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August 31, 2014
The gentle, morning breeze that blows against my steady body brings chills to my skin, but in a calming way. I close my eyes as I see another small gust of wind forming in the leaves of a nearby tree, trusting the moving air not to knock me over. As the wind declines, I inhale a breath of fresh air and exhale what feels like all my recent worries away. All the bad things that have happened to me -- happened to all of us. Gone. The thought of mother tracking Wakato and I down and finding us only for her to make us miserable again is just a distant theory. Me and my conflicted thoughts toward Avatar Kentaro? Like it never happened. The battle at the Beifong Estate? The man is in jail with no chance of escaping. Everything is perfect. Everything is the way that it should be. I just wish that my brother and Ryoma were back from their trip into town to enjoy this moment with me.
The wind starts back up again, but this time it feels more powerful. As I open my eyes, I catch the sight of this circle of wind surrounding me rapidly. The tornado-like wind forming around me catches me in its grip and into the air, making me completely vulnerable. Woah! This is nuts! I have no control of what I'm seeing, so earthbending a rock threw the tornado is impossible! As my body aimlessly spins around, higher into the air, I look down at the sight of Kentaro bending the air around me. I can't hear very well with the air spinning around me, but I think he's laughing at this idea he had.
"KENT! GET ME DOWN RIGHT NOW!" I yell over the winds' roars. After another few seconds of having his own fun, Kentaro listens to my request, and slowly brings me back down on the ground.
"What were you doing; meditating? You're an earthbender, not an airbender," Kentaro states as he continues to laugh. I roll my eyes at his immature way to catch my attention. "Real funny," I reply sarcastically. "Speaking of earthbending, how's training going? Oh that's right! You've been here a whole week already, and have made zero progress with both me and Ryoma as your teachers!"
I show off a smirk, but Kentaro's face goes from a smile to a sad frown. He quickly turns away from me and starts to slowly walk away. Was it something I said? He was just laughing about his joke a second ago. I say one thing to get back at him, and now he's being all pitiful? So what? It's just earthbending. I wasn't the best at it when I first started training, but father got me back up on my feet. Now, I'm a master. What's his problem? Did I hurt his feelings? This is what I deserve for trying too hard at being funny.
"Kent? KENT? Hey, Kentaro! AVATAR! Come back!" Kentaro continues to walk away, further into the yard. "Wait up!" I yell as I run for him. As I make it to his side, his eyes are closed and he's making a pouty face.
"Hey, what's wrong?"
"Nothing! Leave me alone!" Kentaro demands as his mood changes from sad to angry.
At first, I thought about leaving him alone like he wants. No, I said something wrong, and I'm going to help him through this. It's the least I can do for bringing out this side of him. "Kent, I'm sorry if I said something that made you unhappy. Can we please talk about it?"
Kentaro stops in his footsteps, causing me to back up in my own. He lets out a long, annoyed sounding sigh, but still refuses to open his eyes. "Fine, if it'll make you feel happier." Kentaro walks over to the rock area that I was still at before he interrupted me with his airbending. I sat next to him, waiting patiently for him to start talking. Minutes go by without him saying a word. Is he alright? I wish he would tell me what's bugging him about earthbending?
"...I'm really insecure about my inability to earthbend," Kentaro begins. "When I was fourteen, I became a master at waterbending, but I had no idea that I was the Avatar at that time, so I thought my training was over. For about a year and a half, I helped my mother teach waterbending to the little kids in our village. Then came along my sixteenth birthday; the day I was told of my Avatar identity. The Fire Sages showed up at the South Pole and announced to the entire tribe that I was the Avatar. I was given a whole day to say my goodbyes, but that was it for me at the South Pole. I was told by the Fire Sages that the next element in line for me to master was earthbending. I was incredibly eager to begin my training again! Them and myself traveled by boat to the Earth Kingdom. When I got there, I met a really kind earthbending master that was honored to train the Avatar. I spent a whole two weeks with him. Nothing. No earthbending from me whatsoever. It has been my most horrible trait as the Avatar so far. Rather than trying to break the block I was having with earthbending, my teacher grew impatient and told me to travel to the Fire Nation, where I was grateful to catch on to firebending so quickly. After that, I mastered airbending, and now I'm back at my earthbending block. I'm a week back in at training, and I'm still having issues."
Wow. Kentaro's story has really made me feel sorry for him, and also terrible for bringing back memories that he actually didn't want to talk about. He may be the Avatar, but he's not a perfect human being. Not everything can come easy to anyone, and I guess earthbending is just not his element.
"I'm sorry that earthbending doesn't come easy to you. I had no idea you felt so down about being unable to do it...but I know you'll get it eventually."
"You really think I can?"
"Come on, Kent, you're the Avatar. If you can master the other three elements to perfection, you can do it with earth. And hey, admitting your struggles is the first step in overcoming them! You're probably a better earthbender already!"
"Well thanks for the encouragement, but I doubt admitting to my insecurities will make me a better earthbender."
"You don't know unless you try, right? I mean, don't you feel better getting that off your chest?"
"Well now that you mention it, I kinda do."
"And don't think you're the only one that was bad at earthbending at their first attempts. I discovered my earthbending at age three, and I struggled terribly at first. It was frustrated, and I didn't want to believe that I was actually an earthbender, but my father motivated me to keep trying. Guess what? It worked. So you know what? You, Avatar Kentaro, are an earthbender and you can do it! You just have to keep trying!"
The way Kentaro stares deeply into my eyes with his own pair of sky blue ones changes from a look of disbelief to a look of determination. His eyebrows go from being raised to being downward. I did it. I said just what he needed to hear. All he had to do was open up to me. Now, he just needs to earthbend and Ryoma and I can officially start training him.
"You're right, Naomi. I can earthbend, I just need to keep trying."
At that moment, Kentaro jumps off the rock we were sitting on. He rushes a few feet from be and turns around, facing me. Before I can jump off the rock, Kentaro gets into an earthbending stance that Ryoma taught him. He lifts his arms in to the air, and rapidly pulls them back towards himself. I think he's trying to do the move again, but instead lays his arms straight in front of him, making his hands look like claws. The earth beneath the rock I'm sitting on begins to rumble. Is he doing that? Is he actually earthbending for the first time?
Before I know it, I, along with the rock I'm sitting upon, is floating in midair, but it's not because of airbending. It's earthbending. It's not because of me, Ryoma, or Hayao. It's Kentaro. He's doing it! He's really earthbending! It's so incredible that he picked it up after a short motivational speech, that it has left be unable to talk.
A few moments later, Kentaro bends the rock back onto the ground where it originally was. The drop down was a bit shaky, but as I regain my balance, I jump off the rock, and rush over to Kentaro, wrapping my arms around his neck tightly. I think I stunned him with the embrace, because it takes him a few seconds before he places his arms around my lower back. Wait, what am I doing? Yeah, Kentaro and I are slowly becoming friends, but a hug as warm as this within a week and not liking him to begin with? This is a little too much!
I quickly let go of him, feeling my cheeks flow with warm blood out of embarrassment. "Sorry...I'm just so proud of you! How did you do that out of nowhere?"
"What can I say? I guess I just needed a little pep talk," Kentaro states with a confident smile.
"I'll say, that was seriously impressive! Wait till Ryoma and Wakato hear about this! They'll be pleased to know you've made progress!"
"Progress? I just bent a gigantic rock with an amazing person on it off the ground for the first time! That's not progress, that's an accomplishment!"
He has a poin--wait did he just call me an amazing person? That means a lot coming from the Avatar.
"Amazing person? We've only known each other for a week!"
"Yeah, but I would have never earthbended today if it wasn't for you! Not even that nice master I met years ago gave me a speech with so much belief in my abilities. You, Naomi, are an amazing person for unblocking my, let alone the Avatar's, bending block."
"Well, get prepared, because now, your training is going to start getting intense."
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