Tag Archives: Swimming

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 55

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 54

CHAPTER 55 END

There we stood. Jerry, myself, Ken, Matthew, Dad, and Jerry’s mom. We were about to go through security.

I nudged Jerry and gave the signal. ‘We had planned, beforehand, to give Ken and Matthew painful hugs.’ We walked towards them, but they had something else planned. Ken and Matthew surrounded us and gave us a sandwhich hug, with Jerry and I squeezed in the middle.

“You guys done?” I squirmed my head around to get my question out.

Ken and Matthew sighed and let us go. Dad and Jerry’s mom were chuckling off to the side of us.

“We will come up and visit as soon as possible. Probably towards the end of summer,” Matthew swung his arms across our shoulders. Ken gave us a two thumbs up pose.

“Photo! Ken turn towards me,” Dad had busted his phone out. “Good. Good. Now, one..two..three..say cheese!”

Ken seemed to scream “CHEESE” as loud of possible, which caused us three to bust out into laughter.

“I got a good one, and the pretty ugly expression one of the laughter. But we should probably hurry this along. You guys still have to go through security and find your gate,” Dad came towards me arms stretched out.

I accepted the hug. ‘Probably my last hug until he drives the jeep up.’ “Bye Dad.”

“Good bye, Son. Enjoy yourself, but stay focused.” Dad was still hugging me.

“You too. Try and find me a stepmom while I’m away,” I pull away from Dad.

He was chuckling, “I will try, but no promises. Any advice for your old man?”

I step away swining my backpack on, “Maybe…be picky. Choose the right one, whatever that means,” I laugh.

Jerry was getting his hug from his mom. Jerry’s mom was smiling, but I could see the hidden sadness. For a slight moment, I missed my mom; just that feeling… Moment gone.

“Dad,” I hint and nod towards Jerry’s mom.

Dad turns, looks, and then winks at me realizing the situation. Dad gave me one last hug and he walked over to Jerry’s mom.

“You ready to go, Jerry?” As I pick up my carry-on.

“Yeah. Bye Mom,” Jerry scooped up his backpack and grabbed his carry-on from Ken; then headed towards me.

Dad placed his hand on Jerry’s mom’s shoulder; to comfort her but also hold her steady. She was already beginning to sway. “Goodbye, my son. I love you,” Jerry’s mom said, but it only came out as a whisper.

“Love you too, Mom,” Jerry said as he followed my lead; presenting his ID and walking through the first gate towards our future.

I looked back through the glass wall. There stood Jerry’s mom, Ken, Matthew, and…Dad. I am going to miss him. ‘Bye Dad.’ Jerry nudged me to make me move forward. My view of Dad was gone. ‘Move forward, George. Forward.’

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 54

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 53

CHAPTER 54

We all headed out of those doors for the last time. Jerry and I stopped and looked back once more. ‘Last time.’

Almost like deja vu, I turn around and almost topple over little Lily, “Lily?”

“Uncle George,” Lily jumped for joy, spreading her arms out waiting for her hug.

I accepted. I am happy I did, because it was a hug and kiss on the cheek. ‘I’m going to miss this little one.’

“Don’t forget me, Uncle George,” Lily snuggled back down into my shoulder.

“Not possible. I will miss my little big helper,” setting Lily back down to the ground. “You’ll need to be big and help your Uncle Ken and Uncle Matthew next year. Can you do that?”

“Yes, sir!” Lily did a cute salute and moved to my left and did the same hug and kiss for Jerry.

Looking around, my other teammates were dispersing but there stood Coach, Matthew, Ken, Brit, and Jenny. If you add my dad to the mix, you would get the most important people in my life.

“Well you two better do me proud,” Coach stepped towards us and clapped our shoulders. “I do not expect any calls from Coach Jones, but if I recieve one,” Coach’s face
changed to “the look”, “You better run and hide. Run and hide.”

‘Message received.’ I don’t need Coach coming all the way to Montana to kill me. “Understood!” Jerry and I said together.

“Aside from that, Congratulations and good luck. You will need it,” Coach chuckled as he scooped Lily up. “Let’s head out Lily,” off walked Coach with Lily in his arms.

“See ya later, Coach!” I yelled, and Coach stopped, turned, and nodded in my direction; then he continued to his truck.

‘My last nod.’

“Well dude. Matthew and I will be at the airport to say goodbye, so we are going to head out now. You good?” Ken slapped my back, and he dodged mine instinctively while backing away to the parking lot. Brit followed along behind them.

‘I can’t believe my hand did not connect with his face again.’ “Yeah I’m good. You good?” I turned to Jerry.

“See you in two days,” Jerry yelled, but Matthew and Ken were already halfway across the parking lot. “Let’s head out,” Jerry turned back, heading to my jeep.

But there stood Jenny. Looking over to Jerry, I could tell he understood that she wanted to talk.

“Don’t worry about it George. I’ll go catch up to them. You are going to be stuck with me for two years anyways,” Jerry started walking backwards. “See you, Jenny,” Jerry yelled as he turned and dashed off to catch up to Ken’s ride.

“See you,” Jenny said only loud enough for me to hear, “He is not going to hear me anyways.”

I nodded in agreement. Knowing what was going on, “Ride?”

Jenny nodded and started heading to the jeep.

I seriously did know this route by heart. ‘This is probably the last time I will be driving her home.’ “You know, this is probably the last time I will drive you home.” She didn’t say anything. I kept driving. But a sudden movement caught my eye. Did she wipe away a tear? I pulled over, “Are you okay, Jenny?”

Jenny sniffed and again wiped at her face.

‘She was crying.’

“Yeah I’m good. Just you saying this is the last time hit me that, that is true,” She tried to compose herself and turned to face me. “My best friend is leaving me.”

I honestly have no words. I thought she would be somewhat upset, but I never expected tears. ‘I don’t know what to do when a girl cries, with me in mind.’ “I will be back at some point. Either two or six years.”

“Six years!” Jenny blurted out.

‘Nice dude. You are an idiot.’ I took the time and explained to Jenny about the college in Montana; that they only take a few from the Montana High school. That it is a very pretigious school that takes only the top five from each swim high schools. I probably gave her more information than she needed.

“Okay. I understand, but wow. I didn’t realize you would be gone so long,” Jenny turned her body away and towards the window.

‘There she goes shutting me out again.’ I pull the jeep back onto the road. ‘I don’t understand girls,’ pulling into her driveway. ‘Probably the last time
I’ll pull into this driveway.’
This time, I turned the jeep off and got out with her. “Since its the last time, I’ll take you to the door; I might as well make it one of a kind!”

She giggled.

‘At least she giggled.’ We had reached the door. ‘Should I?’ I turned to her.

Jenny stood awkardly next to me; she was shifting from one foot to another.

‘Screw it.’ I pulled her into my arms and gave her a hug. “I’ll miss you, Jenny.” Her body relaxed into my embrace. ‘Why does she fit perfectly?’ “But don’t worry. I always visit my family.”

Jenny’s body pulled away; she caught my gaze, “You still see me as family?”

“Of course. Just like Dad, Coach, the guys, and Brit. My family,” I released her from my hold. ‘We’ve been like this too long.’ We each step away. Backing up towards the jeep, “See ya, Jenny. I’ll see you again.” I turn and walk. I buckle up, put the jeep in reverse, I start to roll back, and I see Jenny. She was still standing where I left her. I roll down the window and wave.

Jenny nods and waves at me to go first.

‘All good.’ I roll the window up, back up onto the street, and head forward. Jenny’s house disapears from my rear view mirror. This was another strange feeling. Knowing it would
be years until I saw that house again…

Heading home.

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 53

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 52

CHAPTER 53

Well things have been in a blur. I’ve forgotten to write everything down. Still…it is the last day of school! Finally Jerry and I’s goals will begin. Yep. Jerry is going with me; I super hyped I will have my best bud with me. His parents figured out the finances, and the Montana school helped out as well, but with the knowledge that Jerry will have to maintain a B avergae the next two years.

That day of fun at the pool, Matthew did call and tell Coach Jones he would not be joining, and to give his spot to another. I get it now. ‘I didn’t that day, but I do now.’ Also this way, Matthew and Ken will finish out the last two years of swimming together.

On the other hand, we will be leaving in two days. Dad will be driving my jeep up at some point, so that I have some wheels. I recieved my swimming schedule in the mail yesterday. It pretty much stated that I would not have any days off, except holidays or family engagements. So my dad gifted Jerry travel money. Assuring Jerry’s parents that whenever Jerry was needed home he would have the funds. Dad called it a congratulations gift for achieveing The Montana School. ‘Pretty sweet gift, if I must say.’

Today was a stange day. Classes were…whatever. But the thought of not swimming here or seeing Matthew, Ken, and Coach everyday…strange.

Jerry walked up next to me, “Does it feel weird dude? It’s our last day here for the next two years?”

“I was just thinking that. Also not to see Matthew and Ken everyday…will they make it to school everyday if their chauffer is not around,” I laughed, but actually thought about that.

As if they heard their names, Ken and Matthew sprinted towrds us. “Dude can I borrow your phone. My mom got ahold of the school and wanted to talk to me. My phone is dead,” Ken stretched out his hand pleading. I didn’t hesitate; I gave it.

“Me too. My parents need to talk to me and my phone is also out of batteries. Bro, can I borrow,” Matthew asked Jerry, not as severly as Ken but still somewhat urgent? ‘At least it was urgent for Matthew’s standard.’

“Sure,” Jerry too handed over the phone.

With that Matthew and Ken turned their backs to us and seemed to urgently call their families.

“Let us know if you need anything. We are going to head in,” I said backing away. Their hightened mannerisms made it seem like they were going to be dead meat from
their parents. I tapped Jerry’s shoulder waving to him to follow my lead.

“Yeah, lets us know,” Jerry followed.

Walking throught the doors it hit me again. ‘I won’t be walking through these doors for two years or longer.’ Like normal we proceed to the locker rooms. They were empty. Coach had told us to not change and be out on the deck at four-thirty. So we ditched our bags and head to the deck.

“Woo Hoo! Yeah!” applause, cheering, and whistles eruptted in front of us. There stood the team, Coach, Jenny, and Brit. ‘They were celerbrating us?’

“Wow. I like being appriciated!” Jerry draped his arm over my shoulders, relaxing his body.

Instead I was tense. Being celebrated is good, but not with this team. ‘I’m sure they have something planned.’

As if instantively, the crowd charged us, lifted our bodies, and tossed us into the pool.

‘Knew it.’ Jerry was spitting and sputtering like an idiot. I think he had his mouth wide open when he submerged. “You still happy to be celebrated?” I asked treading water.

“Dude. Ken and Matthew,” Jerry pointed to the deck, “that’s why they needed our phones. Those jerks.”

I busted out laughing, beacuse the look on Jerry’s face should scare the crap out of Matthew and Ken. He was pissed. Probably because he wore his brand new shoes today,
to celebrate himself. Yelling over to Ken and Matthew, “you guys are dead; not because of me,” I assured them with a shake of the head no, but turned and pointed to the fumming Jerry, “he is going to kill you two.” Ken and Matthew turned and hid behind the rest of the team. The others hid them and acted like nothing happened.

‘I’m going to miss this. The team, Coach, the guys…’ I knew what my goal was going to cost me, but the thought of leaving was settling in. Jerry and I finally made our way to the ladder and dredged ourselves out of the pool. I was drenched; Jerry looked all washed up. Jerry had also simmered down now; mostly because Matthew said he would buy him a new pair.

‘Last day.’

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 52

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 51

CHAPTER 52

As we entered the office, there stood a man. He was looking at the pictures and awards on the wall behind Coach’s desk. ‘Who is this guy?’

“Boys. This is Coach Brian Jones; he is the head coach from The Montana School,” Coach extended a hand towards the man in front of us.

I was still. ‘The Montana school? The school!’ I wasn’t the only one. I looked over at Matthew and Jerry and they were silent and still too.

“George…” Coach pulled me back to the present.

I walked up to the new coach, following Coach’s example by extending my hand, “Nice to meet you Coach Jones.”

Matthew and Jerry mimicked me, but they still seemed dazed.

“He has come here to personally invite you three to join their school for the next two years. Congratulations,” Coach beamed with pride. I could tell he was above and
beyond his proud limit.

‘I’m bummed that Ken was not included in this offer; relaying the good news later is going to be difficult. Still…’ “I am honored to be offered this opportunity. It has been my goal to be accepted to this school.” I was trying to be cool and collected as I spoke, but I was beginning to feel the excitement build up inside me.

Jerry said something similar. He must be so excited to be offered this opportunity. On the other hand, Matthew was acting excited, but I could tell he wasn’t being sincere. I know that Matthew swims because he enjoys it, but also knew, he never planned to make it his path in life.

“It is just an offer,” Coach Jones interupted my thoughts, “you will have to discuss it with your parents. I’ll leave a brochure with each of you. You should know that since it is a private school, prices will increase; but we will be offereing scholarships to all of you for your first year. Dwell and think over my offer. I hope to see you all next year. Get ready to work! You will all become great swimmers if you put in the work,” Coach Jones turned to Coach. “I must be leaving now. I have a few more schools to visit in this state,” he shook Coach’s hand once more; then returning is gaze to us, “If you choose to join us next year, you will be seeing a few familar faces. Thank you for your time,” and Coach Jones was gone.

‘The rest of the team was probably confused about who the man that just left was…’ It was quiet again in Coach’s office. I don’t know about Jerry and Matthew, but I was trying to compose myself on the outside, at least. ‘My goal was accomplished!
I am going to my dream school. My future is on its correct path.’
“Dudes. Do you understand what just happened?” I paused waiting for a response. Nothing. “We get to
continue our swimming careers together! I am bummed about Ken, but I am happy I won’t be going alone.”

“I won’t be going.”

‘Who said that?’ I had to turn to see the shocked expression on Jerry’s face. ‘Matthew?’ “What?”

“I won’t be going,” Matthew said very nonchalantly. He turned to Coach, “Thank you for this season, but swimming was never going to be a career or a priority that would surpass my academics.”

“No problem, Matthew. I knew this would be your answer, but I wanted you to have the option. Also to have the knowledge that you are a great swimmer; that you were choosen out of the entire country. You should call Coach Jones and give your answer sooner than later. I know the school usually has a list of alternates. Another swimmer will get a chance.”

“Will do Coach. I’ll go do it now. You guys stay and talk. I’ll be back,” and Matthew left the office.

‘Is he crazy? He just gave up an opportunity of a lifetime.’ “Matthew,” I wanted to stop him, but Coach stopped me instead.

“Let him go. Matthew is not like you two. You both strive to be the best in the pool; Matthew thrives in acedemics. Jerry do you think your family will let you attend?” Coach
changed the topic to refocus me.

“Yeah, do you think you will go?” Hoping at least one person would be joining me.

“I hope. I’ve got to be honest, I never thought it was a possiblity. I thought that only George would be the one accepted. I’ll have to discuss it with my parents. Hopefully we will be able to afford it,” Jerry glanced through the brochure.

“Don’t worry too much about that, Jerry,” Coach said stepping up to us and placing a hand on each of our shoulders, “all things will work out. Now go back out and enjoy the fun day. It will probably be your last one the two years.” Then Coach too walked out of the office.

“Can you believe it? We are going to Montana!” pride was rising in me. I don’t think I will be able to contain myself until I get there.

“Simmer down dude. But yeah, hopefully I can go and we can dominate in Montana. But let’s head back out there,” Jerry pulled me to the edge of the pool, just as Matthew hopped in before us, “and cut Matthew some slack. He never wanted this path; he knows what he wants and he will do everything to get it. Just like you and Montana.

“True. Understood,” Jerry can be so right sometimes, “Let’s go!”

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 51

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 50

CHAPTER 51

Yesterday night had been a strange night. After getting to Jenny’s house, I really had to try and wake her; she was dead asleep. When she finally woke up she put on the jacket, grabbed her bag, and walked to her door. There was no stopping and thanking me for the ride, no stopping by my window for a quick chat, just stealing my jacket and leaving.

‘Maybe her headache was unbearable and she just needs to lay down.’ No problem though. It was a really long day. Finally home. ‘Man, I’m tired.’ I wish Dad had been able to celebrate, but instead there was a note saying we would celebrate tomorrow night. I showered for about twenty minutes and then slept. I was exhausted. I had planned to swim a bit before sleeping, but no such luck.

But this morning I was feeling it; I should have cooled down more last night. At least, I have practice today. I didn’t procrastinate this morning; I just got up, got ready, and headed downstairs. Still no Dad. ‘He must be working overtime, so that he can be free tonight.’ I grab my breakfast, my keys, and jump in the jeep. As the engine comes alive my phone blows up.

‘Come get me. -Jerry, Need a ride if possible. -Matthew, Dude! Me. Ride?- Ken.’ I knew today would be like any other day. I think their parents know that I will pick them up, and they just expect me to. I was already going to be a bit early to school, so it really didn’t matter today. ‘Off to get the guys.’

“So George. Did you do the deed?” Jerry swung his arm over my shoulder as we walked through the school gate.

“What are you talking about?” I shrugged not understanding him.

“What deed? What do you know that we don’t,” Ken asked as he stood next to Matthew? “Spill.”

“George made a bet with Jenny about the meet, and if he won she would do anything,” Jerry added some dramatic flare as he spoke.

‘Great. He’s up to something. Not good probably.’

Ken’s face changed from annoyance to utter excited shock, “Dude! You have a direct free pass!”

Matthew was silent like always, but he too was a little shocked. “What did you end up asking her?”

“Nothing yet. I have nothing in mind right now. I’ll probably hang onto it until I know of anything,” I continued to walk to our table, but realized no one else had followed me.

“Are you serious, or are you just stupid?” Jerry looked at me point blank.

‘What?’ “What are you talking about?” I was now completely confused.

“I’m dumbfounded. You tell him Ken,” Jerry turned his back to us; I could see the frustration in his stance.

‘What’s up with Jerry. He is acting crazy.’ Still, I turned to Ken to get this obvious explanation, except to me.

“You could have asked her to be your girlfriend.” Ken said like it was obvious.

‘What? Oh.’ “Remember when I told you guys that I have moved past it; I was being serious. It is not even on my radar anymore. Also, I don’t want to ask something of her that she obviously doesn’t want. Why would I put myself through that torment again. Seriously dudes, I thought you understood me.” I was the one that was pissed now. I had moved past the Jenny thing. Why couldn’t they?

Matthew stepped towards me hands up in surrender, “We are not trying to stir anything up; we just thought possibly you had not really moved on. Sorry Dude.”

Ken also came up, “Yeah sorry Bro. It just seemed like Jenny had planned this to make you ask her that. Not that I watch many of them,” Ken pointed at us first, “but it seems like the start of any romance movie.” We all looked at him, including brooding Jerry. “Don’t look at me like that. My mom says they have things clueless guys, like me, should know. I think she knows I’m helpless when it comes to girls.”

We all laughed. ‘Thanks Ken. He can usually uplift the mood.’ “I will admit, I didn’t even think of this as a possibility. But let’s be honest. I swam like crap on Wednesday, and Jenny knew it. She was trying to motivate me to swim faster. Nothing more.”

Finally Jerry came back to us, “Sorry Dude. I was thinking too much. Probably because I’m the one who wishes I could have this bet with a girl. I…I don’t know. It would at least be a headstart,” He drapped his arm back over my shoulder. “Enough of this sentimental talk. Let’s get to class early. We can’t have this one,” pulling me into an almost a nuggie, “to be tardy and miss his chance to go to the Montana school.”

We all laughed walking past our table, and continued to our classroom. ‘Mood uplifted. Moved past the bet. School time.

Ms Chaplen had congratulated us in homeroom; also, the whole class erupted with applause. It was awesome to be appreciated for our hard work.

There are only two more weeks of school; so, the teachers were all super chill. They all told us that we would be just coming to class and enjoying our last days. Except tomorrow for me and everyone on the swim team. We have to make up our final exams tomorrow…We missed them on Friday. ‘But it was so worth it!’

Practice though…was awesome! Coach let us have a fun day. ‘That unknown occasion, happens only once a season.’ He made Jerry and I get in a swim an eight-hundred, since we didn’t continue our cooldown on Friday. ‘Understood. But as soon as I was done, I was glad it was over!’ Turns out, everyone else was playing Marco polo. We joined in, of course! It really was just fun day… ‘Strange.’

As Jerry and I made our way to everyone else, Jenny was making her way towards us. “I’m gonna go and try to get Ken caught,” Jerry swam away leaving Jenny and myself.

And again, what the guys had said earlier today was still lingering in my mind. I wish they had not said anything about it. “Having fun, Coach Jenny?”

“All is good. First time in the pool with everyone is interesting…” Jenny stood beside me, against the wall.

We just stood there watching the rest of the team. I had thought the conversation was done, because I was about to join in the fun when…

“Have you decided? On your reward?” Jenny excitedly asked.

“Nope. I think you should just ignore it and just focus on life. As soon as I know, I’ll let you know.” ‘If I had known she would pester me, I would have probably told her I don’t need the prize.’ “But could I get my jacket back? It is my school swim jacket.”

“Oh, right. Sorry about that day. After you woke me my head started the splitting pain again. I needed to lay down. I’ll give it to you tomorrow, if that’s okay?” Jenny sunk down beside me, covering her shoulders with water.

“No problem. But we should move,” directing her attention to the Ken slowly making his way to us.

“Don’t you dare…” Jenny started but I ignored her and sprinted away, laughing as I left Jenny to be caught by Ken. “You are so dead George! Everyone help your coach to succeed in tagging your captain!” Jenny closed her eyes and started towards me.

There was no way she would get me, but that’s why she united the team against me. Everyone was clawing at me trying to hold me in place. ‘Not gonna happen.’

“QUIET!” Coach yelled over all the laughter and yelling. As quickly as he spoke, we all stopped suddenly. No noise except the water rippling over the gutter could be heard. “George, Jerry, and Matthew to my office, now! Jenny and Brit supervise. Keep the noise down. You three, out!”

‘Oh great. What did we do?’ “Come on guys. Quickly,” we three climbed out of the pool, grabbed our towels, and followed Coach to his office. Dreading the punishment for our unknown mistake.

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 50

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 49

CHPATER 50

Qualifying Champs was over, and had we just arrived at the school. Dad had dropped off my jeep earlier today; he had to be at the music studio late tonight. I guess we won’t be celebrating. ‘Bummer.’

“Great job today everyone. I expect to see you at practice tomorrow, but don’t worry too much. Now get out of here!” Coach walked off to his truck, but was unable to leave until everyone was gone.

We all dispersed. “Jerry are you still coming to my house?”

“Nah. My body is pretty much relaxed. I’ll take a long shower and then finish cooling down tomorrow. I’ll catch a ride with…” Matthew and Ken were driving away. “Well,
I guess I need a ride. Can I hitch a ride, dude? Ken left me; he is going to get it tomorrow.”

“No problem,” I motion to him to follow me to the jeep. Almost everyone was gone. “Just think of it this way, Qualifying Champs is over, we can hurt Ken now,” I laughed
thinking about many options.

“So true. I will be throwing him in the pool tomorrow. Hopefully he spazes and does a belly flop,” Jerry climbed into the passenger seat. “Dude, you’ve got a follower,” pointing through the windsheild.

Turning…Jenny. ‘I guess I am giving her a ride too.’ “Ride?”

Jenny smiled and nodded.

“Your spot was taken by this one,” thumbing at Jerry. Jerry smiled quite proudly. Then, Jenny and I climbed into the jeep. “I’ll drop him off first then take you. Is that good?”

“No problem. As long as I get home without walking, I’m good,” Jenny relaxed back into her seat.

“Seatbelts. Good? Let’s go,” pulling out of the parking lot.

We were almost to Jerry’s house. It had been another silent drive, but I assumed this time was because of exhaustion.

“So, George, have you thought about your prize?” Jenny interrupted the silence.

“What prize? Do I get one too?” Jerry perked up. Jerry is always excited for free stuff.

“Sorry Jerry. It was bet between George and I. You should have made one with Brit. But George, anything remember,” Jenny smiled at me in the rear view mirror.

“Anything? Okay explain to the clueless one, please,” Jerry twisted in his seat to see Jenny.

“I bet George that he would not get second or better in all his races, and if I lost I would… do anything,” Jenny paused slightly before finishing.

‘Wonder why the pause?’ “Yep. So now I need to decide on my reward. And it will be a good one. Becuase dude, it was not just my personal events it was relays too. I had to gamble
with you guys in mind. I was risking it all!” I said super sarcastically. I knew what Jerry was thinking, “Don’t punch the driver!” I point at him just as his fist came up.

“No fun. But what was your pentaly if you lost the bet?” Jerry looked at me.

“Oh. I never thought about that, because I was not going to lose. But what was my punishment?” I looked at Jenny through the mirror.

“The same as me. You would do anything,” Jenny gazed back at me and then away.

Silence again.

“Dude! You are so lucky. What are you gonna choose? You could choose anything,” Jerry softly side jabbed me and winked.

‘What does that mean?’ “I’m going to wait. I can’t think of anything at the moment. We will have to see what happens,” was the honest answer, because I really didn’t know what I wanted. Finally to Jerry’s house. I looked at Jerry, and his expression was almost…I don’t understand you… “Dude. You are home,” waiting for a response.

Jerry shook his head and gathered his gear, “Thanks for the ride Bro. I’ll see you tomorrow. See ya tomorrow Jenny,” Jerry yelled back at her as he left the jeep.

“You going to jump up here?” I point to the passenger seat.

“What? Oh yeah.” Jenny actually climbed to the seat instead of just going through the doors. She must be distracted. She lunged over the seat, “Yikes! George help me!”

I turned and saw Jenny pretty much doing the splits. I laughed and held her waist and arm up, trying to help stabilize her enough for her to get her other leg over the seat. Once she did, I let go of her.

“Don’t laugh. I though I was going to be stuck forever,” Jenny settled into the seat.

“Why didn’t you just go through the doors? It would have been much easier,” I muffled my laugh best I could but it was impossible. “That was awesome,” I let out a deep laugh as I pulled away from the crub.

“Zip it George. And this,” Jenny spun her hands around gesturing to almost the entirety of the inside of the jeep, “stays between us. I don’t need your guy friends reenacting my embarrassment. Got it?” She looked, almost glared, at me.

I laughed again, “I wasn’t going to, but now…” as I drove I looked quickly over to her with a smirk. “But don’t worry Jenny. I’ve got your back.”

“Thanks George,” Jenny changed her sitting position to face me. “Are you sure there is nothing I can do. Nothing that you’ve always wanted? Anything you wish for?”

I could feel the tension coming off Jenny. ‘What’s up with her?’ “Yeah. I really can’t think of anything. I’m currently good in life. You might be waiting a long time for me to redeem this prize.”

“Oh. Okay,” Jenny relaxed back into her seat.

‘Did she just sigh?’

“No problem George. When you figure out what you want let me know. It will still stand even if years pass,” Jenny turned her body towards the window. “I’m going to close my eyes for a bit, if that’s okay. I’m getting a random headache.”

“You do you. I’ll wake you when I get to your house. Sorry about the AC; are you comfy enough?” I was sweating, but I know she gets cold easily. She can rest; it was a long day for everyone.

“I’m fine,” she said before I heard the soft repettive breathing.

‘She must be out.’ I noticed that she seemed to shiver. ‘Why does she lie. I would have turned the heat on,’ I reach for the nob. I paused, because I was truly sweating, and I would probably get sick if the heater came on. Instead, I quietly pull over and dig my sports jacket out of my bag, and I drape it over her. Her body relaxed and she tugged the jacket tightly around her. ‘Good. She is now good.’ We are probably less than ten minutes from her house, but she should recoop if she needs to.

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 49

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 48

CHAPTER 49

We were actually kicked out of the pool, before we could finish what Coach told us. I guess Jerry would be coming to my house; amazing how Coach just invites people to my house. We four showered and changed quickly. The team had already grabbed our extra things and were probably heading to the bus. “Beep, Beep.”

Text message. ‘We are waiting for the bus. Head over when out. -Jenny’ “Jenny. She says they are waiting for the bus; we should hurry up and get out there.”

The moment we stepped out the door, we all stopped and looked back. ‘This is maybe the last meet we all will swim at together.’ Jerry rushed away to a random girl… ‘What?’ What he asked her she must have agreed because he handed her…his phone…?

“I know it’s cheesy. But let’s take a photo of our possibly last meet together,” Jerry drapped his arms over mine and Ken’s shoulders. “We are good,” Jerry yelled to the girl.

“Okay. One, two, three…smile,” then she came towards us. “I took a few. Hopefully one of them came out well,” she handed Jerry his phone back. “I know this is random, but could I get your number?” She directed her question towards… Matthew…

We all were stunned. Matthew didn’t say anything at first. Jerry was probably bummed. The girl seemed to be uncomfortable; I jabbed Matthew in the side.

“What!?! Oh. I’m sorry. I guess I answered in my brain again. You are very pretty, but I’m sorry; I’m not dating until after high school,” Matthew said to girl as politely as possible, after his outburst.

“Oh. No problem,” the girl walked away back to her friends. The group left shortly after; some of the others girls looked back at us as they left.

“Dude. Are you crazy? She was perfect,” Ken smacked Matthew.

“I thought she was talking to me at first,” Jerry said looking down at his phone. “I was going to ask her for her number, but I’m now glad I didn’t. That was a close call.”

‘Wow. The mood has become a downer quickly.’ “Let’s go to the bus. Everyone is probably waiting for us now. Come on,” I had to pull Jerry along, while he stared at his phone. Ken and Matthew were following.

Up ahead I could see Jenny and Brit. “They are, up there,” I pointed to the group of people on the small green hill of grass. But before we could make it there Jeremy stopped us. ‘Oh great.’

“What did you take? There is no way for you to get that fast that quickly. You must have cheated. You were so behind on Wednesday. What gives,” Jeremy was pissed.

‘Hold in the laughter.’ It was difficult to do, but I didn’t need a fist to come flying at my face. “I was not swimming against you today; you were not even on my radar. But thank you for beating me on Wednesday. It was great motivation for me to be faster today. Let’s go,” I said attempting to walk by Jeremy.

He held his arm up blocking our path. ‘Don’t touch the idiot.’ “What now? Can’t you just accept the defeat and move?” That seemed to rile Jeremey up and he changed his stance. ‘Keep an eye for the swing.’ Just as I thought a fight was going to come Jeremy regained his composure, but also Jeremy’s coach started to walk towards us. Jeremy’s back was to him. ‘Oh. He is toast.’

“Don’t give me that crap. You cheated and I will prove it. I will kill your goal of the Montana school. Just you wait,” Jeremy said smugly.

‘If you knew who was behind you; you would shut up.’ We didn’t respond. We just stood there silently.

“What? No response. You don’t care that I will ruin your life plan,” Jeremy was getting impaient. He was also digging his hole deeper; his coach was now right behind him.

Jerry and Ken seemed uncomfortable and looked away. Matthew chuckled quietly and he too looked elsewhere. ‘I wish I could keep this going, but I wanted to be with my team.’ I obviously looked over Jeremy’s shoulder. Giving him a clear hint that he might want to stop talking. He must of understood, because his smug expression was gone as he turned.

“Boys,” Jeremy’s coach grabbed Jeremy’s sweatshirt by the hood and dragged him towards their bus.

“He is dead,” Ken let out a whistle as Jeremy’s body disappeared onto the bus.

We all nodded and shook our heads, and continued towards our team. We were finally sitting down by Brit and Jenny.

“What was that all about?” Jenny asked pointing over my shoulder.

I grabbed her hand and lowered it down, “It was nothing, but just incase don’t point.”

“Coach said to wait here until the bus comes. He wanted to talk to some officals. Oh look its here! Come on everyone, the bus is here,” Jenny stood and took control.

At this moment she seemed like a coach. It suits her. “Yeah, come on guys. Get up and listen to your coach,” I said grabbing my bag, being the example. The others followed pursuit.

We were all on the bus, and in came Coach. “Everyone here?” He looked to Jenny and then me. Together we said, “Yep.” “Good. Let’s go bus driver.”

After the speech the bus pulled away. ‘Thank you Belfire Pool. You helped me succeed.’

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 48

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 47

CHAPTER 48

I have no idea…all I can think to do is breath. My lunges…rib cage are on fire. I was gasping for air. My vision was distorted with dark spots. I shoved my head underwater. Better. As I surfaced, Timothy had his hand extended towards me. Now that I could see, I took it and shook. We exchanged our good jobs, and then Timothy climbed out. ‘Huh?’ Suddenly Matthew and Ken were grabbing onto my arms lifting me out of the pool. I helped a smidge, but then sat my butt down on the gutter. “How..’d…we..do?”

I still couldn’t breath normal…

“WE GOT SECOND!” Ken and Matthew shouted out together!

‘Oh.’ I was not looking forward to Coach’s disappointment. Hopefully he would be proud. Jerry, who was also exhausted, helped pull me up, and we turned to go to the cooldown pool; instead, there stood Coach, Jenny, and Brit.

Since the competition was over we were given permission to cooldown in the competition pool. Jerry and I turned to jump in, but Coach stopped us.

“You four did amazingly well. 3:10.33 is an amazing time. Especially you Ken,” Coach smacked, maybe a little too hard, Ken on the shoulder. “You just finished your one-hundred breaststroke, and placed third overall by the way. But still, this relay was impressive. Matthew and Ken, I will tell you your splits and then I want you two to start your cooldown. Then I will continue to George and Jerry. All of you must do at least a fifteen hundred. Even though the season is over, there is still practice until school is over. Understood?”

We were silent but nodded. ‘That’s a long cooldown…That’s sixty laps. I’m dead, but if Coach said it…’

“Good. Matthew 48.95. Ken 51.45. Well done you two,” Coach said with one of the happiest smiles I have ever seen.

“Dude! That’s awesome!” Jerry had let go of me and hugged Ken, “Dude?”

Once again Ken was dumbfounded. He was silent. ‘Priceless.’ “Ken,” I brought my hand up to slap him back to reality. He must have noticed.

“I’m good, I’m good. No need for that,” ducking away from my hand. “I’m just shocked. That’s my best by like four seconds. I was dying.”

Matthew was silent too. “You did amazing Matthew. You finally broke the fifty!” I drapped my arm over Matthew’s shoulders.

“I am proud of myself, but I am just so tired. Coach can I cooldown and then react after?” Matthew said while he stepped towards the pool.

“Yes. Good. Both of you go cooldown. Ken,” Ken was still dazed, “Go!” The tone in Coach’s voice quickly brought him back to reality and he followed Matthew to the pool.

They were both swimming when Coach turned to Jerry and I. Brit had left to probably keep an eye on the rest of the team; while Jenny walked up to listen.

“You both should be incredibly proud of your efforts. You did amazing. I am good with the second place, because it was so close that you scared lane four into winning. Listening to the other coaches, I heard many saying that lane four would win hands down. You made that team sweat. Lane four came in at 3:10.29; that’s only a four one-hundreths of a second difference. You both did above and beyond what I could imagine. Jerry 46.37. George 43.56. I had Jenny time Timothy and he finished at a 43.78. If you had been tied diving in, you would have beaten him. Good job,” Coach reached out and patted our shoulders. This response was huge from Coach.

‘43.56…That’s crazy. If this time counted, it was almost half a second faster than my best.’ I was probably grinning stupidly, but I was happy.

“George. I wish I had known you could do the straight arm swimming technique. In your future years, you will need to perfect it, and you will be unstoppable. Also, The Montana School scouts came down after your race, and told me they would contact me soon about their decisions,” Coach stepped back and his face showed true pride.

I was speechless. Jerry was silent too. I looked at him and he turned to me simitanously. Yep. We were both in the same boat, utter shock.

“Well enough chit chat. Go cooldown. It’s a bit late now. Do at least a six-hundred. If you feel sore still, than Jerry go to George’s house and finish the cooldown. Go,” Coach pushed us towards the pool then turned and walked to the officals tent.

I looked back to see Jenny still standing there watching us. Her face was beaming. Her smile… I smiled in return. She waved me to go cool down, and she went to follow coach. I jumped into the pool. I don’t know if this cooldown was going to work for me, I was still so pumped, that I don’t think my body will calm down any
time soon.

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 47

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 46

CHAPTER 47

Our two-hundred relay was as expcted. Second place. It was not a best time for us, but we were at least happy with the place results.

Last race of the day… The four-hundred freestyle relay. Jerry and I were behind our lane. Timothy’s team was behind lane four, and Jermey’s team behind lane three. The showdown was about to commence. Matthew and Ken were both still in the cooldown pool; they just finished their last individual swims. Jerry was doing active stretching beside me. I was stretching, but my nerves were in check, whereas Jerry’s were not. Coach was walking towards us.

“Okay. You two, plus the other two, are repersenting the team in this relay. I pulled the other relay; because Tom thinks he twisted his ankle. Are you ready and pumped?”

Jerry and I looked at each other simitaniously, laughing we nodded. We were ready.

“George,” Coach turned to me, “I know I said to swim your own race, but this time is different. You are the anchor. Jerry,” Coach turned to Jerry, “you will need to catch up and give George the chance. Ken is going to be exhausted; you will need to gain him some distance. Then you, George, chase him down. Also, look…” Coach stopped and pointed off to the stands on the right.

I looked and saw what Coach meant. There was Dad. He was watching us intently. Realizing he had been seen, he sent a thumbs up and fist pump into the air for Jerry and me.

“You got it?” Coach knowing he just succeeded in giving me a boost of energy.

“Yes. I’m good to go, now!” with that Coach turned to leave but he paused.

“Let’s have a 1st next to our lane,” then coach left.

“Event fourty-two. Varsity boys four-hundred freestyle relay. Heat one,” the announcer said over the speaker.

“We are up next. Where are Ken and Matthew?” Jerry started to pace frantically.

I was starting to worry too, not as much as Jerry though. Just because Matthew was the first leg of the relay. I stood up to start my active stretching, but also to scan the deck looking for our other half of the relay. “There!” Matthew and Ken were almost to us.

“Sorry. I wasn’t really paying attention. I’m still kind of dead,” Ken said as he sat down on the deck.

“I noticed Ken was still swimming, so I brought him along. Get up Ken, we are up in less than a minute,” Matthew, along with Jerry and I pulled Ken back up onto his feet.

“Pull yourself together,” I stood in front on Ken! “The competion is eyeing you like you are a free meal. Do not give them an inch. Stand up!”

Ken stood upright and changed his tired expression to determined.

The annoucer called, “Heat two.”

‘That’s us!’ I pushed Matthew to the blocks. The long whistle brought him unto the block. “Take your mark…” ‘Give Ken a head start. Come on Matthew.’ “Beep!”

“Go Matthew,” Jerry and I screamed! Matthew was doing just what I wanted. Timothy’s team might be fast, but Matthew was faster than their lead guy. Turn. Matthew was an entire body length ahead of lane four. “GO!” Touch, Ken dove into the water. Matthew crawled out of the pool and laid down breathing hard.

‘Come on Ken!’ He needed to keep up or at least only fall behind a small smidge. Turn. ‘No…’ Ken was dead. He was still swimming fast, but he was really falling behind. Turn. Now Jermey’s relay was beating us, while Timothy’s was now a full body length ahead. “Come on Ken!” The rest of the team was down on the other end screaming their lungs out. Turn. One lap left.

“Jerry. I need you to get me closer. Chase him!” I said to Jerry just as he stepped on the block. “Come on dude,” Touch. Jerry dove.

‘He was doing it. He was chasing.’ “Go Jerry!” Turn. He was now neck and neck with Jeremy’s team. Turn. ‘Passing! Come on dude…give me a chance.’

“Go…Je..rr..y,” Matthew was up and trying to cheer.

‘This can’t be it.’ I turned to look at Coach; he nodded but I could see the worry behind his expression. ‘Not going to happen, Coach.’

Turn. Last lap. I climbed up on the blocks. It was now or never. We were still about half a body length behind lane four. Timothy dove in. ‘Chase!’ Three…Two…One…’Go!’

‘CHASE HIM DOWN,’ I screamed at myself! Turn. This was the moment that truly counts. Turn. I don’t know if my arms are still connected to my body anymore. Turn. I could see Timothy… ‘Stop breathing. Get to the wall! Go!’ I was at his waist…‘GO!’ Shoulder…

Wall.

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 46

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 45

CHAPTER 46

I was feeling way better than I expected. Warm-up was a breeze. Friday is going to be a different day; I was determined to make it one. Today would be a quicker meet, since each event only had two heats; but thankfuly there were relays. Warm-up was done. The meetings were done. Now was time to wait.

Matthew and I were in the warm-up pool waiting for our two hundred freestyle to begin. We both had already talked to coach and got our break downs. As the girls event
started, we made our way back behind the blocks. Matthew was up first; this time I cheered for him. However before he was finished, I was behind my lane. Still I looked
to the board as he touched…ninth! 1:50.22!! He dropped another second from Wednesday. My turn. I looked to Coach, and recieved the nod. I saw Jenny off to Coach’s right and she smiled. ‘Get ready to lose the bet, Jenny.’

Long whistle… “Take your mark…Beep!”

I was second! 1:47.02! That was my best time by almost two seconds. To any non swimmers reading, dropping one one-hundreth is a lot to a swimmer. Also first place was
a 1:46.99…so it was only about a hand touch difference. I shook my competitors hand, exchanged the good jobs, then we both proceeded to exit the pool together. Again, I went to the cooldown pool; I feel like I live here. If I could, I would cheer the guys on, but first things first.

As I pushed myself out of the pool, I saw Jenny standing there.

“I can’t remember, did we make the bet for all the races, or just the hundred freestyle?” Jenny asked as she held out my towel for me.

Grabbing it and beginning to walk to Coach, “Sweet! You don’t remember. I could make it for anything then.”

Jenny sarcastically gasped, “I didn’t realize you were this type of person, George.”

“Nah. It was for all of them. One down, only four more to go. And some of them will be first,” I laughed. I peeled my googles and cap off my head. We were almost to Coach’s
chair, so Jenny left my side and walked quickly to Coach’s.

Everyone was swimming great! I was able to watch Jerry and Matthew’s fifty freestyles; even though they were only in the pool for about twenty-one seconds. Time was
being dropped left and right. And my hundred butterfly was no different. First place while dropping another second from Wednsday. ‘That’s two Jenny.’ I was back in the cool down pool waiting for my hundred freestyle. I only have about eight minutes between these two races.

I had already talked to Coach. I was prepared. Jerry was already behind the blocks; I think he was too nervous to wait any longer. The rematch would begin soon.

“You ready to lose again George?” Jeremy had stopped and was resting on the wall. “If you need something to chase, you can follow my feet; because that’s all you are going to see.”

I wasn’t going to engage him, but… “I’ll be chasing something faster,” and with that I climbed out of the pool and walked off to the blocks. ‘Chase a faster you. Focus.’

Jerry was lane one, while I was lane three. I yelled “Good luck,” to him and he returned it. I looked to Coach, he nodded and also gave a fist pump in the air. Jenny…she was smiling, but it was more of a “don’t get third” type of smile. I smiled back. ‘Not gonna happen.’

“Take your mark… I could already see my shadow self in the center of my lane. ‘Chase him down!’ Beep!”

‘Turn. Turn. Catch him! Turn. Almost…Wall!’ I accidently punched the wall; my hand was throbbing. ‘Board!… 44.97…First!…First??’ I looked to Timothy over in lane five. He was smiling. ‘Huh?’ Back at the board…Lane five, First 44.97. ‘Oh. We tied. Sweet!’ I nod to Timothy and he returns it. I look off to Jerry; he was exhausted, but he was shaking lane two’s hand. I remember I should do the same to Jeremy, who as I expected, was fuming. Stretching out my hand to him, he swatted it away
and jumped out of the pool. ‘Figures.’

Timothy had walked towards me and extented his hand. We shook. “Great race. It won’t be a tie next time,” Timothy said as we started walking away from the blocks.

“No. No it will not,” I laughed.

Jerry was already gone. As we got to the cool down pool, Jenny was standing there.

“Should I expect another first or another second?” Jenny smiled and giggled as she walked away.

“Girlfriend?” Timothy asked as he put his goggles back on.

“Nope. Just a good friend who will be losing a bet.” We both jumped into the water.