I had another out of body moment. I had held my breath the last lap so I was unable to see straight as I held onto the wall. I could hear screaming; however, I couldn’t tell you the tone. ‘Come on head! Clear up so I can see the result.’ I ducked my head underwater to clear my mind; surfacing I could see the guys hugging and dancing around behind the block. Jeremy was also hanging onto the wall, but he had his head down and was not saying anything. ‘That’s a first. Must be a good sign.’ Looking at the board it read, lane 4, 1st, and 3:15.00…
“What!?!” I was shocked. That is our best time by about five and half seconds. “Wait?…” I searched for Coach; two big thumbs up were waiting for me. ‘Wow’ I think that is the first time Coach showed any encouragement publicly. Jenny and Brit were hugging and and jumping behind Coach. Wow they were identical to the guys. ‘The guys.’
I dragged my body out of the water and into their laughing embrace. ‘Ouch’ I didn’t realize how bad my muscles hurt until this moment.
“Dude you did it! And almost by one and half body lengths!” Ken had latched onto my shoulders and was screaming in my ear.
“Really?” I knew we won but I didn’t know it was that much, “turning my attention back to the board and saw Mountain High’s time…3:16.89… Wow almost two seconds behind. “That’s awesome!”
Jeremy had pulled himself out of the pool; he teammates had already left him behind.
“A deal is a deal. You will uphold your end.” Talking to Jeremy’s back, because he was trying to leave and would not face me. “Uphold…”
“Whatever. Fine. Just later,” and Jeremy huffed out, still with his back to us, he walked off.
‘Oh he will be upholding it later. I will make sure of it,’ walking towards the cooldown pool.
I didn’t realize how much tension I had in my body until I jumped into that cooldown pool. Matthew and Ken only did about half of what Jerry and I did. I needed more. I was hurting. As coach said you cooldown until you don’t hurt. ‘I don’t think the pool will be open long enough for that.’
Jerry flagged me down, “Come on George. Brit just came and told us to hurry up. If we need more cooldown he said to do more at your house. Coach has to go get Lily; I guess she has been, as Brit said, ‘an angry pickle today’.”
“Okay. I will probably be swimming more when I get home. I am still so tense,” I said as we clambered out of the pool. “Is it like now? Or do we have time to shower off?”
“I think its now. I guess Mrs. Bailey is about to lose her marbles; and Coach doesn’t want to lose her as a back-up person who babysits. Since you are going to swim again, just skip the shower. Anyways we need to hurry to catch the apology.
“Right. Let’s go,” I was not about to miss my early reward.
I was going to include all the entire team to watch Jeremy’s pathetic apology, but Jerry stopped me, “He won’t apologize in front of many people. If he is humiliated too much he won’t be sincere. Let’s just wait until the rest of the team leaves, and I already told Ken and Matthew to get Jenny and Brit.”
“Why are you always right Jerry. Fine. But it would have been great,” gathering up my gear as we head to where the apologize would go down.
People reading, I wish you could be here to watch this. It is perfect. Jeremy was behaving almost identical to John. Cowardly standing in front of us; none of his buddies were present. They probably all left right after he lost the race.
“So you gonna talk? You were all talkative earlier?” Ken was the first to speak in the silence.
We all chuckled.
Jeremy looked up.
I don’t know why his discomfort makes me so happy. He looked like he might start swinging before apologizing.
“Dude. Just man up and admit your mistake and apologize; or your wimping out might become the new gossip to talk about,” Ken interjected again. “Let’s imagine, ‘Did you hear about the captain from Mountain High who talked to much and chickened out when’…”
“Fine!” Jeremy walked towards Jenny.
I stopped him when he was close enough. “You can apologize from there.” I stepped off to Jenny’s side; the guys and Brit took up their places behind her.
Jeremy stopped right where I wanted him to. “Wow. Even now you are going to deny she is your girl? Man, I bet your real girlfriend is jealous of how…”
“Jeremy. This is not the time for your nonsense. A bet is a bet. Apologize,” I was done with him. ‘Why do I have to keep handling jerks who can’t apologize.’
“I’m sorry for what I said to you,” Jeremy said clearly.
‘Okay. At least it was loud enough to be heard.’ “Is that it? All that bluster for a pathetic apology.” Jerry called him out on it; thankfully it was not me.
Jeremy glared at Jerry, and then at me, “I should have never bet a… fine,” turning back towards Jenny, “I am sorry for my rude behavior and my rude words. I will be better behaved the next time we meet. You good?”
“Yes I’m good. I accept the apology,” Jenny finally spoke, but her stance showed that she wasn’t done; “however, I hope we never see each other again. As my friend says, ‘Ignore.’ Ignore me in the future. I want no part of your childish behavior to effect my swimmers.”
“Mic drop. Enough said,” Matthew said while Brit leaned against him giving an agreement nod.
Not waiting for more, “On that note, let’s leave. We should always ignore the people not worth acknowledging.” Jenny grabbed onto my arm and started walking away from Jeremy. “George do you think we can catch a ride? I realize Coach was my ride home.”
“No problem. But let’s head to my house for some celebration food. I’ll let my dad know,” pulling out my phone, letting Dad know what was up. I got a quick response. ‘Okay will have food ready!’ “We are all set. Let’s go. But it will be a tight fit,” pulling out my keys and unlocking the jeep. “Pile in!” Completely ignoring Jeremy’s presence.
Matthew who is the tallest claimed the front seat. The other four scrambled and squeezed to fit in the back. They finally settled with the idea of Ken sitting on Jerry’s lap while buckled. It was already exclaimed that this experience will never leave the jeep, said by both Jerry and Ken glaring, or we will have to eat our shoes. We all just laughed as we drove to my house. Looking in my rear view mirror, Jeremy was no where in sight. ‘Good. Hopefully he learns something this time.’