Some people just say ‘hello’ and you know things are about to get interesting – sometimes good, sometimes not-so-good, but always interesting. Sporty is one of those people, and I don’t imagine that I’m the only one who responds to him that way. Sporty is always surrounded by people. He’s an in-demand life of the party man who wins even more attention for pretending not to love it as much as he does.
We met as guest speakers at an event; from the moment he introduced himself, his words were worth gold to me – though I can’t begin to tell you why. He laughed when I told him my name, and said “Man, with a name like that you could do anything!” I lived off that one sentence for the next two weeks - we were strangers, and his encouragement carried more weight than all the love I was surrounded with.
He didn’t know that just the month before I’d experienced my first panic attack. Or that I was seriously wondering if I needed to be on stress leave. He didn’t know that I had less confidence than I’ve had in years, or that I was hoping to be as unnoticed as a guest speaker can be, and that his words were more than perfect.
We don’t chat all that often, but whenever we do, he leaves me with words that build me up, encourage me, and put wind back in my sails. He called me before a major event of the Christmas season and left a voice message that just said 'own the room tonight.' He’s a bit of a flirt and a charmer – the kind of a man whose words I’d normally discount, but for some reason that is impossible with him.
Also impossible is the flip answer I’ve spent so much time and energy polishing. He hugs me, asks how things are going, and for some reason I want to pour a gin and tell him all about it. Last week we ran into each other, and he only had time to whisper ‘you got this.’ I don’t know what ‘this’ is, but I believe him. Sporty is my favourite cheerleader. He’s my fairy godfather. I wish everyone had a Sporty.
1. Describe a time when the content of your character was tested.
2. Write about a chance meeting that has stayed with you ever since.