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Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 32

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 31

CHAPTER 32

Once we were a safe distance from the auditorium, I stopped and collapsed onto a bench. Jeremy collapsed onto the ground.

“What’s your problem,” Jeremy huffed out, “was it really that bad?”

I couldn’t think straight. I focused on my breathing before answering him, “Yeah, it was pretty bad. I didn’t know I had become so terrible at speaking in front of people who are not in the swimming world. But also why did they have to do that. I wanted to be known for my swimming abilites, not my academics. If I could I would drop the second major and just focus on swimming.” I dropped backwards onto the rest of the bench and threw my arm over my eyes to shield them from the sun.

“Yeah. I can understand you, but is normal for the school to take pride in the acedemics; they are a school afterall,” Jeremy had stood back up. “Are you good now?”

“Yeah.” I sat up and stared at Jeremy. I was still pisssed at him for poking fun earlier, but I know that is just his personality. ‘Let it slide.’ I gathered up my backpack and threw Jeremy’s at him. “What’s next?”

“Lunch. Moving dorms. Then the pool,” Jeremy started to head to the cafeteria.

‘The pool.’

Lunch was fantastic! Not as good as mom’s food though. But the cafeteria was huge; there were three levels of seating and different food stalls. It seemed more like a mall food plaza than a school cafeteria.

Moving rooms was also not too bad. Jeremy and I were still roomates. Also, thankfully the school roomed us with two other swimmer freshmen. Having roomates of different sports would have been difficult. Jeremy and I were the first in the room so we picked the two beds lining the wall side of the room. We are used to being in close
quarters, that we thought we would give the new guys their own choice on the other side.

“Getting into a loft bed after a long paiful practice is going to be the pits,” Jeremy said as he climbed the ladder and first tested out the bed.

‘True.’ I started to organize my desk and put my clothes away when the door flew open and in walked four guys. They looked a bit older than us, but maybe they were freshmen.

“So these are two more freshmeat,” one of the guys said; he had black hair and piercings on one ear. “These two don’t look like much. Right guys?”

The rest of them chuckled.

‘Yep. They were older. Hazing. It’s just the normal cycle of any sport.’ I know it was the wrong move, but I just ignored them and sat down on the desk waiting for what they wanted. Jermy followed my pursuit and sat quietly in bed waiting for the rest of the smack talk.

“What? No respect for your upperclassmen?” the guy who had started all this looked baffled at the lack of response we gave him.

‘Don’t respoond.’

The guy started to walk into the room but the other guys with him held him back. “Let’s go to the next room, Bryan,” one of the taller guys said as he dragged so called Bryan into the hall. The last of them closed the door behind them.

“Man, you could have cut the tension in this room with a knife,” Jeremy thudded back on his bed.

‘Like any school…’ I just shrugged my shoulders and continued to unpack.

“Your confindence is going to get us in trouble one of these days,” Jeremy said to the ceiling. “But I like your style when dealing with those types of jerks.”

I smirked when he said that. ‘This might not be the pool, but it is still my turf.’

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 31

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 30

CHAPTER 31

Thankfully we didn’t have to be the pool until after orientation. Still, Jeremy and I seemed to start the day off wrong. We panically threw our clothes on, grabbed our backpacks, and were out the door. We would deal with our belongings later.

‘I must admit, I have become somewhat of a hermit now. Outside of the pool, I am a clueless human.’ Jeremy is different; he seems to thrive amongst crowds. He asked all of the questions to random people of where the freshmen athletes meet. Turns out all freshmen meet in the same auditorium, no matter your major. Makes sense actually because not only must athletes succeed in their sport, but we have to keep a 2.0 in our seperate acedemic major. College is going to be more difficult.

“Dude!” Jeremy waved from the doors about twenty feet away, “catch up will you?”

I had stopped following him. I was surrounded by people, that my body must have stopped working. I quickly ran to catch up to Jeremy. ‘I never thought I would become this type of person.’

Jeremy tugged me to the closest open seat which was almost the back row. ‘Wow. Living in my swimming bubble made me forget about how many other majors there are in school.’ There was a sea of people.

“Dude, I forgot how many people actually attend school. Look at all of them!” Jeremy said slowly gliding his hand through all the people.

“We really do spend too much time together; I was thinking the same thing,” I laughed.

“So what major are you in?” A girl in front of us had turned around to ask. Her two friends turned with her.

“We are both double majored. I’m Jeremy and I’m majoring swimming and civil engineering. This is George, he is majoring in swimming and physics.” Jeremy strecthed out his hand to the girl who had started the conversation.

‘Thanks Jeremy. Words were stuck in my mouth.’ But I took shook the girl’s hand when she extended it to me. I also nodded a hello to her two other friends.

“My name is Ellen. I’m majoring in Tennis and English. My two friends, Helen pointed to the one on her left, is majoring in only English, and Lisa, on her right, is majoring in civil engineering. Us double majors are in for an awakening. I’ve heard that it is extremely difficult to thrive in both.”

“I will struggle, but this one,” Jeremy thumbed at me, “will have no trouble. Hish school plus swimming was a breeze for him. I’m sure he will be perfectly fine. Me on the other hand will definitely be struggling.”

The three girls looked at me with amazement and wonder. ‘Just a lot of crap coming out of Jeremy’s mouth.’ High school was not a breeze; the swimming part was hard enough, and it was only going to get harder. Thankfully the host appeared and took all of the atention off of me and to the stage.

It was just the normal orientation. Do your work. Do your best. ‘Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Everyone knows all this.’ My mind was now wondering. I looked at the faces around me; they were all beaming with excitement towards their future here at school. My excitment wouldn’t begin until I stepped onto my turf, the deck. Jeremy nudge me bringing my attention back to the stage.

The host was speaking, “We are going to do something different. I would like eveyone to stand up from their seats.” There was a loud thud all all the seats returning to their closed positions. “Good. Now, if you are doing a single major please take a seat.”

Thousands of people sat down around us. Including the two girls we met earlier.

“Now anyone without a sport in their double major take a seat.”

Again several people sat back down. But there were still a huge number of people standing. ‘I wonder which ones are swimmers?’

“Now anyone starting off freshmen year with a GPA lower than 3.0, please take a seat.”

This time Jeremy sat down. He was close to a 3.0 but high school as he said was a struggle. There were now maybe forty people standing. ‘Wow. I didn’t know a 3.0 with a sport was difficult.’

“Wow! There are more students still standing than last year. I don’t want to discredit those of you with a double major of two acedemic subjects; but at our school, doing a sport means your life here at the school, will be much more difficult. Only the strong minded athletes survive. Now…Anyone under a 3.5 GPA please sit.”

Again about half of the students left sat. ‘Great. I wish I could have sat down as well, but there was no way Jeremy would let that slide.’

“I am fully impressed with the number of students still standing. Now…Below a 4.0 GPA please sit.”

I wish I was one of the ones that sat, because now it was only me and three others. My GPA was a 4.25. Hopefully the host doesn’t go any farther.

“Let’s give these students a big round of appluse!” The auditorium erupted with clapping.

I wanted to sit back down, because now all the pairs of eyes in the place were searching and ending on me. ‘I am really not a land person. Stick me in a pool and this would be nothing. Here…I feel so out of place.’

“Let’s welcome these students onto the stage.”

‘Crap.’ I looked down at Jeremy who was no help, because he was almost in a fit of laughter.

“Go on George. You had to be a smarty pants. Go get your reward,” Jeremy said while laughing.

Whatever.’ I started walking to the stage; if I hadn’t Jeremy would have definately made it worse. Eyes were following me as I walked down to the stage. One of the other boys who had been still standing exited his row in front of me. ‘Good. He will go first.’

“Yes. Congratulations you four. You are the highest scored double majored athletes of all the freshmen. You should be proud of your accomplishments in high school. Especially since they will probably fluctuate these next four years,” the host said as we took our place on stage.

I was in the middle of the group. ‘Which is good. Meaning I won’t be going first either way.’

“Now, they will introduce themselves. State your name, sport, other major, and GPA,” the host passed the microphone to the girl closest to them.

I had two people before me.

The first girl confidently grabbed the mic, “My name is Stephine. I am a swimmer. Other major is Mathmatics. And my GPA is 4.15. Thank you,” and she handed the microphone the guy beside her.

‘Swimmer. Cool, I won’t be the only one up here.’ My nerves relaxed a bit.

The next student, “Hello, I am Phillp. I am in Baseball. Other major is Engineering. And my GPA is 4.0. Thank you.”

He passed the mic to me. ‘My turn.’ “Hello. My name is George. I am a swimmer. My other major is Physics. And my GPA is 4.25. Thank you,” and I quickly passed the mic to the guy on my left. ‘I did it. If these people surrounding me were only swimming people I would not look so uncomfortable.’

But after I finished there were gasps and looks of shocks from everyone in the audience below me.

The boy after my was name Jeffory. He was in Gymnastics, other major was Architecture, and his GPA was 4.0 as well. ‘So yes. I was the one to stick out because I had the highest GPA.’ I wish the host people didn’t do this; just label people with something that might not be their focus. ‘I wanted to be know as a swimmer; not an academic student. Can we get off this stage already?’

“Let’s give these students another round of applause as they make their ways back to their seats.”

If I could have walked faster, without looking like I hated the attention I would have. I got to my seat and tried to ignore the hushed whispers and glances.

The host continued to speak, but I couldn’t focus.

“Good job dude,” Jeremy whispered out a chuckle, “it’s only the first day and you are famous.”

I shot Jeremy a look, the kind of look that if you don’t shut it you will die. He got the message and shut his mouth.

“Now go out onto the campus and start your future at College!”

As everyone was gathering up their belongings, I grabbed my backpack and Jeremy and booked it out of there. I didn’t want any more attention. I was feeling suffocated in there. I threw open the doors to bright sunlight and we were off.

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 30

Life Of Two Beat Friends: College CHPT 29

College was starting tomorrow. Our flight was quicker than planned. Our pilot got us to Montana almost an hour early; his explanation was that the skies were clear and calling his name to go faster. No prolem to me; it means we got to school a whole hour early.

“So, should we get some food delivered,” Jeremy asked as we entered our dorm, “we still have to pack up all our belongings?”

‘Right. I forgot that this wouldn’t be our dorm room in college as well; it was only for the two years of high school.’ “Right, I forgot about that part. Sure, what do you feel like eating?” Jeremy eyes lit up and I know he was about to say something super unhealthy. “Remember, practice starts tomorrow; also it seemed like tomorrow’s
practice will decide our futures on the team.”

Jeremy let out a sigh, plus a look of annoyance, “Why do you always steal my thunder; I was hoping to pig out our last day of freedom. We will be swimming robots for the next four to eight years.”

“Yeah so we should start now. Burritos?” I suggested because Chipotle sounded pretty good.

“Burritos? As in more than one?” Jeremy’s eyes lit up again.

“You can do whatever you want, but yeah,” I was planning on getting two myself, becuase my leftovers will be breakfast tomorrow.

“Sweet! I’ll order it right now,” Jeremy dug out his phone from his pocket and began searching for delivery services. “Same as yesterday?”

“Yep,” I answered him while continuing to pack our dorm room.

Packing done. Burrritos devoured. We were now just laying on our beds staring at the ceiling.

“Hey George,” Jeremy broke the silence.

I sighed before answering, “Yeah?”

“Are you nervous for tomorrow? We won’t be on the same level as the rest of the already team. We will be the fresh meat,” Jeremy’s voice revealed his own nervousness.

I thought about my answer first, “Yes and no. I am for the reason that we will be the “fresh meat” as you said, but I’m also not too nervous.”

“How?”

“Because no matter what will happen in these first four years, I will make something out of my swimming. I will be going to the next olympics. I will be in the top,” I did believe this to be true.

“How do you know? Also where does the confidence come from,” Jeremy rolled onto his side to look at me.

“I just believe that noting is going to stop me. You just have to know that you will accomplish your goals. But,” I rolled to look at the confused Jeremy across the room, “you have to give it your all. Everything. You cannot backoff or hold back anything in practice. That has to become your attitude towards all practices and workouts.” ‘I know that was a little harsh, but we are no longer in the small leagues. We have to step up to the plate.’

“Don’t worry about me George,” Jeremy rolled back onto his back and stared back at the ceiling, “I won’t be like I was. I want to experience that exhaustion feeling of almost drowing at some point in my career. I will.”

‘Wow. That’s the first time I’ve heard jeremy say anything with so much determination.’ “Good. Because I will need my trusty sidekick with me as I continue down my path,” I chuckled rolling onto my back. THUD!! A pillow hit me smack dab in the face.

“Don’t,” Jeremy responded to my sudden action to throw it back, “just give it back to me. You know you deserved it,” Jeremy waved at me to nicely toss the pillow back.

I did, because I definitely deserved it. “We should go to bed, tomorrow is going to be a long stressful day. We have to talk to people besides swim people.”

“True. How will we survive,” Jeremy sarcastically said as he rolled his body away from me, and settled down.

I shook my head, but did the same. Jeremy has no trouble talking to anyone, whereas I can’t seem to be a normal seventeen year old and hold a conversation with someone who doesn’t understand swimming. ‘In the pool I’m confident. On land however, I have no confindence at all.’

Life Of Two Beat Friends: College CHPT 29

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 28

CHAPTER 29

Jeremy and I were standing in front of the terminal sliding doors. Mom and Dad were across the street watching us from afar. They waved us inside. As I waved back at my family, I looked down at Mom’s belly that held my sibling. ‘I’ll see you in the future.’ Jeremy pulled me with him inside the doors.

“Sorry dude,” as Jeremy walked up to security, “I didn’t know if you were going to come if I didn’t drag you with me.”

“No. Thanks, Bro. I probably would have stayed out there and missed the flight if you were not with me,” I acknowledged that it probably would have happened.

As we stood in line for security, I thought about all that I would face in my future. College, swimming, olympics, and a new addition to the family. ‘I’m going to make my sibling proud. They will be proud of their older brother.’ I was determined. I had a new goal. I would win for my sibling. They would have a role model to look up
to in the future.

We entered the first check point of security. The beginning of our future.

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 28

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 27

CHAPTER 28

Ken, Jerry, and Matthew came to pick us up from the airport. I was glad I would get to see them one last time before our flight at four.

“How was the trip? How was Jenny? How was Coach? Was the house like you remembered? Did you bring us back anything?” Ken talked a mile a mintue once again.

“Dude. Shut it. I’m sure they don’t remember your first question,” Jerry jabbed at Ken, who this time was in the back seat with us. Matthew was the driver; he needed to practice for his licensed test next weekend.

“Right. Sorry. Just happy you are back,” Ken settled down.

“What was the first question?” Jeremy asked.

Ken too had to think first before answering, “Oh. Right. How was the trip?”

“Do you just want the highlights? Or extensive details?” ‘I would rather the simple answer.’ I was still exhausted.

“Simple,” Matthew called back, “I don’t think I can pay attention to driving and listen intently.”

“Okay,” Jeremy cleared his throat, “Jenny chewed me out. Coach nearly killed George during a workout. Jenny wouldn’t listen to George. And no one was forgiven or given closure.” Jeremy looked at me if I had more input.

“And Coach is now coaching a city team up there,” I added to add some good news.

We were met with expressionless faces.

‘As I expected.’

“Bummer. I was hoping it would be a good trip, but I can kind of understand the outcome. It’s going to take time for her to get used to the idea of this one,” Jerry thumbed at Jeremy.

“Very true, and maybe you three too,” Jeremy draped his arm over Jerry’s shoulder.

“Why us?” Ken and Matthew asked simitaniously.

“Well, when I told her you all accepted me into your gang she was surprised first, and then probably disappointed in you all. That you could also befriend her great enemy,” Jeremy threw his hands up in the air.

“Wow. Thanks,” Jerry shoved Jeremy’s hand off of him, “I was hoping to visit them at some point. But I guess that is not an option.”

“Sorry. I thought it would help her see that I had changed enough that you upstanding people could accept me. But yes, it backfired,” Jeremy slump in his seat.

“Don’t worry about it dude,” Matthew said as he drove, “she would have found out about it sooner or later. Probably better she heard it from you then having to say she is disappointed in us to our faces.”

Jerry and Ken both nodded. “Ture,” they both agreed.

“Well on a better note,” I wanted to change the topic; the day needs to be more uplifting before we leave, “are you all staying the afternoon?”

“Right. Yeah. Your mom invited us over for an early goodbye lunch. She knew you would have been too busy to plan anything on your short trip,” Jerry said as we were almost to our exit.

That’s just like Mom.’

Lunch was delicious as always. Mom has a true gift at making one’s stomach happy. But as the lunch went on, I noticed that Mom was chippier than normal. She had a spring in her step as she walked through the dining room and into the kitchen. She seemed like she was in the clouds. Dad was happier too. ‘I wonder what happened
while we were gone?’

“I have an announcement; well maybe we have an announcment,” Mom said as Dad had joined her at the head of the table.

‘What’s happening?’

Mom looked at Dad; they seemed to exchange words without talking. “Okay,” Dad was the first to talk, “I guess I will be announcing the good news.” Dad pulled Mom to his side and rested his hand on her waist. Dad paused for a dramatic effect, “We are expecting.”

Silence.

It took me a second to realize what that meant, “You are pregnant!?” I blurted out with excitment.

Mom giggled and nodded happily.

The guys took longer, but after I answered they finally understood. “Congratulations,” the guys said in unison. Jerry and Ken both ran over to give Mom a hug and Dad fists bumps. Matthew and Jeremy followed their pursuit; even though Jeremy was not planning on hugging my mom. Still mom was not about to pass up on a well deserved hug.

“I’m going to have a sibling?” I hadn’t moved. I was happy but also stunned.

“Oh, George. I hope you are happy. I was worried you would think you are being…” Mom started to nervously fidget.

I was not about to let Mom feel bad for this happy news. I ran to her side and gave her the hug she deserved. I also whispered into her ear, “Thank you Mom; for giving me something I’ve always wanted,” I could feel tears coming so I just rested my head on her shoulder.

Mom’s body sighed with relief and hugged me a little tighter.

“Do I get a hug too?” Dad said as he placed hands on both our shoulders, “I did kind of help.”

“Hon,” Mom let go of me and jabbed at Dad.

Mom’s face was starting to redden, so she ran into the kitchen. I laughed. ‘Mom is so cute.’ I had gathered myself and I turned to give Dad his hug as well. I was ecstatic to finally have a sibling, but I’m sure Dad is happy to have another one. We just stood there in our embrace.

“Okay son, I’m hungry,” Dad slowly let go and pulled away.

The tears were back. They were happy tears of course, but here it comes…

“Oh…the eldest baby is crying,” Jeremy poked fun at my emotions.

“So what. I’m happy I will have a sibling. It’s what I’ve always wanted,” I wiped my tears away and stood a little taller. “And this time the child will have uncontrollable nice, sweet genes,” I yelled loud enough and in the direction of the kitchen.

“Thanks George,” a voice echoed from the kitchen. “Now for another surprise,” Mom exited the kitchen holding a platter with several colored cupckes.

“Wow!” We all said at once.

“I made them as cupcakes, because then you could decide how much sweets you want personally. I know you, George, haven’t been eating much,” Mom set the platter down in
front of us.

Even though we were all supposed to be watching our weight, maybe not Ken, we devoured all the cupcakes. I ate two; Mom was right, my sweets intake had lessened. So while everyone else was in a sugar coma, I decided to help Mom clean up. I took up my spot as the dishwasher; while Mom carried all the dishes into the kitchen. Then she took her spot as the dryer. I broke the silence, “Mom.”

“Yes, George,” Mom answered as she continued to dry.

“Can you call me Son, or something other than George. Even though we are not related by blood,” I stopped washing the dish and turned to face her, “You are the best Mom someone could ask for. I just want to feel closer to you.”

Silence once again grew in the room.

Mom had not looked at me, but as she slowly turned and I saw the tears spilling down her face, “I’ve been waiting for this day!” Mom whispered out as tears continued.

Soapy hands and all, I pulled her into a hug. Her tears subsided and we pulled apart. I wiped the soap off my hands before clearing her face of the tears.

“You don’t have to decide on the name now, you can think about it; but it would really mean a lot to me to fully be your kid too,” I turned my attention back to the dishes to hold my own emotions at bay.

“Sure, Son,” Mom gasped and threw the drying towel over her mouth.

I laughed at her reaction.

She laughed as well, “Well I guess, Son, it is. Your dad says it all the time, so I guess in my head that has always been your name. Son. I like it! Your sibling will have a great older brother to look up to; I think I’m most excited about that,” Mom warmly smiled as she grabbed the next dish from the rack.

We just stood there together as Mom and Son washing the dishes. But unknown to us, Dad was standing in the entrance of the kitchen, having watched our exchange. He too had tears rolling down his cheeks.

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.

Miles Per Minute, But In Slow Mode…

Life has been like the title of this post. I feel rushed in everything, but also seems to take all my effort.

Because of the holidays and big changes recently, I won’t be posting often. As you have probably notice these last few weeks. I’m just exhausted and I have no extra energy for my hobbies.

I’ll be finishing my nephew’s shirt, but I think that will be all.

I will post a chapter of my story here and there. I have several chapters already written. That’s the only thing that I seem to be able to focus on.

Please forgive me and have a thankful Thanksgiving! 🍁🍂

Fall

Nothing special. Just a photo I took the other day.

I’m Sorry.

Life has been non stop so my focus has been elsewhere. But I’m still doing things.

Like I started my nephews Christmas presents. I’ve made custom drawn shirts for them threw the years. A few I’ll have to draw them again for my baby. But I decided to make them custom original shirts. 100% original.

Partly done.

This one is for my youngest nephew. The claw is a stencil I made four years ago. And the stars are all hand drawn.

I’m thinking about making a stencil, but we shall see. It’s not taking me that long to draw the stars. This amount took me maybe 3hrs. The last shirts I did with stars, it took me a few days. Maybe since I have less to do now.

But I’ll show you the finished product when I’m done.

The older nephew’s shirt is same design but since he is taller I’m doing the stars diagonally vertical. I’m excited to see the end result. I need to finish them soon and ship them. The shipping process is still incredibly slow…so I must be quick!

Have a productive Thursday!