I was stunned, dead on the spot. It was like I was the one who drowned and never saw the light again. I couldn’t believe that right here, in front of my eyes, Jace Hamilton was sitting. A good distance of about three feet was placed in between us, but that wasn't good enough. I needed miles in order for me to be okay. I wanted him oceans, mountains, deserts, and plane rides away from me.
He pulled his hair back, dusted the sand off his arms, and leaned on his palms as he kept his stares on me. I held my face straight, doing everything I could to focus on not looking away. I felt like if I would turn away, I would lose to him
“He's alive,” a man at my right uttered. Then he patted my back, and said, “Good job.”
Thinking that it would be too rude if I would continue the staring contest with Jace, I ended it and lifted my head as I turned to the man. I watched as the tint of happiness slowly crept on his face until it glowed in such a way that somehow bothered me to the core. Well, I could fully see that he was relieved that someone managed to save the 'drowning' man, and I knew I wasn't supposed to be irked about it because he didn't know a thing.
But he had no clue what had really happened. It was now game on, sir! What he did was his first move. The first piece was touched, opening the chess game. The starting pistol had been fired, and the runners dashed off from the starting line. It was now officially starting – the game of revenge.
Cheers were echoed and our audience clapped in happiness. But no, it wasn't for the revenge game of course. They all hadn't got a clue about it. It was more like a sign of relief as they realized that a life had been saved. Chatters started, praises were given, and everyone was happy.
And fortunately, most of them had recognized Jace, son of the mayor and Midget Dreams' recent lead singer. He was popular from way back then, and his features hadn't changed that much despite the years of no-show. So the next moment, everyone came over to his side after giving me brief congratulatory pats on the back. And as soon as they huddled around him, I stood up on my feet and took several steps back.
“Are you okay, kiddo?” I heard one man ask as he went to his side. Jace nodded in the most alluring way. After seeing that kind of reaction, I had decided to keep my words to myself instead. How in the world would I make everyone believe that he had faked the whole thing? All of them were dazed by his charms.
So the chances that they'd be convinced if I said that Jace was only pretending the whole time would be close to none. I closed my eyes and tried to calm down. I reminded myself that it was my job to save people, bogus plan or not. And after all, there was no harm done. I was just doing what I was supposed to do, even if I had to save someone who had known how to swim even better that I do.
Dusting off the sands from my knees, a woman in her mid-thirties complimented me, “You did a great job, Reese.”
She was someone familiar, but I forgot her name. Well, I wasn't good with names to start with. Then with a gleaming face, she added, “I'm so proud of you.”
“No big. It's my job,” I said, giving her a courteous nod. I felt mortified as I remembered that I was dozing off a moment ago.
“Now I don't have to worry about my kids. They're all in good hands,” she confidently said.
“I'll do what I can,” I tried to sound reliable. From now on, I promised myself that I would pay close attention to everything, and that included people who were faking drowning.
And that thought brought me back to him. Oh crap, he was back and met me first thing in the morning. In this small town, it was not a secret that I was one of the new lifeguards of Turtle Bay Beach. And how hard was it for him to ask his mom and dad what I was up to? I was certain that they were thoroughly informed by my own mother.
Then I noticed that the crowd was getting few in numbers. This wasn't a good idea. He was only a few steps away from me. And with more people leaving the area, the obstruction between us became less. And with that, the chances of us being left alone together were increasing. I needed to get out of here.
I slowly sneaked out, trying to be inconspicuous while Jace was preoccupied with people asking him how he was or if he was feeling well and such. Some chatted about his stay in Creeksburg and asked how he was doing in college. But I had no intention of hearing the rest of his story. He was breathing and out of danger, so my job with him was practically done.
|AnnaSophia Robb||as Reese|
|Josh Hutcherson||as Jace|
|Molly C. Quinn||as Britanny|
|Adam G. Sevani||as Mason|
|Meaghan Jette Martin||as Claire|
|Dylan Sprouse||as Cad|
|Callan McAuliffe||as Nick|
|Chace Crawford||as Lucas|
|Ed Speleers||as Fritz|
|Shia LaBeouf||as Drake|
|Nikki Yanofsky||as Hayley|