaning, Debbie presumed that this had to be one of Gail's dirty tricks she had come up with after she had learned about Carlos' burning hatred for women. A sadistic plan, indeed.
Carefully deliberating upon the three choices Gail had given her, she ended up choosing one.
Finally came the day of the race, and the skies took on a shade of grey. Wearing the marathon shirt along with her friends, Debbie was warming up before the event started.
When she and her friends saw a former silver medalist of the full marathon appear on the track, their mouths gaped. They were screwed. "This is bad. This is really, really bad," all chorused in anxiety. "Jail Mu!" Debbie gritted her teeth, "I'll remember this!"
"That bitch!" Jared cursed, agitated. "How dare she play us like this! I'll let her know who exactly she's dealing with!"
Silence dawned upon Debbie as she was furious at Gail, but mostly herself. If anger had not gotten the best of her, none of this would be happening. Not just falling for Gail's rotten scheme, she ended up also dragging her friends into it.
Feeling a hand on her shoulder, Debbie saw Kasie beaming. "Hey, just don't push yourself, alright? If you can't go on, stop. We can always just go for the second option to lock up the principal. It's no big deal."
This time, Kasie weighed Debbie's options herself. The first was definitely ruled out. There was no way Debbie would chase after Gus. 'As for the third…' Kasie shook her head in disapproval. 'No. With what happened at the mall? I don't think it'd even be a good idea to consider.' The best option was to keep Debbie away from Carlos. With two out of three crossed out, only the one regarding Curtis remained.
But, dealing with Curtis wasn't any easier. "What kinds of stupid choices are these?!" Kasie stated angrily. "This should be considered harassment!"
Embracing Kasie, Debbie remarked, "Don't worry. I've won other races, though the distances weren't so long. I'm sure I can make it this time. Besides, it's also my first time running a half marathon, so why don't I make the most of it?" The humiliation of Debbie was Gail's goal, but sadly that would never happen.
"Besides," Debbie continued as she released Kasie, "Jail Mu is the last person I'd never want to lose to."
"Tomboy, no matter what everyone else says, you're my hero!" Kristina declared. "I have faith in you!" The number of trophies Debbie had won really blew her mind.
Playfully blowing Kristina a kiss, Debbie confidently grinned. "I have faith in myself, too. Now, let's get to our positions and win this thing!" "Yeah!"
The group stuck together and stayed in their assigned positions. Having finalized their line up, only then did they take easy. Everyone knew that having an effective line-up might alleviate the difficulty of attaining victory.
More than six thousand runners had signed up for this half marathon and there were five hundred volunteers. Acquaintances of the runners participating in this half marathon from nearby universities had come to cheer and support for them.
Various fans had appeared at the venue as well -- fans of the former Olympic winner, some superstars, and the silver medalist of the full marathon. Either side of the track at the starting line was taken over by a sea of people coming over to cheer.
Officially starting off the event, a host entered and gave the opening remarks. "To all guests, runners, referees at the venue, good morning. On this beautiful day, we all gather here in the New District of Y City…"
The host droned on with his speech and Debbie grew drowsy. Next, the deafening sound of the whistle reverberated throughout the track; all shot forward and dashed. Waves of cheers rang in the air; all supported their own favorite. Unexpectedly, there were people who were rooting for Debbie.
"Go! Debbie! Go!"
"You can do it, Debbie!"
Upon hearing her name being chanted, Debbie turned to see ten-odd classmates of hers had turned up to support her.
"Woah, look at our classmates today!" Jared said in awe. "They're doing amazing!"
"Sure they are," Kristina replied as she glanced at Dixon. "Clearly, you and the class monitor had given them orders. Who'd dare not heed your orders?"
There was no need to lie. The two of them did request people to come and cheer.
"Ugh, come on Kristina!" Jared bleated. "Would it kill you to keep it a secret?"
Elevated by the gesture, Debbie patted both Jared and Dixon on their backs. "Thanks, guys. I'll do my best. I won't let you guys down."
"Tomboy, don't pressure yourself," Dixon voiced his concern. "Even if you lose, we'll be right there for you whether you select saying 'I like you' to Gus or locking Mr. Lu in his office." Considering the unpleasant events that occurred between her and Carlos, Dixon didn't think Debbie would consider the third choice.
"Alright. I'll keep that in mind," Debbie commented. "You guys better live up to your words as you'll be with me when I say 'I like you' to Gus!" Having such good-hearted friends are hard to come by and Debbie felt incredibly lucky to have them by her size.
"Right on, Tomboy!" Kasie interjected with a grin. "Take both of them with you and maybe Gus will find one of them handsome and he'll forget all about you!"
That triggered the girls' titter. Meanwhile, Dixon and Jared rushed over to Kasie and raised rushed over to Kasie and raised their fist high. A scream escaped from Kasie's lips. Distracted, they failed to hear that the gun was fired. All runners already got a head-start.
The fist one to act was Kristina, Then all followed suit after. "Run!" Kristina burst out. "We're already behind!"
Placing first within their group was Kasie. Closing in behind her was Jared.
"What came over to you to feed Debbie such a feeble idea, Kasie?" Jared huffed. "You better run faster, because you'll be dead meat if I catch up!"
"Hey. We just started." Debbie pulled Jared's shirt. "Slow down. You'd be tired in fee moments if you keep this up." Winning doesn't just rely on sheer luck; you have to consider strategy as well. As a person who loved sports, Debbie knew that starting with a full sprint was a terrible idea.
Half an hour transpired. The runners that had previously had so much energy now had close to none.
Most weren't even running, but walking.
Inside the VIP lounge of the university, a haughty man smoked a cigarette as he spectated the live broadcast of the half marathon in front of a wide screen television.
"Design Collection for Y City Half Marathon Event from the Star of Y City Design Contest, including the designs for the poster, the eco-friendly bag, and the official mascot. Mr. Huo, are all of these okay?" Tristan Zheng, one of Carlos' assistants, inquired after completing his report. Being the biggest sponsor of the event, Carlos remained impassive, with his lips pressed.