My muscles burn. You know that feeling when you’ve done a great workout, and you know you are going to be hurting tomorrow; well that is me today. I try to sit up in bed and my limbs scream at me. Coach finally killed me; however, I still have to go to school today. So I pry myself out from under my comforter and swing my dead legs over the side. Ouch. The cold ground burns my feet and I try to stand. Yep. Nope. I fall backwards and land on my bed. Thankfully my head did not collide with the wall behind me. Well this sucks; I should have stretched more after my shower. Hopefully my last resort is home, “Hey Dad. Can you come help me?”
I just hear panicked feet scurying around and then suddenly my door bursts open. My dad looks frightened; crumbs from his breakfast still linger in his mustache. He walks over to me, “What’s wrong son?”
“I hurt. Can you help me stand,” I say knowing he probably thinks I’m joking.
Dad sighs and then laughs as reaches down and grabs my arm. He sits next to me, drapes my arm over his shoulders, and pulls me up into a standing position. “Your Coach is doing his job I see, and I like it!”
I laugh, “Thanks Dad.” Still standing with my Dad’a support I feel my stance becomeing stronger, as I slowly take all of my weight. “Thanks Dad. I should be good now,” I say trying to untangle myself from him.
He gives me back my arm, but he still is beside me. He keeps an arm hovering around my waist incase I decide to fall again.
“Don’t worry about it. Father’s are supposed to be there no matter what. Even if it’s to help their sixteen year old son to stand in his young years. Just think in the future there will be a day I yell for you to come help me get up from bed,” He finishes while doing a deep belly laugh.
I can’t imagine my dad old. For sure and no doubt, I will be taking care of him in his older years. I’m finally feeling good. I swat my Dad’s hovering arm away and take some small steps around my room. Painful but doable. “Thanks, I’m good now.”
“No problem Son. Call me if you need me to help you with the stairs; we could look into one of those machnical chairs if you want,” he chuckled basically calling me an old grandpa.
Hopefully Coach gives us a break today, because I don’t know if I will survive, or even before. I did not need my Dad’s help at the stairs; I grab my breakfast and lunch money. Again picking up Matthew up today. This time, I wasn’t about to share what happened yesterday.
“Hey Matthew, how are you feeling today,” I call out to him as he lilmps to the car. It seemed like one hundred years had passed before he climbed into the passenger seat.
Glares. Just glares. “Hopefully you are feeling worse than I am. If not I might help you,” he said as he was about to punch my legs.
Reacting quickly but regretting my sudden movement, “Don’t worry about that. Coach held me back after you all left and I did about fifteen hundred more yards.”
“Good. You deserve to be dying,” content with my misery, he settled back into the seat.
We just drove silently to school; probably we were both gathering up our energy. We parked in our normal spot, and we pretty much fell out of the car; the first time I hated my jeep’s height. People were staring at us like we were weird. I wish non swimmers would understand, but unless they want to try a day in the life of a swimmer they never will. About ten minutes later we reach where both Ken and Jerry were laying plastered to the lunch table. They are so still they actually look dead. No pranks or jokes today. Matthew and I walk up to them and said a collective, “Hey.”
Jerry’s head lifts slowly and then Ken follows his action. They have the same expression that Matthew had earlier, just glares.
“Don’t worry Coach killed him after we left. He is probably hurting more than us,” Matthew said relishing in my pain.
“Good,” Ken and Jerry said together.
“Yeah, I had to have my Dad help me out of bed today,” knowing that the jokes woould be brutal, but that they would liven up after my
statement. As if instantly, we all busted out in laughter. Only to quickly regret it because our cores were now in stabbing pain.
The first bell chimed. Matthew and I helpled Jerry and Ken up and we stumbled our way to our homeroom. Excited to sit in our chairs, but dreading having to stand again afterwards.
Homeroom was the same. However, Ms. Chaplen kept looking at us four with a quizzical look. She asked Ken to come up front and write something for her. She cancelled that request after she witnessed Ken trying to get himself up from his seat for about a full minute.
The bell rang and Ms. Chaplen came towards us, “Are you four okay?”
We collectively said ‘yes, and not to worry. Just swimming stuff.‘ She seemed okay with our response and she let us leave. We four walked out of the classroom into Jenny and her girls. Not caring about how we are percieved we just stood there trying to hold up our own weight.
“Hey George,” Jenny said like always.
“You guys okay?” Brit said instantly. “You look like zombies,” she ended with a laugh.
We would have laughed but it is just too painful. I answered for the group, “No. Coach just killed us yesterday and the aftermath is what you are seeing now.”
“Seems like your coach is one tough cookie. I’m happy I didn’t join the team when I had thought about it,” Brit continued.
“Well we have to head out,” Ken and Jerry said slowly walking away, “we don’t now how long it’s going to take us to get to class.” We watched as they limped away to their class. Matthew was the next to leave. He didn’t look as hurt as earlier but he wasn’t walking at his normal pace.
“Yeah we should head over too. And don’t worry about me I’ll be there eventually if you all want to go ahead.”
“Don’t worry about it. Our teacher likes me. I’ll stick with you and she won’t mark you tardy if I’m with you. If anything just walk more like a zombie and I’ll claim I helping a hurt person,” Brit said as she stepped to my right; swinging my arm over her shoulder attempting to give me extra support.
Brit was great that way; helping without any expections or reward. Noticing that Jenny wasn’t speaking. I looked at her and she gave me a smile, “I’m coming,” Jenny said as she took position on my left. No surprise that Chelsea and Addison rushed on ahead.
We just slowly worked our way to the classroom. The second bell had gone off, and time was ticking by, “Jenny, just go on ahead and get to class. Brit will stay with me and hopefully her magic of being teacher’s pet will help me out. If anything you can let the teacher know the situation if it takes longer.”
At first I thought she didn’t hear me. But she nodded and walked on to the classroom. We were probably about ten feet from the door as the third bell chimed and the teacher was walking in the classroom. Brit left my side and waved our teacher down. As Brit said, she convinced the teacher to let my lateness slide.
We got to our seats and I plopped into mine. I turned to Brit, “Thanks Brit. My dreams of the Montana school would have been shattered if not for you.”
“No problem George. But hush the teacher is starting,” Brit finished as she turned back to the teacher.
Good’o Brit maintaining her teacher’s pet title.