Chapter 6

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Our new driver approaches us with a basket and large bag in hand. "Here you are, sir," he says, passing them to Henry. He then disappears back into the car.

"What's that?" I ask, gesturing to the basket.

"Lunch and a blanket." I watch as Henry lays the fabric out on the ground and uses the basket as a weight to keep it down. "Hungry?"

I shake my head. "And in there?" I point to the other bag.

"Swimming outfits. I thought it would be a nice way for us to relax."

I look back out at the sea. "Henry..."

"Yes?" He comes to stand by me again, but keeping a small distance between us.

"I don't know how to swim," I whisper, embarrassed.

He stands up, holding out his hand. I stare at it, then lift my eyes to meet his.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm going to teach you how to swim."

"What, here?"

He nods.

I lean over and stare atthe lapping waves. "I don't think this is a good idea. At least not here. Maybesomewhere smaller?"

*

"You can trust me."

I look down at his outstretched hands and gulp. He now stands waist-deep in a pool, which is a huge improvement compared to the sea, but I'm still scared.

"You're not going to drown. I'll be holding you the whole time." He takes a step forward and lowers his arms. "Come in first and just stand."

I sigh and do as he says, surprised to find the water is warm.

I feel like a child again as I start to move my limbs, oddly fascinated with the slight resistance. Henry moves closer and I look up, sheepish to have been acting so naïve. "Sorry, I must look really strange."

He shakes his head. "Everyone reacts differently. My little brother kept walking in and out because he couldn't decide whether he liked it or not. Now it's almost impossible to pull him out of the pool." His arms raise and I take a step back. "Relax. You're probably too nervous to start learning how to breathe, which is okay, but we could have you lie down while I hold you. I promise I won't let you fall," he adds when he sees my expression. "Do you trust me?"

I sigh. "I do." That doesn't mean I'm not still scared. "What do I do?" I rush out before I lose the nerve.

He moves even closer so my shoulder is touching his chest. "Lean back, don't worry about your feet yet."

I do as he says, holding onto his arm as I do. One arm comes under my back and I cringe when My ears go under water, but it's not as bad as I was expecting. I feel his other arm wrap under my knees and I tense.

"Relax," I hear him murmur. I exhale and he lifts my legs so I'm completely horizontal on my back. "How do you feel?" he asks after a few minutes have passed.

"Surprisingly okay."

He turns us and I gasp as I feel the water move around me.

"We should probably head back now, but we can come back tomorrow if you want to."

I smile. "I would like that."

He tips me so I'm standing again, and I shake my head, causing my hair to fly outwards and water droplets to spray everywhere. Henry raises his hands as a shield, then offers his hand to me and together we exit the pool.

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