shelbycobra: (Smiles in the backyard)
Shelby Manning ([personal profile] shelbycobra) wrote in [community profile] muserevival2017-04-15 04:20 am

145.2.2 - quote

"Sometimes it's not the strength, but gentleness that cracks the hardest shells."

Shelby had been depressed about her birthday. She could still remember the year before, when it had been a fantastic day on the racetrack. It had been the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which she considered a home race given that she had been born in Los Angeles, and she had won it by the most exciting of margins over her hero. It was a special accomplishment for her, then some of the other drivers had presented her with a cake afterward that Helio had tried to shove her face into.

That had all been perfect. But when she returned to her hotel room that afternoon there was no one there waiting. There hadn't been a single family member or friend in the stands to see what she had just been able to do. Nobody she didn't work with had even acknowledged what day it was, and that hurt more than she would admit. She didn't understand how she could be so successful in her professional life and yet personally there was this persistent absence.

She didn't want a repeat of that this year. And she wasn't that optimistic, since in the days leading up to her 31st birthday she was stuck testing at a dreary Texas Motor Speedway before making her way back home. Some of the other drivers had told her an early happy birthday but when two days before she was standing on a wet, cold pit lane with about five people to talk to she didn't think this was going to be a big deal.

And she woke up on Friday like any other day. Had her coffee and her bagel, took the call from her parents in Florida who were enjoying what her dad thought was retirement, and contemplated if she wanted to do anything to acknowledge the occasion herself or just blow it off like every other person had seemed to.

She was halfway packed for the gym when she got the phone call from Charlie, asking her to come by his house that night. He had something he wanted her to look at. Shelby thought it was a bit weird, because they didn't even drive for the same team, but Charlie was a friend so if he asked of course she said yes. She agreed to meet him at five and didn't even think about it until she was driving there.

Her jaw dropped when he let her into the house and she saw everyone there. All of her fellow drivers who lived in the area and their families had turned up for what was quite clearly a surprise party. Shelby was quite honestly speechless for the first time in a long time as she realized that she'd been had.

She thought no one cared about her, but the truth was plenty of people did. They just also liked to get one over on her, too. And she was not ashamed at all when she started crying. This was her best birthday ever.

Shelby Manning
Need For Speed OC
527 words