‘I think Jeremy died.’ He was breathing, but it seemed like he would stop soon; I should say he is wheezing and gasping for air. ‘Haha. Is it a bad thing that I am happy?’ I was tired too, but I think after that run, Jeremy’s legs are gone.
“You okay? Do I need to call 911?” I said tossing a gatorade to him.
The gatorade landed directly in front of him, bobbing in the pool.
I didn’t know if he was going to grab it, or if I was going to have to swim after it. “…Dude? You going to grab that or…”
Before I could finish; Jeremy grabbed the bottle, swung himself up on the deck, and downed the entirety of the bottle. “I’m okay. But did we really need to do that awful kick set? You do remember I ran fifteen miles this morning, right?”
Jeremy chucked the empty bottle at me; I ducked just in time as the bottle sailed over my head. “Just think of it this way,” I chuckled and slipped back into the pool, “you are in better shape than me. Coach Jones would be proud.” I muffled my laughter because of the death glare I was receiving. ‘I guess Jeremy is not accepting my resonings.’ “Okay. Fine. Let’s race an all out fifty. Whoever wins gets to choose the other’s next workout. Deal?”
“Sure. But you have to do butterfly,” Jeremy winced but still smiled.
‘What are you up to?’ Jeremy would never easily accept a chalenge; especially being so dead. “Why? Are you assuming…”
Jeremy cut me off, “Are you afraid you will lose to me?” Jeremy gestured to himself. Then he slowly pulled his body out of the pool. “You never used to question Coach Jones. Are you worried you won’t be able to beat me this time?”
“Oh shut it Jeremy,” I pulled myself up out of the pool. I started to actively jump, waking up my limbs. ‘There is no way I’m losing to him; he looks like he is about to fall over.’ “So, you good on the terms of the bet? Loser does whatever set the winner chooses?”
“Deal.” Jeremy extended his hand to me.
We shook on it. Digging my phone out of my bag on the bleachers behind us, I prepared a ten second timer. “When the sound goes off we go; got it?”
Jeremy nodded. He got up on his block and took his mark. I started the timer and also went to the stance.
……..Beep, beep, beep! We dove into the pool.
“You…big…liar,” I was hanging onto the wall gasping for air. I didn’t realize how much my limbs were hurting before that race. But what I more importantly didn’t realize was that Jeremy was perfectly fine. Once we dove in, I expected an easy win, but instead off went Jeremy. It was a catch-up race for me. He only won by maybe a hand, but he still won. ‘That liar.’ Jeremy was gasping for air as well, but he was also dying of laughter. ‘I didn’t know that was possible.’ “What do you…have to… say for…yourself?”
Jeremy was still chuckling, “I’m good. It’s your fault you trusted your competitor. Remember what Coach Jones always says, ‘Always assume your competitor is faster.’ You just failed. This is my favorite practice so far,” Jeremy slipped back into the pool and started to float away on his back. He lifted his head suddenly, “Let’s start our cooldown. I’m starving after today’s workout,” he laid back enjoying his victory.
He was enjoying it a little too much. ‘He deserves this.’ I left the wall, swam under him, and popped up just in front of him. With his body facing away from me, I shoved his shoulders down and submerged his head underwater. Then instantly after, I swam back into my lane and continued with my cooldown. Swimming away, I lifted my head just enough to hear Jeremy spewing and coughing out water; while he was attempting to talk.
“You…idiot. You…are…the only…one in the…pool. I…know it was…you,” Jeremy just put his head back down in the water, sometimes that is the only way to stop choking on water, and he started his cooldown.
‘Probably not the smartest thing to do since he gets to choose my next workout, but it was so worth it.’ I laughed and continued the cooldown.
“No way! I said next workout. As in next day,” shaking my head at what Jeremy was saying.
“Nope. You said next workout. You never specified the date. Give me your gear and get to it,” Jeremy was standing by the driver side door; extending his hand out for the key.
“You…” Jeremy’s choice was I run the fifteen miles home. ‘What a…’ I dug out my running shoes and ear buds, and threw the bag at Jeremy; I also tossed him the key. “Next time, remind me never to make a bet with you. Was this your plan all along?”
“No. I was actually not really thinking of anything. If anything I was going to save it and use it later in college; but then you shoved me underwater, and I had a change of heart. Also I had time to think during that long cooldown,” Jeremy unlocked the door and threw my stuff in the back seat.
‘Now I’m regretting my descion from earlier… only a little bit. Let’s be honest, I’m not regretting it. It was awesome!’
“I’ll leave the door unlocked at the house for you,” and Jeremy drove off.
‘That punk.’ I shoved my ear buds in and started the long and grooling run. ‘Man, this is going to suck.’