Tag Archives: Swimming

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 24

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 23

CHAPTER 24

We had Chipotle for lunch. Coach actually got us each two burritos. I was amazed that Jeremy actually ate both; since my throat was still sore I decided to pace myself and eat more later. Once we returned back to the house, Coach was treating me like I was a child; like I couldn’t function on my own. To make him stop, I decided
to go lay down for a bit to help ease the pressure on my chest, but also put Coach at ease.

I finally woke up and checked the clock, it was now one o’clock in the afternoon. I must have been asleep for almost two hours. I am starving again. I ventured down the stairs to the kitchen to find my burrito. ‘Jeremy had better not have eaten it.’ I came around the corner and ran straight into Jenny. I was unable to catch us, and I toppled over her and we both fell to the floor. ‘I tried to do the catch and roll action that most guys do in the movies, but that is only something that happens if the girl knows as well.’ But I still attempted it and instead she ended up landing on my wrist. ‘Pain.’

We just laid there on the kitchen floor for a quick minute. I got the wind kick out of me; probably because my lunges were still pressured from this morning. I still laid there, whereas Jenny slowly began to pry herself up from the floor.

“Sorry for running into you,” I said still sprawled out on the floor. I was waiting for the heaviness of my chest to be gone before moving. “I attempted to catch you, but of course I failed,” I tried to keep it light hearted, because there seemed to be tension in the air.

“No problem,” Jenny responded as she was fully standing now.

At first, I thought she was just going to walk off.

“Do you need some help, George?” Jenny turned and looked down at me.

Thankfully the heaviness was gone, at that moment, because I was able to start trying to get up. “No. I’m good. Just waiting for my chest to stop feeling pressured. You good?”

“Yep,” was all the response Jenny was going to give me.

I was once again on my feet and she started to walk away; I didn’t want to miss this chance, so I reached out and grabbed her hand. She didn’t respond. She just stood with her back to me. “Jenny?” Still no response, “Do you think we can talk now?” I thought she was going to keep ignoring me, but finally she turned to face me.

“Sure. Let’s talk,” her face showed no expression.

We had returned to the guest bedroom; we did not want to be disturbed by anyone; everyone was outside hanging out. I sat down on one corner of the bed, thinking she would sit on the other, but instead she took her spot in the office chair in the corner of the room.

Silence again filled the room. Seeing as she was not about to start the conversation I took the initiative, “How is school in Europe?”

That must have been the right question to start things off, because her face seemed to light up the room. She told me all about the school, her new friends, her new lifestyle, and her new discoveries in art. It didn’t seem like she would be stopping anytime soon, but she started to slow down. Finally to the point where silence had returned. I had hoped she would have asked me a question in return, but since that seemed like it would not happen, I once again emptied the silence.

“Montana is also a new lifestyle. Even though I’ve been swimming non-stop since Juinor year, the lifestyle up there is more slow paced. Thanks to school, I was able to know what day of the week it was,” Jenny was listening, but her expression seemed forced.

Silence once again.

‘I guess I’ll start the talk.’ “Jenny…”

“George…” Jenny said at the same moment as me.

She looked uncomfortable. I waved at her to continue. I was not about to stop her.

Jenny seemed to hesitate before continuing, “I… Why?… How?…Why?” Jenny seemed to be confused of where to start.

“Just go through everything one at a time. I will respond if you need me to, but if not, I will let you get it all out first.” I needed her to speak her mind first. So that I knew what her feelings were before I said the wrong thing.

Jenny looked at me and saw my honest acceptence; she nodded to herself and leaned towards me, “I’m better than I was. Juinor year was unbearable. I am surprised I survived as long as I did,” Jenny shivered and leaned back into the chair.

I offered her a blanket, but she declined it.

“I’m good,” she said relaxing once again, “I actually am good. Thanks to your dad, my transition was easy and painless. You will have to thank him for me. The pain and mental breakdown is still there, but I’ve been trying to work threw it. I have to,” Jenny seemed to squeeze the life out of her hand as she made a fist.

I know she must be in so much pain, but the look of determination on her face was vibrant and beautiful.

“But why…?” Jenny whispered.

Thankfully I had not stopped listening or I would have missed the whisper. I focused once again on Jenny’s face and there were tears starting to trickled down her cheeks. “Jenny,” I leaped up from the bed.

“No, George,” Jenny stopped me, “you befriend him. He ruined my life,” Jenny wiped away tears. “How could you?”

As I looked at Jenny I could see the anger growing. At first, I thought she was saying why did I leave her. Instead she was angry at me for befriending her enemy.

“Jenny. He is not the guy you think he is anymore. He has matured,” I said those words knowing they were not the right words but I needed to defend Jeremy.

Jenny, tears still falling, looked up at me. Her expression showed anger and sadness. “Even so. He ruined my life. I had to leave home. Yes, I’m in a better mental state, but how could you,” Jenny’s voice was getting louder and louder as she continued.

“Jenny. I don’t want to spend our entire time talking about Jeremy. We are, sadly, going to have to agree to disagree on this topic,” I stopped her from continuing. I saw no end to this conversation. “Tell me more about you these last two years?”

Jenny didn’t answer at first; I thought I had lost her completly from the conversation, but at last she turned her attention back to me and answered, “I can’t tell you about myself because it all revolves around your new best friend. So I believe there is nothing left to discuss,” Jenny got up from her chair.

“Jenny,” I reached out to try and stop her. I was not done talking to her.

She smacked my hand off of her, “No George. You have changed. Have a safe trip home. Goodbye,” and Jenny was out the door and gone.

I just stood there unable to move. This time she has left my world, and sadly I knew that it was not going to change.

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 23

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 22

CHAPTER 23

My eyes shot open. ‘Man it was bright!’ Everything around me was glowing. I only saw white and yellows all around me.

“He’s awake!” Jeremy yelled as he choked on food at the same time.

My eyesight was still unclear, but now a head appeared over me. This shadow blocked a good portion of glow.

“George,” it was the same voice from before, “respond please. Can you hear me?”

I tried to speak but only a squeak left my mouth. Instead I nodded.

“Thank God. You scared me for a moment there,” the head moved away and once again my eyes were flouded with the glowing light.

“George!?” Coach was now beside me, “Respond to me, son?”

“Co…a…ch,” was all I could muster. ‘Why is my voice gone?’

“Excuse me,” the paramedics had showed up. “Let us check him,” they moved Coach aside and took up the place next to my body. “How long has he been awake?”

“Just seconds before you arrived. He doesn’t seem able to register people yet. His voice is hoarse, but he did respond to me when he first awoke,” it was the voice again. It must be the head lifguard from earlier.

“How did this happen?” The paramedic closest to George asked as he checked his pulse.

“We were having an intense workout, and on the last stretch of the race, something seemed to be wrong,” Coach was the one to speak up, “then after he touched the wall his body seemed to collapse. He was submerged underwater for about ten seconds before his teammate realized and held his body up before the lifeguard reacted. Jeremy, saved his life,” Coach looked at Jeremy; he had just questioned him just the day before. Now realizing that Jeremy is actually someone to keep around.

“Du…de,” I tried to thank Jeremy, but my words would not form.

“Don’t speak. Your lungs took in some water when they desperately wanted oxygen. Your lungs might be filled with water; but since you are able to somewhat talk the amount must be very slim. I will do a quick procedure.”

The paramedic worked quickly; and just like that I was somewhat back to normal. My chest was no longer heavy and the faces around me became clearer. Jeremy was sitting and slowly eating another bar. Coach was standing, but was wringing his hands. The head lifeguard was standing off to the side talking to one of the paramedics. Micheal was coming back with Gatorade and more bars in his arms. The one paramedic was still beside me.

“I’m…hungry…” I said. Finally forming a complete sentence.

“No soild foods for you. I’m worried about your airway. Micheal,” the paramedic gestured for a gatorade.

‘Gatorade. That’s at least something.’ I tried to sit up but the weight on my chest returned and seemed to be holding me down. Arms seemed to help lift me up; putting me into a sitting position. The gatorade was delicious.

“He needs to rest for maybe one more hour. If any issues arise I would suggest coming to the ER. Anything. Shortness of breath, tightness of chest, wheezing, etc. Understood?” The paramedic said as he gathered his equiptment.

“Of course. I’ll keep watch over him. Thank you,” Coach shook the paramedic’s hand and walked him out.

“Dude. You scared the crap out of me,” Jeremy said as it was now just the two of us and Michael. “I thought….you…” Jeremy stopped talking and instead shoved the rest of his protein bar in his mouth.

‘I knew what he was going to say.’ “Thanks bro…for saving… my life,” I couldn’t move to truly show my appreciation to him, but I nodded at him.

“No problem. You would have done the same for me,” Jeremy returned the nod. “But I did realize something at the end of that set…I still had energy to save you. I thought I had given it my all, but I guess I still had something left. I know I shouldn’t say thank you for almost drowning, but thank you,” Jeremy chuckled awkwardly because he knew there was no other way to say what he just said.

‘It was a weird thing to say, but I totally understood. Every athlete needs to experience that moment at some point in their career.’ “I’m happy you got smething from it, because I will not be doing it again. But if something similar happens, act the same and save me.” I laughed but then shivered at the thought of experiencing it again.
Passing out in a pool is always a fear for athletes. Now understanding the importance of supervision.

“George. Are you alright?” Coach had come back onto the pool deck; just as Micheal went back into the office.

“Yeah Coach. I’m all good. Once again you pushed me past my breaking point; but I think this time it was beyond my breaking point.

Coach ran his fingers through his hair, and wiped his hand down his face. “Don’t ever push yourself that far again. You should have taken another breath. I knew something was wrong when your arm and leg stopped moving. It is better to take another breath, than lose functions of your limbs. Just think if that had been an actual race,” Coach had squatted down to be at my level. “Losing limbs would be slower than taking a two tenths of second breath.”

“I understand Coach,” I understood Coach’s concern but it was hard to believe he was telling me to breath in the no breathing zone. “Do we have to run home?”

“Please no. I don’t think my legs can hold me up. Especially now since my walking stick is broken,” Jeremy forcibly laid back down on his back.

“No. I would be reprimanded by the lifeguards and your parents if I did that. Also I don’t want to watch this one collapse again,” Coach thumb in my direction.

“Nice. I’ve become, this one and a walking stick in a short period of time,” as I attempted to roll my body up into a standing position.

“Easy George. You are going to lose your balance,” Coach stood up to help me stand on my feet.

I was grateful for Coach’s support because I don’t think I would be standing without him. “You need help too, Jeremy?”

“Nope. I’m good. Just a little lite headed because of lack of food. Can we get lunch on the drive back to the house?” Jeremy stood, but seemed a bit wobbly.

“Sure. The paramedics said once you can stand by yourself you should be able to eat solid food. Can you,” Coach instinctively let go of my body.

I had a momentarily panic that I was going to tumble over, but instead my legs held my body up firm. ‘Sweet. That means I can enjoy some food.’ “Let’s go eat!”

We three walked, slightly waddled, to the truck. Our limbs were so weak that Coach had to actually help us climb up into the seats. We were buckled up and we’re ready to go, but Coach was not moving.

“Coach?” I asked and Coach seemed to jump out of his skin.

“Sorry boys. but I need to say this before driving. Coach unbuckled and turned to face Jeremy in the back seat. “I apologize for being harsh last night. I now can see why George befriended you. One day when my daughter forgives you, you will be fully welcomed into our home,” Coach turned back around, fastned his seatbelt, and put the truck in drive mode.

I was amazed, but also proud of Jeremy. I looked into the rearview mirror to see a confused, but pleased smile on Jeremy’s face. I relaxed back into my seat and looked out the windshield to see what food would be our desitination.

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 22

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 21

CHAPTER 22

“You are not giving it your all!” Coach yelled at us as we both clutched the wall like it was a saftey haven.

“Coach…the run killed…” I said as I gasped for air. My legs were on fire.

“That is no reason. I’ve given you worse sets before. Have you really become so soft?” Coach sipped at his coffee.

“Dude. Talking is pointless,” Jeremy slapped my shoulder, “Let’s just continue,” Jeremy coughed out, as he climbed once again onto the blocks.

‘Yeah. What am I saying. Maybe the lack of oxygen was clouding my judgement.’ I followed Jeremy’s lead and once again climbed the block. “Let’s go again.”

“Are you sure. You seemed to talk back a moment ago. Do you want to quit?” Coach stared at the two of us.

“No. Continue. I’m not done,” I took my stance, ready for the Go!

Jeremy nodded and followed my lead now.

“Fine,” Coach pulled his stopwatch out again and put his whistle back in his mouth. “Take your mark…Go!” The whistle sounded and we left.

My feet left the block. This was my thirtieth fifty. Coach was pushing us to be better but my body was dead. I stretched my arms, trying to capture as much water to propel myself forward. My legs were moving but I had no idea how quickly; they were completely numb. I knew I was breathing way too much, but my lungs were on fire. Turn; feet exploded off the wall. ‘Keep going. You need to do this. Coach is watching.’ My arms were failing me; they felt more like jelly than limbs. Ten yards to go. I took my last breath and put my head down. I was going to finish this. ‘Finish…no…’ My left arm cramped up; I could no longer feel it. ‘No, keep going!’ Five yards. Lack of oxygen must be the cause of my body dying. As if planned, my right leg cramped enough that it stopped moving. ‘Go.’ Five, four, three, two, wall!

I could hear voices, but it was all dark around me. ‘What’s going on? Jeremy? Coach? Hello?’ I could feel someone lifting my body up and placing my on a hard surface. ‘Really! What is happening? And why can’t I see anything?’ Finally I heard Coach’s voice distinively.

“How is he? Is he responsive? Do I need to call an ambulance?”

‘Responsive? Ambulance?’ “I’m fine,” I tried to say, but it must have been subconiously, because I was ignore.

“If he doesn’t respond in one mintue I will have you call 911,” the voice right above me said.

“Dude!” Jeremy coughed out panically, but then choked on his next words, “…wake up…dude…”

Jeremy must have given up talking since it grew quiet again. ‘What is that? Air?’

“Call 911. He is still unresponsive,” the voice said above me.

The puffs of air continued, and I could hear a panicked Coach voice speak on the phone.

“Yes. Male. He is seventeen years old. He passed out in a pool after an intense swimming set. Please hurry. Nothing can happen to him,” Coach’s voice seemed…panicked. “Thank you. They will be here in ten minutes or faster,” Coach said back in my direction.

“Understood. I’ll continue CPR. Micheal,” the voice yelled away from himself.

“Yeah,” another voice answered.

“Come help me,” the voice said as he continued the puffs of air. “Also, keep an eye on the other swimmer. He doesn’t look so good either.”

“I’m good…Just… my stomach is screaming for food,” Jeremy melted to the deck. He no longer had the energy to hold himself up.

“I got it,” Micheal said as he quickly dashed away and came back quickly with, I’m assuming, food.

“Thanks,” Jeremy said.

“Control yourself, or you will choke,” the voice above me said. “Come on, George. Wake up. You need to wake up.”

‘Believe me. I am trying, but nothing I’m doing seems to be working.’ Jeremy was talking about food and I could feel my stomach grumble with jealousy. Pretty much yelling at me to feed it too. Sirens began to blare in the background. ‘I don’t want to be taken off to a hospital. God, please wake me up! WAKE UP!’

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 21

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 20

CHAPTER 21

“WAKE UP!…” Coach threw open the door of our bedroom. Only to find the bed stripped and the two of us on opposite sides of the bed. But on the floor. “What the? Why are both of you on the floor?”

I knew why, so I didn’t respond. I just ignored the unwelcomed vistor.

Jeremy groggily sat up from his position. I should say, he groaned is way up; because the noises he made were hilarious. “What?” he looked up at the bed. “Where is he?”

Coach pointed to the opposite of where Jeremy was sitting.

Jeremy begrudingy stood, crawled onto the bed, and gazed over the bed trying to see me. “You idiot. I gave you the bed last night. If I had known, I would have slept up here.”

‘I guess the thought of more sleep is out of the question.’ I hoisted my cramped body up so that I could look Jeremy in the eye. “Really? I thought you were on the floor for reflection?”

“Right. True. Neither of us deserved the bed. What’s for breakfast?” Jeremy expectantly asked Coach.

Coach stood there confused about what that exchange was just now. But he shook his head, “What do you mean breakfast? It’s only four-thirty in the morning. You need a workout before breakfast.” Coach grinned that grin that I know all too well.

“Four-thirty!” Jeremy exclaimed as he leaned back over to his side, digging around under the bed for his phone. Finally fishing it out he checked time; indeed it read four-thirty. “Are you crazy?” Jeremy reached back down the side of the bed and grabbed the comforter and drapped it over his body.

‘That’s stupid to do in front of Coach. I would have waited until he left the room.’ I sighed and got up from the floor. If Coach says it’s time to workout, you don’t fight it. Or it will be ten times worse.

“George,” Coach pointed at Jeremy to get up, “we leave in five,” and Coach left the room.

I could hear Coach quickly walk down the stairs. “Dude. Dude,” nothing. ‘Maybe he actually fell asleep.’ I walked over to the mound on the bed and lowered my head to where his head presumably would be. Sure enough a soft repetitve breathing was coming from the blanket. ‘Yep. The idiot fell asleep again.’ “Dude!” I yelled at the blanket and jabbed him in, what I assumed was his side, as hard as possible.

“Yyyyyaaaouch!!” Jeremy yelped and jolted up, falling off the bed.

I couldn’t help it, and I busted into laughter. ‘That was awesome.’ “Dude. We’ve now got, I check my watch, “two minutes until we need to be downstairs and ready. Move your butt,” I quickly threw on some exercise pants and a sport jacket. “One mintue,” counting down seemed like the only way to motivate Jeremy. He was at least trying to quickly get dress.

We both were putting our shoes on when we heard the loud, “Thirty seconds!” from Coach downstairs.

We bolted, even before our shoes were tied. We were down the stairs and quickly tying our shoes as Coach continued to count down, “thirteen, tweleve, eleven,…”

Finally finished with my shoes, I stood up ready for the torture to begin.

“Three, two, one, good. Not great, but good,” Coach glanced at the two of us. “I’ll be getting in my truck, and you two will be running until I get tired. Fair?”

‘Not fair. Not one bit.’ But there is no way I was going to say that out loud. I just nodded.

Jeremy looked shocked, but he too didn’t argue.

“Good,” Coach grabbed his truck keys and walked towards to his vehicle. “Well? You gonna start?” Coach waved at us, while pausing before getting in his truck.

‘Right.’ I left the porch and started the long trek on the road. ‘I wonder when Coach will get tired?’ I looked around to make sure the idiot was following me, and he was just to my right. I heard the truck behind us, and I was about to stop and let him through.

Almost instantly, Coach pulled up beside us, “Don’t you dare stop. I’ll see you in my rearview mirror. If you stop I will magically wake up more. Now get going,” and the truck roared directly in front of us. Just enough ahead, that we couldn’t catch up.

‘This is going to be a long morning.’ We continued down that never ending road.

“When…is this..going to…end?” Jeremy said gaspng for air as we continued to run.

‘I had no idea.’ The sun was just beginning to rise. Meaning it must be closer to five. ‘Thirty minutes! I knew coach was brutal, but I think this was a bit
excessive.’
Again I was not going to be the one to say anything. “Just keep… going,” I retorted back to Jeremy as I continued my pace behind Coach’s truck.

“Ahggg…” Jeremy grumbled, but he too continued.

The truck suddenly showed break lights. ‘Break lights?!? Awesome sauce.’ Our trek must be over. The truck pulled to the left and the engine shut off.

“Thank…you,” Jeremy wheezed out as he seemed to pick up his pace until he reached the grassy patch in front of the truck. He collapsed to the floor.

‘Idiot. His legs are going to be burning when he stands back up.’ I kept my pace and paused, standing next to Jeremy’s collapsed body. Coach was still in the truck. “Coach?…” ‘What is he looking at?’ I followed his gaze behind me…‘no.’ There behind us was the city pool. Turning my eyes back to coach I saw that smirk smile. The smile that meant death was coming. “Dude. I wouldn’t just be still. Stretch or you are going to regret it,” I whispered down, nudging Jeremy’s sprawled out body; just as Coach exited his truck.

“You two,” Coach stopped, looking down at the dead Jeremy. Coach chuckled and looked back to me, “Get him up and ready. He’s not too smart for collapsing. I’m going to enjoy this,” Coach walked past me and towards the pool.

“What does he mean not too smart?” Jeremy sat up quickly. “Ah…my head,” Jeremy grabbed his forehead.

The blood must have rushed back to his brain.’ “Exactly,” I reached down and pulled Jeremy to his feet. Or at least I pulled him up. As I expected his legs could not hold up his weight.

“Where did he go?” Jeremy clung to my shoulder as I turned him around to the direction Coach had left. “No. He’s kidding right!?” Jeremy had finially joined the situation.

“That’s Coach for you. You should have listened and stretched,” we started to follow.

“Your coach is crazy. Mine was a mean piece of work, but your’s is…” Jeremy thought for a good description.

“Hurry up you two!” Coach’s voice yelled to us.

‘Crap.‘ “Pick up the pace or I’m leaving you here,” I pretended to let go of Jeremy.

“Dude,” Jeremy latched onto me, “okay.”

We picked up the pace and reached the front gate; where Coach and, I’m assuming, the head lifeguard stood.

“Get ready. Suits and googles are in the restroooms,” Coach shook the lifeguard’s hand again and entered the deck.

‘Yep. Death is near.’

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 20

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 19

CHAPTER 20

Dinner was delicious; it had been over six months since the last time I had pizza. Thankfully we had ordered from a mom and pop type of place called, The Mrs’ Pies.

Jeremy and I were preparing for bed. It seemed like the night just flew by. My chance to talk to Jenny never came. The pressure was getting to me. Because we only have tomorrow, and after that we fly back to Montana and she to Europe. I have no idea of the next time we will meet.

I was showered and was sprawled out on the queen bed just staring at the ceiling fan. I was trying to clear my mind; by not thinking of anything.

Jeremy came out of the connecting bathroom; he shoved his toothbrush back in his backpack, walked over to the bed, and shoved me to the opposite side. “I don’t know what you are thinking; I’m definately sleeping on the bed.”

I threw his hand off of me. “Yeah, right! Sure you are. In your dreams.” But I was really thinking about how to pry into his and Jenny’s conversation from earlier.

“Just ask,” Jeremy laughed as he relaxed onto his half of the bed, “I know that’s what you are thinking.”

‘It’s creepy that he knows me so well.’ I decided to pause our fight for the bed, and asked the question that was hauntingly mind, “Well…how did your talk go? I didn’t hear any yelling or things being thrown so you must have kept your cool?”

“I will admit, there were times I almost lost control, but I kept it in… knowing you would probably kill me if I did anything to your girl.” Jeremy smirked.

“Not my girl, but yes, you would have died tonight,” I brushed off the, girl, statment because I didn’t want that phrase to drift to Jenny’s room. “Did you tell her everything? You guys talked for almost three hours.”

“Yes and no. I apologized for Sophmore year; turns out she found out later what I had said that day.” Jeremy grabbed the back of his neck, “Man, I was a jerk back then.”

I looked at him almost instictively. ‘Only then?’

“Oh, shut it. I don’t have to hear you speak it, to know what you are thinking. But you know what I mean,” Jeremy turned his head towards the mirror to look at himself. “I was a piece of work that day. Yes, my childhood was awful, but hearing her speak about what I did that day…I felt like trash in front of her.”

Jeremy looked like he collapsed in front of me. His body hunched over itself, and he seemed like he was admitting defeat.

“I think the guys let me off too easily. I’ll have to tell Jerry that he did the best. Jenny was shocked when I told her that I was accepted into the four of you,” Jeremy ran his hand through his still sopping wet hair. “I told her about growing up with a crappy Dad and coach. She acknowledged that aspect I think; probably out of pity. I didn’t tell her about my mom. I’m relizing that maybe my mom would rather me not telling everone about that night. I actually don’t know if she has told her friends; so until I ask my mom face to face, I’m going to keep that night to myself.”

I didn’t even think about that. That Jeremy’s mom might not want to talk about her nightmare experience. I felt guilty about telling Ken, and letting Matthew and Jerry find out. “Sorry dude, about…”

“Nope,” Jeremy stopped me, “I’m happy they know. I don’t know if Jerry would have moved past our issue if I hadn’t.”

‘True. Jerry would probably still be hating his guts.’

“I…apologized to her for being the cause of the rumors. What her dad said was right. What I said that day did initiate the rumors, but I can totally see those two idiots manipulating my words into something awful, but without being expelled. I just can’t believe that I was the cause…” Jeremy had recoiled his body from looking in the mirror.

“I understand that, but dude,” I clapped suddenly making him jump, but bringing him out of his zoning, “I kind of feel like the rumors were going to happen anyways. You changed, but none of your buddies did. They continued to be trash. You had no control over their behaviors.”

“But I did,” Jeremy said point blank.

‘What?’ I didn’t actually respond. How could I?

“How do you think that those guys became the way they did?” Jermery questioned without waiting for an answer, “I was the one to create the trash. They were actually pretty cool dudes before my family life got worse. They were all top notch.”

I couldn’t answer him. We were suseptible to change, but knowing this I understood how none of this would have happened if it were not for him…‘I really can’t defend him.’

“So…in the end I was the cause for Jenny’s pain. I…I have no words for myself. Just like you, you can’t even speak to me,” Jermey got up from the bed and sat on the floor. “I’ll take the floor tonight. I don’t think I could sleep comfortably anyways,” He reached up and grabbed a pillow; he then layed down in his new desired spot.

I still sat there stunned. ‘Jeremy is still my friend, don’t get me wrong, but how am I supposed to face Jenny. I befriended the person who destroyed her life. He destroyed my girl’s everything.’ I got up to shut off the overhead light and looked down at Jeremy; he was curled into a ball position. ‘Yeah he is still my good friend. Only a true friend would be sleeping like he is right now; someone owning up to his mistakes.’ I got back onto the bed, but somehow also felt guilty for sleeping there too. So I threw Jeremy the comforter first, before I too grabbed a pillow, a blanket, and slipped off the bed to sleep on floor.

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 19

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 18

CHAPTER 19

I walked upstairs, but before I could enter the bedroom, I heard voices. It was Coach and Jeremy talking.

“I don’t know how I feel about this. My daughter has been through so much because of y…” Coach caught himself, “because of the rumors. She hasn’t been in the best state of mind since being back. I saw the quick look she gave you.”

The door was cracked open, and I could see Coach standing across from Jermey, who was sitting on the bed. I would only help Jeremy out if it seemed like the flow on the discussion was going the wrong direction. Or if Jeremy was triggered. I texted Jeremy- ‘Outside the room. You talk. Control yourself.’

Jeremy’s phone beeped, he checked the screen and sighed. He shook his head and shoved his phone back inside his pocket. Thankfully Jeremy did not look at the door and reveal my precence to Coach.

“I understand your concern, Sir,” Jeremy sat a little taller on the bed, “I have no intention of ruining her progress. But please understand, my name has been smeared around to ruin her life. I had no control or knowledge of this happening. I…”

“I do understand, but know,” Coach held up a hand to cut Jeremy off, “I will always put her first. Even though it seemed like I did not care, I do know what happened at that swim meet Sophomore year. Also thanks to some parents nearby I know what was said,” Coach looked dead straight at Jeremy.

‘Oh crap.’ I craned my neck to look at Jeremy, who had scooted about a foot away from Coach, and was now slumped forward.

Still with his head down Jeremy answered, “I apologize for my behavior that year, Sir. I know I cannot take back what was said, but thankfully looking back, Jenny did not hear me that day. I really didn’t mean it. It just slipped…”

“Slipped!” Coach stepped towards Jeremy, Jeremy’s body bolted up in attention, but still he looked at Coach respectfully. “Did they tell you what was being said about my girl these last two years? Do you know how she suffered? You let it slip that day, and then next year your old buddies are starting a rumor…,” Coach pointed at Jeremy.

‘No.’ Jeremy was not reacting. But I could see him holding it together.

“You were the cause of the rumor. You said those awful words about her that day, and your buddies acted on it,” Coach was fuming.

I had never seen Coach respond in this way. Jeremy was still holding it together; thankfully Coach stopped pointing at him. I’m sure that helped.

Silence. Jeremy had no response.

‘What could he say?’ I hadn’t thought about this point of veiw; that what was said that day was actually the start of the rumor. Yes, the words were manipulated, and the outcome was way worse, but it was the initiator. I was still looking into the room from the hallway, when I felt someone besides me. I jumped, but only to see Jenny’s red hair sweep past me and swing the door fully open; exposing myself and her precence to Coach and Jeremy.

“Jenny,” Coach hesitated before stepping up to her.

Jenny held up her hand, stopping her stepdad before he could explain the situation. “I want to speak to him,” Jenny pointed to Jeremy. “Please leave us,” Jenny looked to her stepdad and then landed on me. “Leave.”

Coach looked worried, but he followed his daughters directions and walked past me and back down the stairs. I watched Coach disappear outside.

“You too, George.”

Her voice brought me back to the situation at hand. She pointed to me and waved me to follow Coach’s pursuit. I didn’t move, I just stood there frozen. It was a weird feeling. I was worried for Jenny, but I was more worried for Jeremy. Because if he acted on any impulse it could be over for him. I just stood there.

“I’m good dude,” Jeremy leaned forward on the bed so that his head could be seen from the doorway, “I will control myself.”

I looked at him, and he gave me a reassuring nod. ‘Okay.’ I could feel those green eyes on me; I slowly let my eyes travel up to her face. Her expression read confusion. I tried to give her a nod of acknowledgement, part apology, but gave up after her expression turned into annoyance. “I’m going. We will be outside,” I left the doorway and continued down the hallway, to the stairs, and out the door. ‘I guess this is their time,’ and I walked outside to join Coach and Mrs. Brown.

On the porch, it was just silent. The only noise was the breeze and the repetitve squeak from the porch swing. Coach was holding his wife in his arms; they seemed to leave this world. I didn’t know if I should talk, or if they just wanted to sit in silence.

The silence was killing me; I cleared my throat hoping that would initiate a conversation. No reaction. Again. Nothing. “So, how is it being up here?”

At first it seemed like they didn’t hear me, but Coach seemed to sigh and straighten himself out. “It has been nice to be away from the hustle and bustle but I do miss our life back home. Your dad though,” Coach paused to kiss Jenny’s mom on the forhead, and then realized she was passed out. He chuckled before pulling her closer and continuing, “has made our life easy; I don’t know what we would have done if not for him.”

‘Good job Dad.’

“But yeah,” Coach settled back into the rhythm of the swing, “life is just slow paced. I miss coaching, but I’m good waiting a couple years until its my turn again.”

I looked at Coach. He said that last part with a smile, but I could see it was all fake. ‘He probably misses coaching a lot.’ Coach seemed older. Like all his spirt had been drained away. Which being able to still smile, after everything that happened, is still an accomplishment.

“Well, how have things been up there in Montana? Still thriving and striving?”

“Of course!” That was a little cocky, but it was the truth. “I am looking forward to these next four years, but also slightly dreading the lack of life. It’s weird; the guys are moving on with their lives, and it feels like I’m stuck at the same place…Do you understand?”

Coach chuckled just enough to not distrub the woman in his arms, “Of course. All athletes go through this phase; and either they persevere or they give in to their wants and desires for a normal life. It is initally your descion, but remember this, ‘You are only young once.’ Which some athletes see that as, go explore different options when you are young. But no, that is not what a Coach is saying; they mean,”

“You are only young and in your prime once, you can grow up later?” I answered Coach for him.

“Exactly. It is your choice, but I do hope you continue. You will be one of the greats,” Coach smiled.

A true smile. The first one I’ve seen. “Thanks Coach. You are the one to get me started on this path. If I do become…”

“When,” Coach corrected me.

“Right. When I become one of the greats, you will be able to brag that you started my career. Make sure to put that on your resume from now on,” I laughed.

“True. And of course I’m putting that on there. There is no way I’m passing up the golden ticket to a new job,” Coach smiled but then sighed, “I don’t know when that will be. Hopefully I can. Maybe I should look up here,” Coach glanced behind him into the surrounding neighborhood.

“You never know. Maybe there is a small team that wants some volunteers. Find that next person. You found me. Find someone to continue your legacy,” I too turned to the neighborhood. “They are out there!”

“Good idea. I will probably do that after your visit. Speaking of visit how long has it been?” Coach pulled out his phone to check the clock.

I looked at my watch. ‘Almost six o’clock. Jenny and Jeremy have been talking for almost three hours.’ I couldn’t hear anything from all the way out here, so I quickly stuck my head in the door. Nothing. ‘I guess nothing is better than screams or thuds.’ I closed the door once again, and sat back down in the chair I had been occupying. ‘Hopefully they can talk it out.’ I know that Jeremy is probably telling her about his childhood. Most importantly, hopefully he is keeping his
mouth shut about other topics. Because I promised my dad I would not discuss things; I forgot to mention that detail to Jeremy… ‘Stop worrying, George. He needs this time to apologize and explain things.’

Suddenly the front door swung open, and out came Jermey and Jenny onto the porch. I couldn’t really read from their faces what was accomplished, but they were at least standing next to each other. ‘That’s a good sign at least.’

“Dad?” Jenny spoke, breaking the silence, “I’m hungry. Can we grab dinner out tonight?”

“Sure. What you in the mood for?” Coach quickly regretted his words, because he forgot that Jenny has not been able to make decisions. “Nevermind, we will have…”

“Pizza. I want pizza,” Jenny said. “You good with pizza, George,” Jenny looked at me.

I, like everyone else was shocked, but I regained my composure quicky, “Of course. I’m always down for pizza. Especially since, when this school year starts I won’t be allowed to eat it anymore.

Jenny smiled at my words. “Okay, I’ll go call and place the order,” Jenny started to open the door but stopped, “Dad, where is your wallet?”

Coach was still shocked. I coughed to bring him back to the conversation.

“Right. On the kitchen table,” Coach answered but was still dazed.

“Okay. Jeremy, come help me order,” Jenny pulled Jeremy back into the house.

It was silent once again. Leaving only Jenny’s mom soft hums from sleeping to fill the silence.

“Thank you, George,” Coach finally said breaking the tension.

My snapped in his direction. ‘What does that mean?’ “I didn’t do any…”

“You brought closure to my daughter. I didn’t realize Jeremy would have been the solution, but thank you,” Coach turned to wife trying to wake her form her deep slumbers.

I just sat there unsure of what I was feeling. I was happy and proud that Coach thought I had helped Jenny in some way; but at my core I knew that this wasn’t over. Call it a gut instinct. Like maybe Jenny was pretending, but I have no way of truly knowing. Not until it’s my time to talk.

Poetry From The Past

Unpacking leads to finding things from your past. I found a treasure… my creative writing/ poetry binder from over ten years ago. I was super creative in 2010. I had more free time in the past.

But here is the first poem I read.

Whom?

Whom…

Do I chase?

Down

The far

Pool.

Me.

Myself.

The girl

Doing it

Perfect

And precise.

She starts out

Ahead.

But I beat her

Dead.

That girl

Who begins

And I end.

This poem cracks me up! I wrote it October 08, 2010. I wonder who my competitor was; that I decided to write a poem based on them. I have no idea…

As I wrote that, I thought it could be me. I used to have that mindset. That I was the best and racing myself was the only opponent better than me. Oh the confidence…

Inspire for poem: Whom?
By emily2jane
10-08-21

I’m enjoying reading things from my past. I am now remembering that I went through a phase of writing sad poetry. Hopefully reading my old poetry will help spark up my old creativity once again. I’ve been in somewhat of a rut lately.

Maybe due to the fact that the hubby and I built a garage/ shed in less than 24 hours these last two days. I was the pair of helping hands to my master builder husband.

Maybe I’ll share that experience next blog.

But anyways…enjoy the weekend! Party time!! For all you young people or people young at heart! Instead, I will be enjoying time at home. It’s supposed to rain today! A nice Saturday at home. Just what I need! 🌧

I blocked my name for privacy.

Mature, Now?

Life still continues.

We change,

Mature,

And grow.

Feeling pain,

Excitement,

And occasionally…

Peace.

Living apart,

Together,

And at a distance.

Loving never dies,

Always thrives.

And never divides.

Recently the hubby and I have been discussing trying to move. However nothing seems to fit. We’ve grown up. Before, we would have jumped at any good sounding deal. Instead now we sit and dwell on the idea before deciding. And lately, our decision, has been to not take the deal, because the the risk is too high.

Also, the idea of moving reminds me of my family that lives far away. I miss them all. At least I get to see them in December.

Enjoy your Monday. If you get to see your family or family member today; give them a big hug! Some of us in the world want to, but they live to far away. But the love is still there, and always will be. ❤️

Photo By: emily2jane
Edit By: emily2jane
09-23-21

It’s definitely fall where I’m at, but I still love to post pictures of flowers. So that I remember what they look like as we enter winter.

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 18

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 17

CHAPTER 18

‘I have no words. I…’I have so many emotions cascading over me that I don’t know which I should latch onto.’ Excited, that it is true Jenny liked me. Sadness, what Jenny must have experienced as my dad…MY DAD! said for her to hide away her feelings; similar to what he is telling me currently. Anger, knowing that I could
have been with Jenny all those months before leaving. Annoyance, at Dad for keeping this from me these last two years. The pain…Jenny must have felt these last two years all alone. I wasn’t there for her. I was gone, and knew nothing. Yes. My swimming has become a success but, how…? ‘As I said before, I have no idea how I should be feeling.’ “Dad? How could you keep all of this from me?”

Dad broke. He collapsed into his own tears.

‘Dad!?!’ I opened the glove box and pulled out a wad of napkins.

Frantically he accepted them. “I…thank you George,” Dad collected himself once again.

But this time I could feel the guilt and sadness exuding frim his posture. “Dad?”

“I regret what I told her that day. I know that it was the best thing for your swimming. I aksed her as a caring father. But after what she went through; I have never forgiven myself. The day Brown called me asking for help, to send her to Europe I was confused. I knew about the rumor but I always assumed nothing could break Jenny. She was strong,” Dad gazed out the window. “But seeing her that day, an empty shell, I knew I had done wrong. I told her to close her heart, and that day, her heart was turned off completely.”

‘Dad…’

“Her art piece on the wall was vibrant and expressive. I knew it was her piece, but anyone else who would have seen the blank expression, hollow shell of person next to it would have denied that she was indeed the artist. I…I did all I could to make her trip and life in Europe comfortable; I think it was my way trying to fix what I broke.”

‘No words.’

Silence filled the truck. The only noise was Jeremy’s continous breathing. I glanced at the time and the half an hour was gone. We needed to leave. “Dad…”

He didn’t move.

“I forgive you. And it is not your fault about Jenny,” I placed a hand on his shoulder closest to me, and I felt his body begin to shake once more. “Dad?”

“It’s tears of relief. I…have been dreading this day, but also anticipating it. I…thank you so much George,” and he broke down again.

I fished out more napkins. “You good? I have to wake up the dead one,” I thumbed to the backseat.

“Go ahead,” Dad blew his nose and recomposed himself. “I’m good. But I won’t be taking you inside this time. Goodbye Son,” Dad leaned across the arm rest and gave me an awkward hug.

I still accepted that hug, “Bye Dad. Be careful on the way home.” I reached back and smacked Jeremy in the stomache, “Look alive! You’ve got to move!”

Jeremy shot up into a sitting position, “Ouch! I’m up, I’m up.”

I lauged and quickly grabbed my backpack and hopped out. I heard Jeremy thank Dad for the ride and he too got out. “Bye Dad,” I waved into the back window. Dad returned
the wave and pulled away from the curb.

‘It still stings. But I understand it…’

‘Jenny.’ She was sitting on the front porch swing with her mom. I knew it was her, even though her back was to me. Her red hair shimmered everytime her head popped back
into the sunlight. Coach had picked us up from the small airport; there was no way for us to rent a car. On the drive over Coach explained that Jenny was doing better, but that we were not to mention what happened unless she was the one to bring it up. Jeremy was worried since he was the so called start of the rumor; he was worried he would set her off just by being there. Jeremy of course did not voice these concerns to Coach; instead I read them all over his face, as Coach drove us to this home. It was the vaction apartment that Dad, other mom, and I used to come to during winter vacations. ‘Back when our family was actually happy…so like when I was eight years old.’

Coach walked past Jeremy and I and approached Jenny and Mrs. Brown on the porch. He leaned over and kissed both Jenny and his wife on the tops of their heads. He quietly comunicated to them; I thought he was telling them about our presence, but instead he looked into the front door and shook his head.

Jeremy and I were approaching slowly; we seemed to be in limbo. ‘Do we come. Do we wait? Are we going to live out here?’ Coach glaced back towards us and tilted his head up motioning to us to come.

Jenny’s head must have noticed her Stepdad’s quick movement, because just as we were approaching the porch her head turn towards Jeremy and myself.

Those green eyes caught my gaze; ‘Those beautiful green eyes.’ Her gaze shifted to my left. ‘Oh, right. Jeremy is here too.’ I was going to glance at Jeremy, but my eyes were glue to Jenny’s face. I could see surprise and shock initally in her expression; but then almost a second I thought I saw hatered, but it was gone and her
expression now read sadness. This is not the Jenny I remember; her spark was gone. ‘What did I do to this girl?’ I realized that Jeremy and myself had not moved; so I pulled Jeremy along with me as we came to the first step.

“We good to set our stuff down,” I asked Coach, who was standing in the doorway still gazing at Jenny.

“Sure. Come on in,” Coach threw the front door open and headed up the stairs.

Jeremy followed Coach quickly up the stairs; wanting to escape the stares of silence.

I paused only sightly, I returned my gaze back to…those green eyes; they were once again looking at me. ‘Jenny.’ I wanted to talk to her, but I wanted to find the perfect timing. I nodded to both Jenny and her mom, and then followed Jeremy inside. ‘I’ll find the time.’

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 17

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 16

CHAPTER 17

My plan had been: to head home, grab a travel bag, and start driving up to them; but Dad stopped me.

“I’ll buy the tickets. Fly instead. So that you will have time to talk, but also time to get back,” Dad pulled out his phone to purchase the flights. “Do you want to leave now?”

I looked at Jeremy and he just nodded. “Yes, now.”

“I’ll book it. Go shower and then I’ll drive you both there,” Dad left the room, to probably use his laptop.

I didn’t move at first. ‘Jenny.’ “Go shower in the guest bedroom, Jeremy,” I dashed to the stairs to use my own bedroom’s shower.

“Jeremy,” Dad suddenly said on our way to the airport.

“Yes, Mr. Matthews?”

“Can you put in some ear buds. I need to discuss something with George,” Dad was focusing on driving but I could see a look of concern in his expression.

“Of course. I need a nap, anyways, after that practice. Dude,” Jeremy swatted at my arm before sprawling out on the back seat, “wake me when we are close,” and Jeremy was out.

‘What does Dad want?’ “What’s up Dad?”

Silence. Then Dad sighed, “I understand your confusion from yesterday. Finding out you have pretty much been living as a zombie, and also finding out about Jenny…” Dad paused. “But I need you to hide those feelings for this trip.”

It took me a minute to register what Dad just said. ‘Hide?’ “What are you talking about. This is the whole reason I’m going on this trip. The whole reason I am acting like a crazy person on a mission. What do you mean by hide?”

Dad pulled to the right, all the way to the slow lane, “Son…Jenny is still broken…”

‘Broken?’

“Brown called and told me that she was home, but that she was still hurt. He descirbed her as faking a smile. She is smiling, but he could still see the pain…” Dad grabbed the back of his neck. “I hope she will listen to Jeremy’s apology and hopefully it will help her to move past it; it was already a pistol to get Brown to understand that Jeremy is not to be blamed. That just his name was used to start the fire, and that he had no knowledge of this happening.”

‘I get it. Jenny needs to heal before her heart can accept anyone…’ “I understand. I’ll just be there to be the barrier between her and Jeremy. I don’t need Jeremy exploding at her if she triggers him.” ‘I understood, but I wanted an answer.’ “Dad…did you know that Jenny liked me? Did you ever suspect it?” We were pulling off
the highway. We were maybe fifteen minutes from LAX. ‘Big question to ask in fifteen minutes, idiot.’

“Yeah.”

‘Yeah?’ “Yeah, what? Yeah she likes me? Yeah you suspected it? What!?!”

“I knew she liked you,” Dad’s body seemed to slump. “I told her not to persue her feelings. It was that day I drove her home. You offered to do the dishes and I took the chance to talk to her.”

Shock. Disappointment. Anger. Everything I thought I would never feel for my old man came rushing forward. “HOW COULD…”

“Let me finish,” Dad pulled into the parking garage across from our terminal.

I glanced at the clock and we had arrived about thirty minutes early. “Talk.”

-Sophmore Year (Before Qualyfing Champs)-

“Thanks for the ride Mr. Matthews. I would have asked George for a ride, but he seemed quite determined to finish those dishes,” Jenny chuckled as she buckled her seat belt.

“No problem at all, Jenny,” Dad too buckled up and started towards her house. ‘How do I bring this up?’ Dad glanced at Jenny who was smiling while looking out the window.

“Jenny?”

“Yes,” Jenny’s head turned back, her expression was innocent.

“Do you have feelings for my son?” ‘Point blank is always the best option,’ Dad thought to himself.

…”I…uh…” Jenny’s face went flush, her complextion almost mimicked her hair color. “I…”

“Don’t worry. This is not an unhappy father. Whatever your answer you will always be my daughter in my heart,” was the truth.

Jenny turned back to the window, “I do. I…I love George.”

“Love!?! I asked if you liked my son, not if you loved him,” Dad exclaimed suddeny making Jenny jump out of her skin. “Sorry. But I think you are a little too young to know if you love someone.”

“I…I…” Jenny started to tear up, “I thought you would be happy?”

‘Great.’ “I am happy. Over the moon to be exact, but I am also conflicted,” Dad pulled into her driveway. “Wait a moment Jenny,” stopping Jenny from exiting the truck. “I am happy you like George. I hope your feelings can continue in the future, but also after this request. Know that it is a favor from a loving father,” I looked at
Jenny who seemed nervous about my request.

“Favor?” She inquired but I stopped her.

“I need you… to keep your feelings… to yourself,” the last words stung Dad as he said them. ‘How could I ask such a thing. Of a girl I saw as my own daughter.’

Jenny was shocked. Stunned. She didn’t answer. Didn’t move. She just stared at me, mouth gaped open, in shock. “Keep it to myself,” she was confused. “How is that even
possible?…”

“George’s life is at a critcal stage right now. He has poured everything into his swimming. He has changed drastically after his mom’s and I’s divorce. He seems to be hiding his pain from that by becoming an emotionless zombie. I know you have seen it,” Dad dug some tissues out of his door, because tears were starting to stream down her face.

Jenny accepted the tissues and wiped away her stained cheeks.

All the color was gone in her face; Dad could feel her defeat. “I just want my son to thrive in his goals. His dreams. I…I’m sorry for interferring in your feelings.” I…‘I don’t know how to explain how I felt in that moment.’

“I understand,” Jenny cleared her throat and whispered out those words. “I want him to thrive as well…” Jenny wiped away her last tear. “If that means I need to just
be a friend to him and motivate him to his goals…I can do that,” Jenny faced Dad once again, the color and radiance began to glisten from her. “My feelings won’t falter. I will be your daughter at some point in the future; just you wait,” Jenny giggled as she gathered up her belongings and quickly exited the truck.

“I’ll be looking forward to that day, Jenny,” Dad yelled from his window. Jenny turned and waved before she entered her house. ‘I pray to God, that her feelings will stay strong. God, watch over her.’