Some days have passed; I’m not the best at keeping up with my thoughts. I guess I should summarize…Our lawyer took care of everything. Dad gave me a short recap of what happened: Dad is my only legal guardian now, and it is on record that I do not wish to see my mom until I decide otherwise. Jerry did not receive a ticket for driving my jeep, incase any of you were worried; and he was not late to the practice. However today, we as a swim team have died. Coach told us we would be doing a long recovery before our final big meet; which means we would back off in practices and slowly be well rested before our finals. Instead, he recanted that statement, after remembering we had our one last duel swim meet with our rival team. Which happens to be now.
It is a home meet. Which means home pride is a must, especially against our rival school. We are currently in our stretching area preparing for warm-up. Jenny and Brit are in Coach’s office discussing with Coach what to expect; these past few days they have been nervous about their first meet being coaching assistants. Mrs. Bailey agreed to watch Lily; knowing Coach needed one less distraction at this busy meet. Jerry and I were leading the stretching routine as our competitors showed up.
There he was. The star jerk from Mountain High, Jeremy Michaels. He was a real piece of work. I’ve been racing against him since my childhood club days, and he is still the same stuck up moron he has always been. He was with his usual gang. Our rival relay. All those guys are jerks. If I’m calling someone ‘jerk’ know that they truly are. As if hearing me, Jeremey looked in my direction and gave me a “slice your throat”. ‘Yeah. Sure,’ I gave him a confident nod in response to his idiocy. Jeremy just scoffed at me and then they all walked off to the opposite corner of the pool deck to get ready.
“When will that moron ever learn? If he couldn’t beat me when we were young, and he hasn’t won since, what makes him think I will be intimidated by the stupid slice the throat gesture?” I say to Jerry who just snickered in response. “Okay everyone. Let’s begin our normal warm-up. Lower lanes stay away from the other team. Don’t give them any of our space, but don’t let them “accidently” beat you up under the water. Remember what happened to Geoffrey last meet with them?” reminding them, even though it is not hard to forget.
Everyone nodded in agreement. Geoffrey is no longer on the team. At our last swim meet against Mountain High, he was given a black eye and a severe concussion. Nothing could be proven because swimming can occasionally be a contact sport in warm-up situations. Geoffrey’s parents removed him from the team afterwards.
“Okay then, let’s begin,” I jump into the cold water, knowing that this meet will be different than the rest.
Thankfully no one was hurt during our warm-up. When we were on our interval quick sets, the other team got into the pool with us. At least they stayed in their lanes, and didn’t try to bully the slower swimmers into moving. Coach was behind our lanes waiting for us to get out and start our dives. Jenny and Brit were there behind Coach; they looked stunned and also confused. Swim meets are a completely different type of crazy than practices. There are almost double the amount of bodies in the pool and probably twenty more people behind the blocks preparing to be the stopwatches. It is mad chaos if you don’t know what to expect.
I climbed out of the pool first, “Get out! Let’s go! Everyone needs to do at least three individual dives and those doing relays, practice two relay exchanges.” I knew what Coach was going to say, and since he was “babysitting the co assistants” I just took over. Everyone followed my lead and began their dives.
The teammates who were not doing relays needed to do a short cooldown and were done. They exited and the rest of us lined up for our relay exchanges. There is a logic to lining up; you have to be in the order of your relay race. Everyone’s exchanges are different; you have to get accustomed to your person as much as possible. Because in a relay if you leave the blocks before your person touches the wall, you disqualify the entire relay. Which sucks! We did that twice in Freshman year; never again after Coach gave us an earful, and non stop relays for two hours.
After a short cooldown we were finally done. I looked over to the other team, and they were sitting there watching us. ‘Lazy’ is all I could think. ‘Whatever. If they want to slack off that’s their deal.’ “Let’s go guys. We should relax before our races,” I beckon to Jerry, Ken, and Matthew who were still floating in the water.
“A swim meet is completely different from practices. Is it always this chaotic?” Jenny said as we came towards Coach.
“Jerry and George, make sure to be at the captains meeting at the beginning. Make sure to be respectable. Even if your opponents are not,” Coach said as he turned to look at the group of swimmers goofing off in the pool. “GET OFF THE LANE LINES!” Coach screamed at Jeremy and the others, and they begrudgingly removed themselves from the lane lines. “Ugh. I really dislike this team. Home pride,” looking us in the eye, “Remember…Home Pride,” Coach said before walking off to his chair.
“Sorry about that, yes Jenny, they are always like this. But I would say this one is probably the worst, because of them,” I thumbed behind me to the other team, “they are notorious for being rowdy and jerks.” Jenny attempted to look around me, “Don’t give them the time of day. Just give all your attention to your team,” blocking her view with my body, “they will just try to make your life miserable if you let them.”
“No problem. I am an expert at ignoring people,” Brit said quite proud of herself. “Well if you think about it…all the idiots at school; I’ve gotten good at ignoring them. So much so, that they think I am snooty.”
We all laughed with her. “We should head back over to our area and relax, the meet will be starting soon,” I said trying to usher the group away from the blocks. Jerry helped me by instigating conversation with the girls to get them walking. Once more I looked back towards “the enemy” and they were looking past me; following their gaze, they were staring at Jenny and Brit walking away. ‘Great.’ I knew the girls would get the jerks’ attentions. Turning my gaze back to him, Jeremy switched to me and smirked. Finally giving me a sarcastic salute and then engaging in a, probably awful, conversation with his gang of friends. ‘Whatever. If they try anything we’ve got the girls’ backs. Plus they are on the coaching staff. I they do anything they could be in huge trouble for disrespecting a coach.’ I, do as Brit said, “ignore them” and turn to catch up to my gang. The better gang.