Kara pulled her shoulder length, red hair up in a tight ponytail. Then she stretched her bright blue swim cap over her head. The swim cap contrasted with her swim suit which was one piece, simple, and black. She closed her school clothes in her locker and walked to the pool. Her friend Cynthia met her along the way.
Cynthia was trying out for the swim team this year. She was wearing a dark green bikini and a light blue swim cap over her long, thick, blond hair. Cynthia was tall and strongly built. Kara was shorter and very slim.
“How’s school been today?” Kara asked her friend.
Cynthia shrugged. “It’s been okay. I despise science and the science teacher despises me.”
Kara smiled. “He’s a jerk.”
Cynthia wrapped an arm around Kara’s waist and walked with her to the edge of the pool.
The swim teacher called for three warm up laps. Kara and Cynthia slid into the cool water and swam strongly. Cynthia pulled a little ahead of Kara as they went. I was obvious she wasn’t trying very hard. Kara sighed and ducked under the water, speeding up. She broke the surface with a strong stroke. Cynthia was still ahead of her. It really wasn’t fair. Kara had been on the swim team for three years now. Cynthia had just joined today. Of course Cynthia had a pool at her house and was constantly swimming in it. She’d grown up in that pool. There wasn’t a time in her life that Cynthia could remember not knowing how to swim. This was the first year she’d considered the swim team. And she was clearly the best swimmer in the room.
All the swimmers climbed out of the pool and stood before the coach. Kara hid her heavy breathing. Cynthia was standing there as if she’d just finished talking to someone.
The coach shuffled a few pages of paper in his hands then spoke. “We’re going to have some elimination rounds. There are five too many people here this year.”
Everyone nodded. It was the regular way of establishing the swim team. The coach called out pairs of people that would swim against each other. Kara, thankfully, wasn’t paired with Cynthia. If she had been, there would be no way she could have won.
The pairs of swimmers competed against each other until there were only two left and the rest had ranks. Cynthia was paired with another girl who was a very strong swimmer. It looked like Cynthia was going to lose at first, but she put on an extra burst of speed and just managed to pull ahead of the other girl. This time when she got out she was actually breathing hard.
The coach gathered them all around again and started listing off names from first place to last place. Cynthia was first of course. Kara waited anxiously to see what her rank was. When there were six people left including herself, she held her breath and hoped her name was called next. It wasn’t. The girl who’s name had been called let out a sigh and walked over to stand with the team. Kara and the rest of the girls who didn’t make it onto the team walked off into the lockers. Nobody spoke to anyone else. There wasn’t much to say other than, “I’m sorry you didn’t make it onto the team either.”
Kara was mad but didn’t want to be mad. This was because she was mad at Cynthia for trying out for the swimming team. If she hadn’t joined, Kara would have made the team. She’d been ranked right after the last girl who made it onto the team. That meant that if someone dropped out, she would make it.
Kara stuffed all her swim stuff in her duffle bag and slung it over her shoulder. That wouldn’t be her locker anymore. Cynthia came up behind her looking apologetic.
“If I hadn’t joined the team you would have made it.” She said.
Kara shrugged. “Yeah…”
Cynthia opened what had been Kara’s locker and dropped her swim stuff inside.
Kara walked away without another word.
Kara avoided Cynthia and the rest of the swim team for the rest of the day. She sat in the back away from her usual friends and avoided Cynthia. A few people waved “hi” to her in the hallways. She was moderately popular at her school. She didn’t try very hard, but it helped a lot to have a girl like Cynthia as her friend. It seemed that every guy at the school had asked Cynthia out at least once. Naturally, she gracefully turned most of them down. Unlike a lot of popular girls, she preferred to stay single for most of the time. Kara would have gladly gone out with any of the boys who had asked Cynthia out, but they weren’t interested in the smaller girl who tagged along with Cynthia. And now, on top of all of that, Cynthia had taken the only thing Kara had been okay at. Nobody likes to be shown up and right now that was exactly what Cynthia had done. Kara wasn’t feeling too friendly towards her friend.
Cynthia caught her in a hallway right before she could step into her classroom.
“Kara, please. I’ll quite the swim team if that’s what you want.” Cynthia pleaded.
Kara shook her head. “I don’t want your pity.” She looked Cynthia directly in the eyes. “If you quite that team just because you feel bad for me, I will never speak to you again.”
Cynthia frowned. She didn’t understand why Kara felt that way. “Okay…”
Kara hoisted her backpack up further on her shoulder. “Now if you wouldn’t mind, I need to go to class.”
Cynthia nodded and reluctantly walked away. She glanced over her shoulder a couple of times but Kara was already in the classroom.
The rest of the day, Kara pointedly walked away whenever she saw Cynthia. She didn’t realize it then, but Cynthia really only had one true friends and that was Kara. She was easily hurting Cynthia far more than Cynthia had hurt her. The thing was, she didn’t care. She would have been happier had she known.
I know I am horrible at finishing stories, but I wrote an outline for this one so maybe it will be the one. Please comment any suggestions or questions!