Yesterday night had been a strange night. After getting to Jenny’s house, I really had to try and wake her; she was dead asleep. When she finally woke up she put on the jacket, grabbed her bag, and walked to her door. There was no stopping and thanking me for the ride, no stopping by my window for a quick chat, just stealing my jacket and leaving.
‘Maybe her headache was unbearable and she just needs to lay down.’ No problem though. It was a really long day. Finally home. ‘Man, I’m tired.’ I wish Dad had been able to celebrate, but instead there was a note saying we would celebrate tomorrow night. I showered for about twenty minutes and then slept. I was exhausted. I had planned to swim a bit before sleeping, but no such luck.
But this morning I was feeling it; I should have cooled down more last night. At least, I have practice today. I didn’t procrastinate this morning; I just got up, got ready, and headed downstairs. Still no Dad. ‘He must be working overtime, so that he can be free tonight.’ I grab my breakfast, my keys, and jump in the jeep. As the engine comes alive my phone blows up.
‘Come get me. -Jerry, Need a ride if possible. -Matthew, Dude! Me. Ride?- Ken.’ I knew today would be like any other day. I think their parents know that I will pick them up, and they just expect me to. I was already going to be a bit early to school, so it really didn’t matter today. ‘Off to get the guys.’
“So George. Did you do the deed?” Jerry swung his arm over my shoulder as we walked through the school gate.
“What are you talking about?” I shrugged not understanding him.
“What deed? What do you know that we don’t,” Ken asked as he stood next to Matthew? “Spill.”
“George made a bet with Jenny about the meet, and if he won she would do anything,” Jerry added some dramatic flare as he spoke.
‘Great. He’s up to something. Not good probably.’
Ken’s face changed from annoyance to utter excited shock, “Dude! You have a direct free pass!”
Matthew was silent like always, but he too was a little shocked. “What did you end up asking her?”
“Nothing yet. I have nothing in mind right now. I’ll probably hang onto it until I know of anything,” I continued to walk to our table, but realized no one else had followed me.
“Are you serious, or are you just stupid?” Jerry looked at me point blank.
‘What?’ “What are you talking about?” I was now completely confused.
“I’m dumbfounded. You tell him Ken,” Jerry turned his back to us; I could see the frustration in his stance.
‘What’s up with Jerry. He is acting crazy.’ Still, I turned to Ken to get this obvious explanation, except to me.
“You could have asked her to be your girlfriend.” Ken said like it was obvious.
‘What? Oh.’ “Remember when I told you guys that I have moved past it; I was being serious. It is not even on my radar anymore. Also, I don’t want to ask something of her that she obviously doesn’t want. Why would I put myself through that torment again. Seriously dudes, I thought you understood me.” I was the one that was pissed now. I had moved past the Jenny thing. Why couldn’t they?
Matthew stepped towards me hands up in surrender, “We are not trying to stir anything up; we just thought possibly you had not really moved on. Sorry Dude.”
Ken also came up, “Yeah sorry Bro. It just seemed like Jenny had planned this to make you ask her that. Not that I watch many of them,” Ken pointed at us first, “but it seems like the start of any romance movie.” We all looked at him, including brooding Jerry. “Don’t look at me like that. My mom says they have things clueless guys, like me, should know. I think she knows I’m helpless when it comes to girls.”
We all laughed. ‘Thanks Ken. He can usually uplift the mood.’ “I will admit, I didn’t even think of this as a possibility. But let’s be honest. I swam like crap on Wednesday, and Jenny knew it. She was trying to motivate me to swim faster. Nothing more.”
Finally Jerry came back to us, “Sorry Dude. I was thinking too much. Probably because I’m the one who wishes I could have this bet with a girl. I…I don’t know. It would at least be a headstart,” He drapped his arm back over my shoulder. “Enough of this sentimental talk. Let’s get to class early. We can’t have this one,” pulling me into an almost a nuggie, “to be tardy and miss his chance to go to the Montana school.”
We all laughed walking past our table, and continued to our classroom. ‘Mood uplifted. Moved past the bet. School time.’
Ms Chaplen had congratulated us in homeroom; also, the whole class erupted with applause. It was awesome to be appreciated for our hard work.
There are only two more weeks of school; so, the teachers were all super chill. They all told us that we would be just coming to class and enjoying our last days. Except tomorrow for me and everyone on the swim team. We have to make up our final exams tomorrow…We missed them on Friday. ‘But it was so worth it!’
Practice though…was awesome! Coach let us have a fun day. ‘That unknown occasion, happens only once a season.’ He made Jerry and I get in a swim an eight-hundred, since we didn’t continue our cooldown on Friday. ‘Understood. But as soon as I was done, I was glad it was over!’ Turns out, everyone else was playing Marco polo. We joined in, of course! It really was just fun day… ‘Strange.’
As Jerry and I made our way to everyone else, Jenny was making her way towards us. “I’m gonna go and try to get Ken caught,” Jerry swam away leaving Jenny and myself.
And again, what the guys had said earlier today was still lingering in my mind. I wish they had not said anything about it. “Having fun, Coach Jenny?”
“All is good. First time in the pool with everyone is interesting…” Jenny stood beside me, against the wall.
We just stood there watching the rest of the team. I had thought the conversation was done, because I was about to join in the fun when…
“Have you decided? On your reward?” Jenny excitedly asked.
“Nope. I think you should just ignore it and just focus on life. As soon as I know, I’ll let you know.” ‘If I had known she would pester me, I would have probably told her I don’t need the prize.’ “But could I get my jacket back? It is my school swim jacket.”
“Oh, right. Sorry about that day. After you woke me my head started the splitting pain again. I needed to lay down. I’ll give it to you tomorrow, if that’s okay?” Jenny sunk down beside me, covering her shoulders with water.
“No problem. But we should move,” directing her attention to the Ken slowly making his way to us.
“Don’t you dare…” Jenny started but I ignored her and sprinted away, laughing as I left Jenny to be caught by Ken. “You are so dead George! Everyone help your coach to succeed in tagging your captain!” Jenny closed her eyes and started towards me.
There was no way she would get me, but that’s why she united the team against me. Everyone was clawing at me trying to hold me in place. ‘Not gonna happen.’
“QUIET!” Coach yelled over all the laughter and yelling. As quickly as he spoke, we all stopped suddenly. No noise except the water rippling over the gutter could be heard. “George, Jerry, and Matthew to my office, now! Jenny and Brit supervise. Keep the noise down. You three, out!”
‘Oh great. What did we do?’ “Come on guys. Quickly,” we three climbed out of the pool, grabbed our towels, and followed Coach to his office. Dreading the punishment for our unknown mistake.