Well, here it is then, hope you'll enjoy it! Note that is not the same genre as the stories I wrote in the SS, you won't find much humour in this one.
Also keep in mind that this story is supposed to be read by people who do not know that this story is about Elena. So when you start reading it, pretend like you don't know it's about Elena. Pretend like you're a complete stranger that has never heard of her before!
Well, here goes:
The skies were dark above the metropolis of New York. Heaven was enlightened by several sporadic stars whose light had traveled millions of years to now eventually be reflected upon her eyes. Beneath her, she heard the sounds of a city forever on the move. A little bit like her, thus…
It was late, and she had no idea of the amount of time that she had already found herself upon the balcony of her hotel room. Inside, she knew that she wouldn’t get much sleep even if she tried, and it happened more often that she completely lost herself in her own thoughts anyway. She could then daydream for hours, and this has once again been one of those moments. She sat there, with her ankles over the edge of the balcony’s railing which had already left its mark on them, completely gone from this world. The view from the 14th floor was breathtaking, and had only endorsed her dreaming. Her long, blonde hair hung loose over her shoulders, as the braids from several hours before had thus disappeared. From the very first seconds she sat down she could feel melancholia rising within. Several months ago, in Paris, she had spent a part of her night the same way. But now, there was so much more for her to think about…
No, September 11 wasn’t her day, even though this defeat was of course nothing compared to what happened three years earlier… or compared to the drama in Beslan back home. She herself though maybe realized that more than anyone else. Nevertheless, all that didn’t change anything about the fact that she had rather seen this day end just a little differently. Of course she didn’t envy her opponent for winning today, but she just could not hide that she was deeply disappointed in herself after having lost this final. Beyond any doubt she had provided television from the top shelf as she had seemingly stared into oblivion for minutes just after the match…
No, nobody can completely hide his emotions, and Elena Dementieva was no exception… The disappointment of this second lost final in only a few months time was simply too big to hide, because she wanted so badly… She so desperately wanted to clinch this victory after her defeat at Roland Garros and the deception at the courts of Wimbledon and Athens. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. And even though she, just like the rest of the world, knew that her first Grand Slam-victory would only be a matter of time, this defeat hurt nevertheless. More than the defeat in Paris, because there she had been overwhelmed by her nerves and also because she was facing her best friend in the circuit and maybe even in her entire life. This time, however, it had not been her nerves, but it had been her opponent that put her aside with mighty tennis during the first set and only needed a single break in the second to win the match. There, where for so many years she had been Russia’s greatest hope to win a tournament such as a Grand Slam, she was still empty-handed while three of her compatriots had already proceeded her by now…
“Today she was the better player”, she had admitted just after the match. But she might as well could have said that she herself simply was not good enough a challenge today. And in that thought she could find a little bit of comfort, even hope, as a little smile appeared on her face. She knew that she hadn’t played her best tennis today, and it filled her with hope for the future. “I feel that my day will come, eventually…”
And with that thought she awoke from what seemed like a trance. Just in time to hear someone knocking on the door. A smile appeared on her face as she rose to answer it. This could only be one person, she knew. And indeed, she opened the door and looked down on the woman that had been very close to her heart for the past twenty-two years.
”You’ve been my mother for 22 years now”, she said with a smile, “I knew you would come knocking on my door sooner or later.”
”You’ve been my daughter for 22 years now”, she replied in kind, “I knew by far that you wouldn’t be asleep already after a night like this.”
It was a typical illustration for the bond she had with her mother. They knew each other into their cores and were virtually inseparable. She waved her mother in and closed the door behind her. Her mother yet stood on the balcony staring over the New Yorkian skyline as Elena accompanied her. She saw the red mark the railing had left on Elena’s ankle. “Been daydreaming again, girl?”, she asked while she kept her eyes fixed on the ankle in question so her daughter would understand what she was talking about.
Elena answered with a significant ‘hmm’, followed by a little smile as she sat back down again.
”How often didn’t you use to do this back in the days you were young?” her mother started recollecting memories.
”I think I’ve lost count by now… but this time it’s not really out of my own free will, I’m afraid…”
Accidentally, she created a short, unwanted silence by saying this.
”What time is it anyway?”, she asked a few moments later.
”Half past three…”
She sighed briefly. “I wanted this so badly, mama…”
”I know girl, I know. But look at it from the bright side: you defeat players like Mauresmo and Capriati, and if you eventually lose, at least you lose from a Russian.”
A big smile appeared on Elena’s face this time. To now seriously talk about the match would be useless, as during the past couple of hours she had already sorted things out for herself. Her mother knew that as well. “Your day will come”, she needlessly added.
Elena as a matter of answer closed her eyes and glanced at the city beneath them as she reopened them. Mother and daughter remained on the balcony for a little while longer, listening to the sounds of the city beneath them.
”That daydreaming is a good habit I inherited from you, mother…”, Elena suddenly whispered. “Very useful when melancholia threatens to overwhelm you…”
”I think it would be better for you now to dream while sleeping, my girl.”
”You’re right”, she sighed. And then with a small, naughty smile: “But I will have to get you out of my room then, first.”
”Alright, alright, I’m going already”, Vera played the game along.
”Quicker, quicker”, Elena smiled as took her mothers arm and rushed her to the door.
Vera turned around a final time as she walked out the door and asked: “Where is your next tournament, Elena?”
A significant ‘don’t ask’-look from Elena was all the answer she needed and while she walked down the corridor she could feel how her daughter’s eyes remained fixed on her until she was out of sight.
Elena closed the door and glanced through the glass of her balcony door while she slowly shuffled back into her room. She knew very well why her mother had asked her that particular question. The next tournament on the WTA-calendar is the tournament of Beijing, a tournament she won last year. And she had also won the following on the calendar. However, this time she would probably not defend her titles there.
I don’t know yet, mama… I think I’ll take a little break now… The world of tennis will still be there when I return.”
She decided to try to get some sleep after all. She took a final glance at the New Yorkian horizon, put her head on her pillow and a little while later Elena Dementieva dreamt of a September 11 that ended just a little differently.