Tag Archives: Fiction

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 31

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 30


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.’

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 30

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 29


The meet went pretty much as planned. Our B and C relay teams did the first relay. They did as Coach said earlier, “Home Pride,” and defeated the B and C teams of Mountain High like it was nothing. Jerry and the guys were actually beginning to believe their sarcastic words from earlier; believing we would actually win. As individual events go, today’s meet was different than most; the events were our off events, because Coach didn’t want us to use up or great race at this meet. So Matthew and I exchanged events, while Ken and Jerry exchanged.

It was weird to be swimming a backstroke event, and it will probably be my last time based on what Coach said afterwards, “That was interesting? It’s a good thing that it is not your normal race.”

‘I am good never swimming it again’; Matthew is crazy for liking that race. Still, this exchange did make it well worth it, to see Ken struggle and die in Jerry’s normal five-hundred event. It was priceless.

Jenny and Brit were doing as I had suggested; they would help Coach in anyway he needed. This was the first meet where I’ve seen Coach so relaxed.

Our medley relay had been in the middle of the meet. That event was piece of cake to win. Even though Jeremy’s gang talks a big talk, they don’t have enough to beat us at our specialty strokes. But that wasn’t the relay that decided my fate; the four-hundred freestyle relay did. Each person, four laps, racing to the end. And naturally it is the last race of the meet.

Since my last race was not too long ago and the relay is coming up, I’ve been staying in the cooldown pool. Jerry and the guys had jumped in with me a moment ago, but they did a quick warm-up; now they were stretching behind our lane. Normally this was where the pressure would be beginning to build, but instead I know I cannot lose. My future, Jenny’s reputation, Coach’s pride, the guys, my dad, anyone I care about is depending on me. That pressure is motivation. ‘No one is stopping me. No one.’

I decided enough was enough, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. Climbing out of pool, I see Jeremy and his gang were about to enter. ‘Good’ I don’t want to be anywhere near him; just because, he knows he is screwed and would try anything to stop me. ‘Ignore them. They aren’t worth it. Walk away.’

“So you really do believe that you will be winning?” snickered Jeremy as I walk by him.


“I don’t know what you see in her. She is just a mediocre girl. Is she really worth throwing your future away for? Are you so desperate to be her boyfriend that you will attempt to prove your feelings through trying to defend her.” This time is was Brian.

Fight the urge. Settle it in the pool. Ignore. But maybe walk faster.’

“Yeah maybe he likes girls like her. Maybe his type is…”

Turing around. Thankfully I was a distance from him, so I could not do anything damaging. “Shut up Jeremy. Let’s settle this in the pool. You game? Or afraid?” I turned away and headed to my guys. Not wanting to hear his stupid comeback. ‘It’s on.”

It’s time…The order was as always, Matthew, Ken, Jerry, then me. I was always last; the anchor. Which means I am handed all the pressure of winning. I like the pressure!

“Beep, beep, beep,” the ref blew his whistle to signal us to the blocks. Jeremy and his gang were in lane next to us. It was fitting that Jeremy was also anchor; I will be leaving him behind with only his bad attitude as company. Continuing to stretch and warm my muscles up, I search for Coach; finding him I see the nod of approval. That is what I must always see before a race. To his right stood Jenny; she looked hopeful but also worried. Hopefully my reassuring nod gave her some hope. ‘Don’t worry Jenny; I won’t be losing this one.’

The long whistle brought me back to the race. Matthew had stepped onto the block. We knelt around him. Silence filled the deck.

“Take your mark….BEEP,” Matthew was off!

Matthew did his job. He gained a small lead. Touch…and Ken was off. Ken was the one to be nervous about; he only swims freestyle on relays. All he had to do was keep up with our competitor or only fall a little behind…No…’Come on Ken!’ I yelled in my head conserving my energy.

Touch…Jerry left. Thankfully we were only two arm lengths behind, but that distance could be the difference. However, all the motivation I have built up inside me, no distance can defeat me. Stepping onto the block. ‘Come on Jerry. Catch me up.’

One stroke. Two. Three…touch…GO! I was only a smidge behind Jeremy when I dove in. One lap at a time. ‘I WILL win.’ At the fifty mark we are tied, but sadly for Jeremy I am not done yet. Time to leave Jeremy behind. ‘See ya after the race.’ Flip-turn. One lap left. This was no longer a race against him, but myself. One. Two. Wall…

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 29

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 28


“Dude!?!…what…?” Jerry yanked my arm turning me around, the morons had walked off, “Do you understand what you just did? You agreed to drop the race, that would for sure secure you a spot at the Montana school. What are you thinking?”

I could tell Jerry was pissed. I also realized what I had agreed to. A second ago I had no hesitation if there was a possibility of an apology, but now I am slightly regretting making a bet with that jerk. But I wasn’t about to show it, “If we lose. Will we lose? No because all we have to beat is that lot. So don’t fight me on this; we will win.”

Before Jerry could pursue the topic, “Of course you will win,” Coach had come back to us, “but what was happening a moment ago? George?”

“Nothing Coach. It was handled, and without a possibility of being thrown out of the meet,” lying my butt off to Coach but I didn’t want to explain what was just said about Jenny. ‘Jenny?’

Coach interrupted my thoughts before I could think about anything, “Good. I can’t have any of my swimmers being labeled as a bully. And you three,” Coach said turning to Jerry, Ken, and Matthew, “do you have so little confidence in yourselves? In your team? George believes it, and so do I. What about you?”

“Of course Coach! We will be on top. No one can beat us,” Jerry laid the pep on a little thick. Ken and Matthew came to Jerry’s sides and draped their arms over his shoulders in agreement.

“Kiss up…but keep that mind set. Let’s head back to the rest of team and relay details. The meet will start soon,” as Coach walked away Jerry and the guys followed. Brit next. Then I fell into step with Jenny.

“Are you okay?” we were a distance from the others, but close enough that they wouldn’t stop to see if we were following, “We will be there soon. If you don’t want to discuss it now we can wait. We only have a few minutes.”

“Why did you do it? Was what he said really that awful? Did you have to risk your future for my reputation?” Jenny stopped us and spoke as quietly as possible.

I kept us walking, “Yeah, Jenny. It was bad and, as I said to that jerk, I stick up for my friends. Don’t worry too much about it. They have no chance, they are just hoping to scramble us in hope they could beat us. But they have nothing.” I was adamant about it now. I was no longer worried about my decision to stand up for her; it was the right thing to do, “I’m also a bit excited to see him grovel out an apology. Don’t expect much, but he will be giving you one.” I wanted to keep this upbeat vibe up, but I needed to know, “did you hear him?”

“No. Thankfully. Seeing how you reacted it was probably awful. Should I know?” Jenny stopped me.

“No. It’s not worth repeating. But we should really keep going; I don’t want you to be the center of everyone’s attention again. Also don’t worry about it again; I will tell Coach what happened tomorrow,” I started to pick up our pace to catch up to the group. “I will be focusing on beating their butts and making him regret talking. You will just follow Coach’s instruction and help him.”

“Sounds like a plan. Thanks George,” Jenny said as she held my forearm as we walked.

“No problem. It’s what I should do as a Captain, but also a friend. Let’s go,” gently shaking her hand off as I increased my speed to a speed-walk; finally catching up to the group just as they reached the rest of the team.

“Here are the details,” Coach rambled off rules and changes to some events schedule.

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 28

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 27


The captain meeting was as expected. Jerry and I were respectable to the coaches, refs, and the rude competitors. Jeremy and Brian, the breaststroker of Mountain High, were as usual not respectable. Which really shouldn’t be a shock, since their coach is a real piece of work as well; he would be labeled as a screamer. Still, as our coach directed us, we were on our best behavior. After shaking hands…if you could call it that, it was more like a slap than anything, we walked over to Coach to relay the details before his meeting. Jenny and Brit were behind Coach, but they would not be going to the Coaches meeting.

“Stick with these two, will you both?” as we approached, “I don’t need them getting lost, or being tormented by their already fans.” Coach turned and looked towards Jeremy and his gang hovering off to the back of us. Thankfully, Ken and Matthew both walked up to us at that moment, “Good more people will help keep the idiots at bay. Once my meeting is done we will go back to the rest of the team and distribute the details,” at that Coach headed over to the meeting.

I quickly explained to Ken and Matthew what the deal was. They nodded in agreement and took up their positions in front of Jenny and Brit, creating a wall between the jerks and us.

“I’m sorry we are more of a problem than being helpful,” Jenny said as she moved to hide behind Matthew’s body.

“Don’t worry about it,” I said touching her shoulder, “those jerks are always awful; they have been that way since Freshman year. Just do as Brit said, ‘Ignore them’.

“I like it that my advice is being used!” Brit said with a smirk, but then folded her arms in front of her, as I assume extra layer of protection.

I guess the ignoring was getting to them, because Jeremy, Brian, and the other idiots were coming towards us. ‘Great. Coach won’t be done for another ten min. A lot can happen in that amount of time.’ “Get prepared,” I said stepping in front of Ken an Matthew, taking my stance in front of everyone. Jerry also stepped in front of Jenny and Brit sending them to the back of the half circle barrier.

“So, I see you have some new helpers on your team. Hot ones at that,” Brian was the first to speak, “Are they for your pleasure or are they for us as eye candy?” his group snickered.

“Shut up, Brian. They are coaching assistants,” cutting him off before more lued words would come out, “show them some respect.”

“What’s it to you, George? I heard that you beat up a guy for her. Is she yours?” Jeremy paused a moment but not actually allowing me to talk; “but on the other hand, I heard that she rejected you. So you must not be her type; maybe I am,” Jeremy snickered and stepped in Jenny’s direction.

I just held up a hand to stop him in his tracks. Of course the news traveled to this school. I was annoyed that Jeremy thought he had something over me, but more so that he will probably taunt Jenny with her baggage. “What’s it to you? She is one of my good friends. I will always stick up for my friends. Just drop it,” stepping directly in front of Jeremy. “Just walk away and prepare for the racing.” Secretively, I waved behind my back telling the guys to step away and keep the girls at the back. They did.

“Yeah. Maybe you are right. I don’t see her as my type anyways, seeing as she is a…”

I grabbed Jeremy’s jacket and brought him closer to my face. “Apologize! Now!” I was furious. Jerry and Ken rushed towards me trying to pry me off of Jeremy. I was glued to Jeremy’s pretentious smile, this was his goal all along. To get me to react, to his foul mouth, and punch him; then be thrown out of the meet. I let go of the moron , but still allowing Jerry and Ken to hold me back. I look behind them and see Matthew keeping Brit and Jenny away from it all. ‘I hope she didn’t hear what he called her.’

“Well seeing how you responded for your girl,” Brian hollered behind Jeremy, “…”

“She is not my girl! But you should still show some respect for other people,” I was all riled up now.

“Dude. Calm down,” Jerry was continuing to hold me back, probably because he knew I definitely would be riping Jermery’s smuge smirk off his pretentious face.

“Fine!” I huffed and shruged off Jerry and Ken’s restraining arms. “Apologize.”

“Okay, but you have to agree to a deal; more like a bet. If your measly pathetic team wins the relay, I will apologize for speaking the truth.”

Jerry grabbed my arm before I could begin my punch. He just shook his head.

“But if we win, you have to give up swimming the hundred freestlye at finals. Take it or leave it,” Jermey held out his hand.

Without hesitation, “Deal,” and I shook the jerk’s hand.

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 27

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 26


Some days have passed; I’m not the best at keeping up with my thoughts. I guess I should summarize…Our lawyer took care of everything. Dad gave me a short recap of what happened: Dad is my only legal guardian now, and it is on record that I do not wish to see my mom until I decide otherwise. Jerry did not receive a ticket for driving my jeep, incase any of you were worried; and he was not late to the practice. However today, we as a swim team have died. Coach told us we would be doing a long recovery before our final big meet; which means we would back off in practices and slowly be well rested before our finals. Instead, he recanted that statement, after remembering we had our one last duel swim meet with our rival team. Which happens to be now.

It is a home meet. Which means home pride is a must, especially against our rival school. We are currently in our stretching area preparing for warm-up. Jenny and Brit are in Coach’s office discussing with Coach what to expect; these past few days they have been nervous about their first meet being coaching assistants. Mrs. Bailey agreed to watch Lily; knowing Coach needed one less distraction at this busy meet. Jerry and I were leading the stretching routine as our competitors showed up.

There he was. The star jerk from Mountain High, Jeremy Michaels. He was a real piece of work. I’ve been racing against him since my childhood club days, and he is still the same stuck up moron he has always been. He was with his usual gang. Our rival relay. All those guys are jerks. If I’m calling someone ‘jerk’ know that they truly are. As if hearing me, Jeremey looked in my direction and gave me a “slice your throat”. ‘Yeah. Sure,’ I gave him a confident nod in response to his idiocy. Jeremy just scoffed at me and then they all walked off to the opposite corner of the pool deck to get ready.

“When will that moron ever learn? If he couldn’t beat me when we were young, and he hasn’t won since, what makes him think I will be intimidated by the stupid slice the throat gesture?” I say to Jerry who just snickered in response. “Okay everyone. Let’s begin our normal warm-up. Lower lanes stay away from the other team. Don’t give them any of our space, but don’t let them “accidently” beat you up under the water. Remember what happened to Geoffrey last meet with them?” reminding them, even though it is not hard to forget.

Everyone nodded in agreement. Geoffrey is no longer on the team. At our last swim meet against Mountain High, he was given a black eye and a severe concussion. Nothing could be proven because swimming can occasionally be a contact sport in warm-up situations. Geoffrey’s parents removed him from the team afterwards.

“Okay then, let’s begin,” I jump into the cold water, knowing that this meet will be different than the rest.

Thankfully no one was hurt during our warm-up. When we were on our interval quick sets, the other team got into the pool with us. At least they stayed in their lanes, and didn’t try to bully the slower swimmers into moving. Coach was behind our lanes waiting for us to get out and start our dives. Jenny and Brit were there behind Coach; they looked stunned and also confused. Swim meets are a completely different type of crazy than practices. There are almost double the amount of bodies in the pool and probably twenty more people behind the blocks preparing to be the stopwatches. It is mad chaos if you don’t know what to expect.

I climbed out of the pool first, “Get out! Let’s go! Everyone needs to do at least three individual dives and those doing relays, practice two relay exchanges.” I knew what Coach was going to say, and since he was “babysitting the co assistants” I just took over. Everyone followed my lead and began their dives.

The teammates who were not doing relays needed to do a short cooldown and were done. They exited and the rest of us lined up for our relay exchanges. There is a logic to lining up; you have to be in the order of your relay race. Everyone’s exchanges are different; you have to get accustomed to your person as much as possible. Because in a relay if you leave the blocks before your person touches the wall, you disqualify the entire relay. Which sucks! We did that twice in Freshman year; never again after Coach gave us an earful, and non stop relays for two hours.

After a short cooldown we were finally done. I looked over to the other team, and they were sitting there watching us. ‘Lazy’ is all I could think. ‘Whatever. If they want to slack off that’s their deal.’ “Let’s go guys. We should relax before our races,” I beckon to Jerry, Ken, and Matthew who were still floating in the water.

“A swim meet is completely different from practices. Is it always this chaotic?” Jenny said as we came towards Coach.

“Jerry and George, make sure to be at the captains meeting at the beginning. Make sure to be respectable. Even if your opponents are not,” Coach said as he turned to look at the group of swimmers goofing off in the pool. “GET OFF THE LANE LINES!” Coach screamed at Jeremy and the others, and they begrudgingly removed themselves from the lane lines. “Ugh. I really dislike this team. Home pride,” looking us in the eye, “Remember…Home Pride,” Coach said before walking off to his chair.

“Sorry about that, yes Jenny, they are always like this. But I would say this one is probably the worst, because of them,” I thumbed behind me to the other team, “they are notorious for being rowdy and jerks.” Jenny attempted to look around me, “Don’t give them the time of day. Just give all your attention to your team,” blocking her view with my body, “they will just try to make your life miserable if you let them.”

“No problem. I am an expert at ignoring people,” Brit said quite proud of herself. “Well if you think about it…all the idiots at school; I’ve gotten good at ignoring them. So much so, that they think I am snooty.”

We all laughed with her. “We should head back over to our area and relax, the meet will be starting soon,” I said trying to usher the group away from the blocks. Jerry helped me by instigating conversation with the girls to get them walking. Once more I looked back towards “the enemy” and they were looking past me; following their gaze, they were staring at Jenny and Brit walking away. ‘Great.’ I knew the girls would get the jerks’ attentions. Turning my gaze back to him, Jeremy switched to me and smirked. Finally giving me a sarcastic salute and then engaging in a, probably awful, conversation with his gang of friends. ‘Whatever. If they try anything we’ve got the girls’ backs. Plus they are on the coaching staff. I they do anything they could be in huge trouble for disrespecting a coach.’ I, do as Brit said, “ignore them” and turn to catch up to my gang. The better gang.

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 26

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 25


Finally clean and looking somewhat human, I head to the kitchen. To find Jerry scarfing down some cereal and a banana. “What’s your deal, worried your food will be stolen?”

“I got a text from coach this morning, telling me I have a short but intense practice before school today. Since I slept in late I’ve got to jet,” he said gulping down the milk and placing his dishes in the sink. “Oh. Crap.”

“Now what,” startled by his sudden outburst?

“Ummm…can I borrow the jeep? I had planned to go home last night, but you know…” Jerry stopped, probably because he didn’t want to drag me back to last nights events.

“That should be okay. Do you know where my Dad went?” I ask as I get up to find my keys.

“He took a call as he was making his breakfast. Do you need to ask him first? I could always call an Uber if it doesn’t work for you,” Jerry quickly pulled out his phone in response.

“Don’t worry about it Bro. Just drive somewhat carefully. If you get a ticket we’ll deal. You better head out. Coach will be harder on you if you are late,” throwing my keys to him and pretty much ushering him out the door.

“Thanks du…” all Jerry got out before the door was slammed behind him.

He will thank me later.’ I’ve only been late to an early morning practice once; because, once was enough torture to last me a lifetime. ‘Cereal sounds good. Cereal it is.’ I grab a bowl and the cereal from the shelf and sit my butt down to enjoy my breakfast.

Dad somberly walked into the kitchen, phone in hand. He didn’t look so good, “Dad? What’s going on?”

“Nothing for you to worry about Son,” Dad said walking past the kitchen into the living room.

“You are kind of terrible at deals, if you go back on your word the next morning. We agreed to talk about everything. This divorce is not only happening between you and Mom; I am apart of it,” I sighed and headed into the living room, while sitting on same couch from last night’s occasion.

“You are right,” Dad rubbed the back of his neck, “I apologize Son. I just didn’t want a repeat of last night,” gesturing to where I was sitting. “Okay. I got a call from our lawyer. He received the finalized report from the police early this morning; he rushed them a bit. He says with this report it will allow me to gain full custody,” Dad stopped speaking and looked at me.

I tried to hide my true reaction but I failed. Sadness and relief is probably what Dad saw. “Don’t get me wrong I am happy that I won’t be an object to be fought over. I just…I’m…”

“I know Son. I know,” Dad raked his fingers through his hair.

“Continue Dad.”

“Okay. Well he mentioned you will be the deciding factor of visitation rights. Since you are older, you may decide for yourself. He did specify that if you change your mind in the future, and want to switch to a new agreement you can. So to put it simply, your choice is not life sentencing,” trying to be clear and precise with his words.

I get it. I now understand why Dad didn’t want to discuss this with me. I have to decide on my future with my mom. Me. “I’m not sure. I know one hundred and ten percent I want to live with you. At this moment, the thought of running into Mom…that woman…what do I call her?”

“She is and will always be your mom. Just call her Mom. Until you figure out what you want to call her,” Dad answered me blantly.

“Okay. Mom. The thought of running into her at this moment makes me annoyed. So I assume for the time being I would rather no visitation, but I don’t know if I want it indefinitely,” Knowing right now, I would probably walk away if my mom came anywhere around me; meaning I answered correctly.

“Sounds good Son. I’ll let the lawyer know. Once you turn eighteen, things will change anyways. You will be a legal adult and you could just choose to not see her without making it legal. But Son, it is almost school time. You heading out? Don’t forget the project.” Dad paused and grinned, “I feel accomplished now; Jerry specifically told me to remind you, and I just did,” he gave himself a pat on the back.

“Right… about that Dad. I let Jerry borrow the jeep. He had to get to school quickly, and it was my fault he didn’t make it home yesterday.” I totally forgot to mention Jerry and the jeep earlier.

“Oh. Okay. Next time let him borrow my truck. Since your jeep is in your name, and you haven’t had your license long…just next time my truck.” Dad grabbed his keys and headed towards the door. “I’ll get the truck going. Grab your stuff and let’s get going.”

“No problem,” running through the house to grab everything, including the project; ‘Jerry would kill me if I forgot it.’ Then I was out the door and into the truck.

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 25

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 24


Echoing nothingness…I can’t hear anything. My vision is blurry, but also clear. I was like a ghost watching my body stand in front of me.

“………..” Jerry standing beside me, “……..Du….de….?”

What was happening? Dad was sitting on the opposite couch with his head in his hands. Jerry was motioning to my Dad to get his attention back on me. Now Dad was looking at me, a look of panic was glued on his face. Dad was shaking…me…I could feel it, but more like an after shock. Then somehow I was sitting on the couch. Dad was pulling out his phone and was urgently calling someone. Jerry was pacing in front of me. Mentally I was stretching out a hand and stopping Jerry, but my arms didn’t move. My vision was beginning to blur and I felt like closing my eyes… should probably go to my room…laying down would be nice…

Opening my eyes, I am blasted with brilliant ceiling light. Moving my head slowly looking around, I see a Jerry asleep in a seated position on the table, and Dad was sitting on the floor next to the couch I was currently laying on. Blinking and looking around I finally realize I am still in the living room. ‘What happened in this living room was just an awful dream right? It didn’t actually happen?‘ Wow, my limbs are burning; I twitch trying to move my stiff shoulder muscles.

Dad jumped at my movement, “Son? Are you okay?”

Jerry had also sat up startling and rushed towards the back of the couch, “Yeah you good Bro? You almost gave me a heart attack collapsing in front of me. You suddenly were standing, and then wanted to lay down in the air!?!”

“Yes, thankfully Jerry was by you; he caught you mostly and placed you on the couch. Are you feeling alright? Doctor Mark came by and said, due to emotional stress and shock you fainted,” Dad was gripping my hand.

‘I fainted? Emotional stress…shock?’ “What are you talking about? Why would I be emotionally stressed?” Completely confused at what Dad and Jerry were saying.

Jerry and Dad exchanged worried glances. “Son, your mom was just here and she…” Dad finally answered me.

It wasn’t a nightmare. It actually happened. I actually said those words to her; I thought it was just something I dreamt up. No, it actually happened…

Opening my eyes, I realize I am in my bedroom. Last night was crazy. First my mom tried to forcibly make me stay with her and ruin my dad’s life in the process. Now, realizing our exchange of words were real, I feel empty. Like my mom was actually gone; I felt partly hollow now. My dad’s terrified and worried expression is still drilled into my brain; I never want to see that expression again. Also after realizing I was okay, Jerry went to the guest room to finish the project himself and let me rest; Jerry is awesome like that.

“Son? How are you doing?” Dad was standing in the door frame.

“I’m better. What aboout you?” I sat up in bed, my muscles were not as sore as last night.

Dad came into the room and sat on the bed, “…are you really good? You scared me half to death when you fainted. I was already shocked from your mother’s selfishness, to then meet your collapsing body.”

Dad looked haggard. As I really look at my dad, I see the worry lines in his face. Since the start of the divorce process, Dad hasn’t aged well. Unexpectedly Dad grabs my shoulder and then brings me into a big bear hug. “Dad…”

Still squeezing, “I know you can’t, but I hope you can not be stressed about anything. I really do hope you can just forget what happened last night and focus on your swimming and school. Do you think it’s a possibility?”

“Dad…I…ugh…” Dad probably didnt notice he was sufficating me.

“Oh sorry,” Dad said letting go of me, “I guess I don’t know my own strength,” then sarcastically showing off his muscles.

“Haha, sure Dad. But I don’t know if your request is possible. To be honest, I feel partly hollow. Will this emptiness ever go away?”

“Son. I too feel the hollowness. I assume overtime that hole will be filled with something new. Our hearts will heal and become whole overtime.” Dad began the statement confidently, but as he continued it wavered to uncertainty.

“Well…I will try. Because knowing Coach, if I am not giving practice my everything he is going to kill me. I think it will be best if you tell me everything that happens; because, I think it would be better for me to not be surprised anymore.” Looking up into my Dad’s face, trying to believe my own words.

“Okay Son. Well, we should start the day. Jerry is still asleep in the guest room. He stayed up late finishing the project. I helped as best as I could; Highschool science was a while ago for me. I’ll make sure to write you a note for your teacher. But let’s get going,” Dad stood up from the bed and stop just before the door, “and you might want to shower before school; you look awful.”

“Thanks,” rolling my eyes and swinging my legs off the bed. “But Dad…”

Dad paused in the hall and came back into veiw, “Yeah?”

“You too. Don’t stress too much. I also want my dad to focus on what makes him happy. All things will work out in the end. Also, let’s be up front with what we are dealing with. Let’s not be stereotypical guys and keep it bottled up. I will promise to tell you what’s up with me, but you have to do the same. Deal?” Giving Dad the ‘no crap’ stare.

“Sure thing Son.” Dad said smiling, “You’ve grown into a great young man. Thank you Son,” Dad left and continued down the hall.

Getting up and walking to the bathroom, I look myself in the mirror; for once, Dad was not lying to me; I looked awful. Laughing to myself, I begin my shower.

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 24

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 23


It is currently Thursday; only a few days have passed since my last talk with you all. Nothing exciting has happened for me or report, mostly school, practice, school, etc. I guess the only new thing is Coach has been “happier” at practices, now that he has help with Lily and the lower lanes. When I say “happy” I mean he is happy while we are unhappy; more personal time with Coach means harder practices for us. At least our big meet is about two weeks away. We do have a meet with another school coming this Wednesday, whereas our final meet, of the season, is two Thursdays from today. Jenny and Brit have been really great for Coach; as we get closer, it has been nice to have Coach’s complete attention.

Since our barbeque, this will be the first Thursday that Mom will not be picking me up to go somewhere. I haven’t been noticing the absence of Mom, but today it catches my attention as Jerry and I head to the Jeep; we have a Science project due tomorrow. Finishing touches only left.

“You just missed your street dude,” Jerry quizzically said as we drove by another street. “You good?”

“Yeah. Thanks Bro. Just lots on my mind,” quickly coming back to reality. “Just, this is the first official Thursday where I won’t be seeing my mom. It hasn’t been bothering me, but it is today,” I say flipping a U-turn at the next crossing.

“Yeah. It is weird. I’ve grown accustomed to your overbearing…ummm…your mom being how she is,” coughing realizing what he had said. “Sorry dude. I didn’t mean…”

“No worries. I am bugged it is not my choice to have an opinion about her; she decided for me, by disowning me. Just something I am going to have to get used to,” finally turning onto my street, after a few wrong turns finally home. We had to park on the street because there were two cop cars in my normal spot. “I wonder if there have been more robberies?”

Getting closer to the door, “Is there a woman shouting inside?” Jerry asked as we approached the door.

“What?!” I put the key in and open the door to a horrifying site. My mother’s back was towards me, while two officers were across the room holding…down…Dad! “What is going on?” I yell into the chaos.

Silence. My mother’s body tenses in front of me; Dad’s face shows concern, and the officers regard my presence. Jerry begins to slink away; I wish he would stay.

“Stay where you are young man,” one of the officers called to Jerry, who was almost away, “we will need a witness.”

Wish granted. A little more controlled, I ask again “What is going on?” Mom’s shoulders tense again. She must have done something she should feel guilty about; since she has yet to turn and look at me.

“We were called about a parent kidnaping their son from their spouse. We are currently holding, I assuming, your kidnapper away from their distressed spouse. Please, young man, stay back, and we will deal with him legally. You are safe now,” the same police officer who had stopped Jerry was speaking to me now, but it sounded more like noise. Complete utter nonsense….

“What are you talking about? Is this her doing,” I point at, the still faceless Mom standing in front of me, “whatever nonsense she spewed about my dad is all false. I personally decided to live with my dad during their divorce. I decided to live with the parent who respects me,” as I spoke I pushed by my mom, not looking at her, and then standing beside Dad, I turn towards her.

Mom was fuming, but also nervous. I expect she didn’t want me to be present for this gathering because she knew I would call her on her lies. “Officers, please release my dad; he has done nothing wrong.” Jerry had also came into the house, but he stood off to side, but on my side of the living room.

The officers let go of my dad’s arms and help him to a standing position again. Turning to Jerry, the officer previously asked, “Look only at me, is what he said true?”

“Yes, officer. What he said is the truth. I have all knowledge of what has happened between this family,” Jerry said confidently, but then looking down turning red at his statement of knowing all our secrets. However, he lifts his head again, keeping his head high.

I give him a slight nod to let him know, ‘Thank you bro.’

“Thank you. We apologize for actions towards you, Mr. Matthews,” the officers offered their hands to my dad; my dad accepted their hands and apology easily. “Whereas for you Madame, you need to come to the station with us. Lying to an officer is a legal offense,” they went towards Mom, grabbing her arms to escort her out of the house.

I was shocked. I really shouldn’t be. I shouldn’t be surprised at what my mom is capable of. I stood with Dad watching Mom be dragged away from us.

“We will be filing a report. Don’t quote me on this, but after the report is finalized you should be able to use it to gain full custody,” the younger officer chimed into the conversation.

Mom stopped suddenly, throwing the the younger officer off balance, causing him to almost fall. She forcibly turned around to look me in the eyes, “You will never be anybody. When your life is dull and you need help, I will not be the one to help you. We are through.”

Silence rang through the house. I was not about to let her have the last word, “You will no longer be anyone to me. When you get to a point in ‘your’ life that seems meaningless and lifeless don’t come looking for me. Because you have become a stranger to your own son,” I turn my back on a now complete stranger.

As it became silent once again, the younger cop regained his balanced and dragged that woman out of our house for the last time.

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 23

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 22


Normally I would skip over Sunday, but after church today we have an afternoon practice planned. Usually we don’t have practice on a Sunday, but since the big meet is coming
up Coach wants us to practice as much as possible.

Anyways church. Church is another aspect of my life I haven’t discussed yet. My family has always gone to our small town church. I say small because the congragation is only about fifty people. I know a generous percentage of the attendees.

‘Your Dad is a famous person; why a small church?’ Is something you might wonder. But we have never thought about leaving to find a bigger church, because this church has lots of memories for my dad. He started his career here; he started as a member of the church band. So our train of thought is, why mess with something that is perfectly fine. I guess I mention this, because the idea of changing churches was always my mom’s idea. Which doesn’t matter anymore.

Since Dad is a big name artist now, he can only occasionally be a guest performer. Which he totally understands; the pastor doesn’t want people to only come to church because of the music. Still Dad always wants to join in if possible; today must be one of those days.

If you, personally, attend a small church you understand the unspoken rule of seats: unless you are a newcomer you know whose seat is whose. Saying that I’ll quickly tell you where everyone is. The guys were sitting in the two rows behind me with their families. Jenny and Mrs. Bailey were in their normal second row spot. Brit was off to my left with her parents. Coach was sitting in the back with Lily; Lily was singing along to Grandpa Matthews.

As the congregation continued to sing, I scanned the singing faces around me. I was looking for her; she would occasionally be standing next to me. Even though she had disowned me and was going to divorce my dad, I still hoped she would come to church. No where to be seen; I turn my attention back to the band.

“Okay before we start practice I have some news,” Coach quieted us as we stretched. “I want to open with some of the details and facts of the situation. First, I have two new co assistants. Their jobs will be unpaid; the school budget can not supply more money for their efforts. Though I’ve already discussed it with the principal and has agreed on giving them an offical title so they can use it towards a college letter,” Coach paused to make sure we understood that we must regard the new assistants with respect.

We all nodded.

“Good. I’ll introduce them now. Come on out,” Coach yelled towards the office.

Three famillar faces exited the office: Jenny, Brit, and Lily. Lily ran from the office to my side, as the lifeguard blew his whistle at her. Coach acknowledged the lifeguard’s command and quickly explained the rules to Lily. Lily nodded but was still a little shaken from the loud whistle blowing; she quickly stepped up to my side grabbing onto my hand. As Jenny and Brit finally approached the team stretching area, we all gave them a round of applause.

“They will be helping in some aspects of the team. However, not too much because I don’t want to put too much pressure on them; because, I know studies will get harder as the school years continue. They will also be helping me with Lily; I cannot financially afford a babysitter for a whole season. Anyways, let us respect these young ladies and accept them,” Coach started the clapping again.

As the clapping dwindle away, “Alright, let’s go,” I shouted out to the teammates. Leading Lily behind my lane, “Everyone, again follow Llily’s command,” as an example Lily shouted ‘GO!’ and off I went into the pool.

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 22

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 21


I have skipped my mental breakdown for you all. To summarize, it consisted of me trying to figure out how much Jenny and Brit had heard; about Jenny’s situation, about my parent’s, or about my shame for my mom… I guess I had been staring at them for the first thirty minutes which came off too weird; Jerry told me I looked creepy and I needed to stop. So instead, I just decided to enjoy the evening. Coach and Lily had arrived before Jenny and Brit. Lily was dancing in the living room; Coach was helping Dad with the barbequing outside, but always glancing towards Lily. Jenny and Brit were sitting on the couch watching, while complimenting Lily’s twirls. The guys had taken up residence in the kitchen, snacking on all the chips Dad had gotten.

“Don’t eat too much of that. You won’t have enough room for the meat,” trying to seem like I have self control; even though I could totally be stuffing my face, especially after the workout I did this morning.

“Okay mom…” Ken blurted but then went silent, probably remembering that is a touchy word in this household.

Matthew and Jerry took care of it, with a few good smacks to his back.

“Ouch,” Ken yelped.

“Don’t be killing our breaststoker until after the big meet,” Coach had come inside for some tongs.

“No problem Coach. Just giving him a nice massage,” Jerry said as he clapped on Ken’s back.

“Sure. Not my house. Not my rules. Take care of it George,” and Coach went back outside to help my Dad.

“See its not just us. Coach also said to let you ‘live until the big meet‘. Meaning after the swim meet you are free to die,” Matthew laughed directly at Ken, Jerry and I just added to the laughter. As our laughter died down we heard ‘Let It Go’; Lily must have been watching a movie on a phone. I looked towards the living room, Lily was singing and dancing along. Jenny and Brit were sneaking away, towards the kitchen.

“So what’s up with the little girl,” Brit questioned while grabbing some chips, “we were not officially introduced?”

“Oh that is Coach’s daughter, Lily. Initially, George was her favorite, but Grandpa Matthews stole her heart away,” Ken answered adding more info than needed.

“Wow. I assumed as much, but she is so sweet that I am surprised she is not more like your coach,” Brit looked back at the small body dancing and singing. “And George…how do you feel about the rejection?” Brit held up an invisible microphone in my direction.

“I’m good. Seeing her in my Dad’s arms made me happy. However, I do miss my little cheerleader,” laughing out the last part.

At that Lily came gleefully yelling towards me, “Geooorrrge!

I squatted down to her eye level not knowing what to expect. She jumped and clasped onto my neck; I almost fell over, but I stood with her in my embraced.

Lily, arms still around my neck, looked towards Jenny and Brit, “Uncle George is mine. You can’t take him from me!”

The guys erupted with laughter; Jenny and Brit also chuckled, “Don’t worry little Lily, these two,” Ken thumbed at Jenny and Brit, “would never take Uncle George from you. He is all yours.”

The guys once again burst into a laughing fit. Lily had accepted Ken’s response and snuggled her head back down into my shoulder. Just for a split second, I thought Jenny and Brit’s expressions changed, but it was gone quicker than it was there. I must have been mistaken.

“Okay guys,” Dad yelled in the slider door, “meat is done! Come eat!”

I glanced through the glass windows and saw the marvelous spread of various side dishes, and various meats: ribs, steak, bacon wrapped chicken, brisket, etc. ‘We are going to eat well tonight!’

“Let’s go!” I said as Lily and I were there first through the slider door.