The Academy 2D

Coach Dan leads us through our warm up drills. It’s the same stuff we do in practice — advance/retreat/lunge, vary the pace, keep the front foot pointed forward, don’t turn the back hip in, get that arm out before you lunge.

The Academy fencers have already finished their warm ups, so they’re just standing around, some of us watching us. I wonder what they’re thinking, in their customized jackets and regulation pants, watching us in our ill-fitting second-hand jackets, many of us in jeans which no serious fencer would wear even to a practice. If I were them, I’d certainly think we didn’t belong here, on a campus where the rich from all over the country send their children — no, the students of Bark Bay High School have no place here, we belong back in the town many of us have never left in our lives.

I see them watching us, and can’t help wonder if I’m imagining them judging us, or whether I’m the one who’s doing the judging.

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