Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 27

Life Of Two Beat Friends: College CHPT 26

CHAPTER 27

It was eleven o’clock at night. Jeremy was already snoring beside me in the queen bed. ‘We gave up on sleeping on the floor.’ We were both beginning to feel the workout this morning.

Lily never came home. Coach and Mrs. Coach told us that she was in her reblious stage early; When she wasn’t at school, she was off doing things with her new friends or at other’s houses.

I was just laying there in bed thinking about what happened at dinner. We had all sat down for the farewell meal, and Jenny excused herself. I was hoping that we all could be at least well mannered and have one last meal together, but I guess she is going to need more time. Maybe guys are more forgiving; whereas girls hold grudges. ‘Unknown to me.’ But as I layed there I thought about the days to come. One more day with Mom and Dad. Then college begins Monday. ‘My life will no longer be my own…’ and I was out.

“Beep! Beep! Beep!”

‘Whoever’s alarm clock that is better turn it off; I’m not about to get up. It feels like I just fell asleep.’ I heard movement around the room. ‘Fine,’ I sat up in bed. “What?!”

Crash! Whoever was in the room just crashed to the floor. “Dude. You scared the crap out of me,” Jeremy drugged himself up from the floor! “You were so still, that I thought you were already up. Man, my heart is going crazy.” Jeremy switch on the overhead light, flooding the room with a bright light.

“Argghh…” I draped my arm over my eyes. ‘That was too bright and too early.’ “Why are you up already?” I searched for my phone.

“It’s five-thirty. We have to leave the house in fifteen mintues,” Jeremy picked my phone up from the floor, and shoved the screen in my face.

True to what he said it was five-thirty. ‘Crap!’ I scrambled up and shoved my belongings in my bag. Changed into my flying clothes and then stood waiting for Jeremy at the door. “Really dude? I got ready in five mintues. How long is it going to take you?”

“I’m sorry; I’m not crazy fast on land like you. You looked like a tornado just now,” Jeremy laughed as he continued to gather his belongings.

“Knock, knock,” suddenly heard on the door.

We looked at each other, before I went to open the door. There stood a tangled mess of Jenny. She was not a happy person.

“Can you please remeber you are visiting and to keep the noise level down. Some of us need to sleep,” was what she blurted out before returning to her room.

‘Yikes. Not a morning person.’ I silently closed the door. I looked at Jeremy and he was panicking to pack his stuff while being stealthy at the same time. ‘I guess that works.’ I scooped up my bag about to leave the room, when Jeremy silently waved at me. I looked back and Jeremy was just still and shaking his head. “What?”

“I’ll be done in a mintue. Don’t leave me with the scary grump monster next door,” Jeremy continued to panically pack his belongings.

Just as I was going to give up and leave him, Jeremy finished and followed me out the door. We proceeded to the staircase to quietly walk down the stairs.

“What are you two doing,” Coach almost yelled at us as we made it to the first floor?

“Shhhhh!” Jeremey yelled at Coach.

“Excuse me?” Coach was amused but also annoyed at the remark.

“Sorry! But you are going to wake up the grump upstairs. We already got one scolding. I don’t need another,” and Jeremy walked quickly past Coach and into the kitchen.

“I didn’t know Lily came home,” Coach quizzically looked up the stairs.

“No. Not Lily. Jenny. I never knew she was not a morning person,” I said following Jeremy.

“That’s news to me as well,” as Coach too looked for breakfast.

Finally on the plane. Northern California airport is better than LAX, but man, I miss Montana’s airport. One security line. Six gates. I never thought I would become less of a people person after living up in Montana so long. I guess its only going to get worse as years go by.

“So,” Jeremy leaned over. We were on a smaller plane so Jeremy was the only person next to me, “How did your talk go?”

‘I really just wanted to sleep on this short flight,’ but, “If you could call it a talk, it went nowhere.”

“Ouch. I was hoping you would at least get to pour your heart out. It’s an understanding she hates my guts, but I thought she would be somewhat understanding to you,” Jeremy dug out some snacks from his bag.

“Yeah. I had hoped so too. But nope. She sees me as someone who first abandonded her, and then betrayed her,” I stole a few pretzels.

“Abandoned I get. You left. Not to leave her, but from my understanding girls are more sensitive. But why betrayed? Because you left?” Jeremy continued to munch as he talked.

“I befriended you,” I huffed out as I just looked forward.

“Oh, right. Yeah. You betrayed her by maturing and growing up; while she hit rock bottom and had life changing moments.”

Why did Jeremy have to say everything so logical. I know he is right, but for some reason, him saying it sounds so smug. “Yes, I matured, you matured, and she emotionally crashed.” ‘Which didn’t sound any better.’ “But I had hoped to have a converstion with her to maybe bring each of us some closure. But nope. After I told her we are going to agree to disagree about you, she left the room.”

“Wow. Your conversation went worse than mine. I felt like crap because of my past self, but she was making you feel like crap for your present self. Tough, bro,” Jeremy swung his arm across my shoulders and again offered me more pretzles.

“No thanks. I just want some water,” my mouth was parched, especially after all that salt.

Jeremy again dug out his hydro flask.

‘He thought of everything.’ “Thanks.” I took a long swig of water. ‘Much better.’

“No problem. Happy to help,” Jeremy put the bottle back after I was done.

We sat in silence a little bit.

“Is it just me or are both of us losers on this trip?” Jeremy broke the silence.

“Yeah. We both lost. You died on the run. I almost drowned. You got chewed out by Jenny. And I lost my future with her. We are definately losers,” Jeremy nodded as I listed these off. “I can’t find one good thing that happened on this trip. It seems like a fail.”

Jeremy sarcastically did his deep thinking face.

Silence…

Snap! “I got it! You found out what you needed to work on. I realized that I am still somewhat lazy in sets. Your coach is getting to coach again. And what did Coach say about your feelings for Jenny?”

‘True. All those things can be seen as good.’ Especially about Coach. I’m sure he is so excited to coach again. I thought back over what Coach said yesterday, “I didn’t actually tell him I have feelings for her.”

“What?! You could have gotten your future father-in-law’s approval ahead of time. Clueless. Your are clueless,” Jeremy shook his head at me in disbelief.

Remembering what was said, “Well he did find out that Jenny likes me, and he said he is all for us being together. So maybe he just assumed it is mutal.”

“Nice! That’s another big achievement. Approval from a future in-law,” Jeremy slowly nodded in smug approval.

Sure. I’ll take what I can get.’ Okay I was about to fall asleep during our talk, “Dude, I want to just sleep. You…”

“Say no more,” Jeremy grabbed his earbuds from his backpack and straightened in his seat and patted his shoulder, “this shoulder has your name on it if you want.”

I laughed. ‘There’s no way I’m doing that.’ “Thanks, but I good,” I relaxed into my seat. I was out in minutes.

As we landed, I woke up with my head on his shoulder. ‘Figures.’

Life Of Two Beat Friends: College CHPT 26

Life Of Two Beat Friends: College CHPT 25

CHAPTER 26

As we climbed into the truck to leave, Coach paused before zumming down the street. “George, do you want a milkshake? There is a great place just down the road.”

“Sure. I’m always down for treats; especially since starting Monday I will be saying goodbye to them,” I laughed relaxing into the seat.

The truck roared to life.

“So…did she talk to you?” Coach asked as we sat on the tailgate of the truck waiting for our milkshakes.

I didn’t even have to think about who he was referring to. Jenny. It’s going to be Jenny. “Yeah. If you can really call it that. It seemed more like a one sided commentary with a side a betrayal. Did I really betray her Coach?” I slumped my head down looking at my shoes dangling off the tailgate.

Coach didn’t answer right away.

‘Which probably means he thinks I did.’

“Yes and no. It’s all in her mind mostly. Before you went off to school, she revoled around you. You were her center. Once you left she lost that sense of security,” Coach paused as the waitress came up with our shakes.

My head snapped up to retrive the shake, and I decided to face this conversation head held high. I turned to look at Coach who had just taken a long swig of shake.

Coach nodded in approval before continuing, “She lost security. She had to face everything that happened, without her much wanted support. I don’t know if I should tell you this or not, but she used to have nightmares,” Coach stopped long enough to take another sip.

My head snapped in his direction and I was about to ask more as Coach began again.

“She would scream and scream. My wife and I would have to sprint to her bedroom to wake her up. She would fight us as we tried,” Coach ran his fingers through his hair. “Once she would finally awaken, she would misinterpret her awake state. She would call for you, George. She wouldn’t stop until I would hold her in my arms and she would
begin to settle. She would whisper, “Don’t leave me,” Coach set his shake down.

It was just silent. I had no words and no logical response. ‘She looked for me. I was her safe haven when she was struggling.’ I too set my shake down and dropped my head into my hands. ‘No wonder she feels like I betrayed her.’ I jumped as Coach placed his hand on my shoulder.

“Sorry for startling you, just didn’t want you to not take it too much to heart. When the first nightmare happened, I realized she liked you as more than a friend. I’m all for you two ending up together. You would have to call me Father-in-law,” Coach chuckled as he put me in a choke hold. “Move past it, George. This happened two years ago. I just wanted you to understand why she thinks you betrayed her.”

Coach was doing a good job of making me move past it, because if I didn’t, he would have probably strangled me. “Got…it…Got it. Let go of me,” I somehow shoved him off of me.

Coach released me and patted my back as I choked. “Sorry. Maybe not the best thing to do to you after today’s incident.”

I was gasping for air after being released, “Yeah, maybe not the best idea.”

“But yes, I do believe Jenny feels betrayed, and I before this morning thought she was in the right. But after seeing how Jeremy responded to you, and how he was panicked waiting for you to awake; showed me what an upright young man he has become. I was honest when I told him once Jenny heals he is welcomed. But until that day I think this is going to be the last time he is invited to the house.”

I understood. “Next time I’ll just leave him at my dad’s house,” laughing at the thought.

“No George. I mean, I think this is the last visit for you both until she heals,” Coach said as he once again picked up his shake.

“What?” I was shocked. ‘Why me too?’

“Jenny sees you as a betrayer. Until she heals more, I don’t think she will see you any other way. As much as I want that future, I don’t know if that will ever again be a possiblity.”

It took me a second. ‘Never a possibility. Unless Jenny heals. The future he is talking about, me and Jenny, will never happen.’ Me leaving two years ago might have ruined my chances at that future that I hoped for. “Well this conversation just got depressing. I understand your concerns. I will follow your instructions until you believe I can visit again. Any upbeat topics?” I devoured my shake; wanting to have something happy.

“I am looking forward to your future in the pool. You have improved greatly, even more so from two years ago. You and Jeremy are a powerful duo,” Coach once again clapped me on the back.

However, this time I had just take a huge gulp of shake, that I proceeded to spit it out all over my jeans and the ground. I hoped down and dashed off to the counters for some napkins. I cleaned my jeans, and then after running back to the truck, I attempted to clean the ground.

Just as a waitress rolled up in her rollerskates, “Don’t worry about it, Honey. We spray down the parking lot for exactly these reasons,” and she rolled away back to the counters.

I felt bad for the mess, but decided to climb back onto the tailgate.

But Coach got up at that moment, “Let’s head back. It’s already five. You guys have an early flight tomorrow. Hopefully Lily will be home tonight. She has been at a friends house most days.”

I jumped down off the tailgate and slammed it shut. I tossed the small amount of shake into the garbage can. ‘That’s enough sugar for me, for the rest of my lifetime.’ I climbed into the truck and we were back on our way to the house. I didn’t really know how I felt about our conversation. It still felt like a void was yet to be resolved. This visit I had hoped to clear the air about everything, but instead, it seems like I went negatively backwards.

Life Of Two Beat Friends: College CHPT 25

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 24

CHAPTER 25

After Jenny and I’s “talk”…if that’s what it can be called; I was sitting at the kitchen table finally eating my burrito just as Coach came in.

“George,” Coach stopped short in front of me.

I had, of course, just taken a huge bite; so I just nodded in response.

“I need you to come with me; just finish that in the car,” Coach cleared my empty milk cup to the sink, walked out of the kitchen, and out the front door.

I scrambled to hold my burrito and phone in my hand, as I rushed after Coach. ‘I wish he would have just said the something now.’

This time I was able to climb into the truck. Just as I was clicking my seatbelt, Coach roared down the street. In between bites I mumbled, “Where are we going?”

Coach didn’t respond; he was focusing on the road in front of him.

Instead of repeating myself, I just sat there gobbling down my food.

The truck came to a stop; the same spot as earlier this morning. “What are we doing here, Coach? Not another workout, right?” I glanced at the pool dreading my decision of following him without questioning Coach as we drove.

“No. Of course not. You are done with workouts until you get back to school. No. We are here…because this morning, during your almost drowning; the city team was slowly arriving, and many of the swimmers saw what happened. The lifeguards called me and told me that many of the swimmers were worried about you,” Coach just sat there in his seat looking forward at the pool deck.

Coach looked older. Older than when we first arrived yesterday. “I’m good now. Did you tell them that?”

“Yes, but the lifeguards asked if you could come to the pool and reassure the swimmers. Some of them are questioning their descions to swim after seeing you almost drown,” Coach rubbed his hand along his forhead. “I…feel so responsible…you almost…on my watch…I…” Coach broke.

‘Why do people keep breaking down in front of me. First my Dad, then Jenny, now Coach.’ “Coach. It wasn’t your fault. I wanted to prove myself to you; I was the one who did it. An athlete listens to their coach, but they are the one that does the action.”

“Because you believed my teaching. I gave you the material to follow,” Coach had controlled his gruff sobs; he was just occasionally huffing now. “I…almost died when you stopped moving. I was unable to move; everything just froze around me,” Coach shuddered remembering that moment.

“Coach. Please stop blaming yourself. Yes, it was a bad way to learn, but I now know that breathing in the no breath zone is better than losing limbs. I wouldn’t have known that without this experience. I also know now that I need to work on my air consumption. I now have things to work on,” I was trying to comfort Coach, but I was
also telling the truth. It was. ‘It was the honest truth.’ “Also, Jeremy learned that he still had energy; so, he was able to save me. If he had given it his all, he wouldn’t have been able.”

Coach cut me off, “First time, I am happy a swimmer still had some juice. If he hadn’t had been able to hold you up, I don’t know what would have…”

“Coach. Stop. Let’s move past this,” I wanted to end this never ending chit-chat. ‘What’s up with me having these types of conversations today.’

“Fine. Good,” Coach recomposed himself.

Coach was once again his almost grump self.

“Let’s head in. I don’t know what to expect, but maybe you will have to talk to them. Encourage them to continue,” Coach swung his door open.

I followed Coach’s pursuit, “No problem,” and we started to walk towards the deck.

‘Well this is not what I expected.’ There was an age range from six to maybe sixteen. There was no swim team at the highschool; instead there was a city team, the Rockets. Coach was off talking to the lifeguards and parents. Which means…he left me here. In front of maybe fifty swimmers. “So, I heard that some of you saw what happened
this morning?” I looked up at the faces staring at me. Nobody answered, some even looked away. “If you have a question just ask.”

It was silent, until a young boy, maybe twelve, stood up, “What actually happened?”

I chuckled at the question, but after my reaction the kids looked frightened, I waved off the laugh, “Sorry. It was just a new experience for me,” I cleared the air and waited for all eyes to be back on me. “My coach,” I turned and pointed at Coach’s back, and quickly returned to my audience, “gave me a hard set this morning. He
is notorious for giving you sets that will push you to your breaking point. The best kinds of sets,” I winked at everyone. No response. “Anyways…I followed his instruction completely, and I made a wrong call.” I would only go into more details if someone asked.

One of the older girls raised her hand before speaking, “What wrong call?”

“Good question. You all need to understand this. Your coach gives you the fundementals and building blocks to be great, it is your descion to follow them. I decided to not breathe in the no breath zone, even though my lungs were on fire. I decided. Not my coach,” I wanted them to completely understand what I was saying. ‘It was all me.’ “But it was definately the wrong call, and now I know that. I wouldn’t have known if not for this. That it is better to take a two tenths of a second breath than lose limbs.”

“What do you mean lose limbs? You were flying,” this time a young boy blurted out.

“It might have looked that way, but can any of you older swimmers tell me what limb I lost first?” I wanted the more experienced kids to be in this exchange.

“Your arm.”

I looked to see who said that, but they did not reveal themselves, “Which one?”

“The left,” the oldest looking guy said at the top of the bleachers.

I looked the guy in the eye. He seemed to be my age. “Correct. Then what?” I said directly to him.

He just looked back at me unfazed, “your left leg. You lost one whole side of your body. You started to slow down maybe five yards from the wall.”

I was impressed that this guy could see all that. It happened within less than five seconds. “Correct. What’s your name?”

“Bradley Mitchells,” he said out, but it seemed begrudingly. “Why?”

“I just want a name for the face when I compete against you in the future.”

“Me…me compete with you. There is no way,” Bradley looked at me baffled. “You are way out of my league.”

“If you had the right coach, you could be swimming against me in the future,” I was being honest. I’ve never seen this guy swim, but his knowledge of five seconds already told me all that I needed to know.

Everyone glanced up at Bradley in astonishment. Clapping erupted from everyone.

“Enough, enough,” Bradley tried to quiet them, but with no success.

“Okay. Any other questions?” I took the spot light off of the embarressed Bradley. If he wants to be a swimmer on my level he is going to need to become more confident.

“What was your set?” Another older girl asked.

“Pheew…I will start by saying it was killer. We did about twenty-four hundered yards warm-up. About one thousand yards heart rate warm-up,” I paused to see surprised but also scared expressions. “If that is scary to you, just wait. Then the main set: Thirty all out fiftys. With a one minute break in between each one,” I again paused.

The faces were not as suprised. They seemed to think that was a normal set. Even Bradley looked calm.

“Maybe you don’t understand. I was averageing about twenty-threes, while my bud was averging twenty-three mids,” again I looked into the faces before me.

Realization must have taken effect, because all the faces gasped. The girls all pointed at me and whispered together. As Bradley, and I assume his buds, glanced at each other in amazement. “You really went that in practice?” The guy next to Bradley asked.

I felt a smile begin to creep over my face, but I hid it quickly. I didn’t want to come off smug, “Yes. It was expected from my coach. He truly can bring the best out of me.”

“I can do what?” Coach’s voice came from directly behind me.

I jumped slightly at the sudden outburst. “Coach,” I stood next to him, “I was just telling them about the set we did, and how you can bring the best out of me.”

“Don’t brag too much about me, you will make my head swell with pride,” Coach stood a little taller.

“Did he really hold twenty-threes in the set he did this morning?” Bradley blurted out.

Coach looked at me before answering,” Yes and no,” all the kids in front of me started to laugh; because they thought I had lied to them. “Twenty-nine of them were averaging twenty-threes; however the last one was a low twenty-four,” Coach seemed unfazed by the laughter.

I think it took a moment for that to register as well. Once it did, everyone quieted down, and once again gazed at me in amazement.

“Wow. I went a twenty-four. Man that’s slow! I haven’t gone that time in a long time,” I turned my attention from the gasps to Coach. “I am definately going to work on my breath control starting Monday.”

“Well…the Rockets. Are you more at ease,” Coach turned his attention back to the still stunned athletes, “after hearing George’s side of the story?”

They all just nodded.

“Good. Because I was actually offered the job of head coach of this team.”

“What!?!” everyone in the stands yelled together.

“Hey. Be happy. You are getting the best Coach in all of California. Bradley, I will definately be seeing you soon,” I pointed at the still stunned Bradley.

“I’m excited to have this opportunity once again. I must say thank you to you, George, without your mess this morning I would have not been offered the job. The parents want me to take their swimmers all the way, or at least get them into your school in Montana.” Coach clapped me on the back.

“I’m looking forward to it, and I am excited that you get to continue coaching,” I draped my arm over Coach’s shoulder. We stood their like a perfect pair; a pair of crazy swimming enthustics. ‘These kids are going to get a wake up call.’

“See you all starting Monday. Enjoy your weekend,” Coach turned the two of us away from the stands.

As we were walking away the whispers started, which reminded me of something, I stopped and quickly walked back to the stands. “I forgot to mention when I was telling you the workout. We also began the morning by waking up at four-thirty and running thirty minutes to this pool. So tack on thirty mintues of death before that crazy
workout.” I saw the look of fear and bewilderment creep on all their faces. I laughed and walked quickly across the deck to catch up with Coach.

Forgot to Actually Post… I Don’t Believe.

I don’t believe I will be posting anything until the new year. I’ve been so exhausted and busy, that I only have this small amount of time to say sorry to all of you.

I’m sorry that I am unable to post. My brain is also not functioning, since it is running a mile a minute.

Please forgive me. I’ll begin again next year.

Thank you. Enjoy your chilly Winter ❄️

.-. About 2 Months Later.-.

I finally went back on my blog and realized that I never actually posted this post. I wrote it back in December… I feel like such a failure.

We have finally finished moving. I’m still exhausted but I missed you all. Also I’ve missed writing my story. IT WILL CONTINUE!! Even if it’s just for me; I need to actually finish a story. Haha!

So I’ll be back on here. Maybe not as much as before, but slowly I’ll work my way back.

Stay warm this winter! 👋❄️