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Rides to Practice

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Laying face down on my bed feeling the cacophonic sounds that brought about the distant memories of another swim season. I closed my eyes and could feel the rush of water against my skin; the chill as I pulled my body out of the water after exerting myself during my race. Coach Guyer yelling at me and telling me that I could have done better had I practiced harder during the week; Coach Hope telling me that I did a wonderful job. The dichotomy of the two of them is what makes their coaching style work for without the other, they’d be useless.

 I felt my phone vibrate underneath me. Somewhere in the vicinity of my chest and it awoke me from my quick escape. It was Kathryn, my best friend. I didn’t feel like answering. She’d understand. Or maybe not. Overzealous as she was.

Since I broke up with my girlfriend several months prior she has been all over me. I suspect she has been trying to seduce me into dating her. I’m fairly certain that’s not going to happen. Although it would do a lot for the pestering ache that comes every night before bedtime. An empty shell within my chest.

The Age of Rockets blares their lyrical melodies across my bedroom in synchronous harmony with the outdoor sounds of birds and cars passing through my neighborhood. A breeze gently rolls into my room and I feel the first signs of fall through my chlorinated body; it rustles my blonde, nearly platinum hair. My grey eyes peer outside to discover that the leaves have just begun to change their pigment from a crisp green to a subtle yellow.

The music on my computer dims to allow the chirp of a Facebook chat window that pings open and a message appears:

"Can you give me a ride to swim practice ? :)"

No greeting. Typical. Just a request. A curly-haired Adonis that receives whatever he requests. Patrick, a friend's younger brother. Friend. Joe was always such an ass. We weren't REALLY friends. I had just known him all my life. Does that make someone your friend? I never liked him; we did hold a pool record together...as an 8 year old relay team. Why should I give his little brother a ride? I wanted to pretend that I hadn't seen the request and that I had just been away from my computer, but he could see that I had just posted something. I let some time pass as I flicked my way through his albums. He looked angelic in most of his photos; so beautiful. Alabaster skin; full, pomegranate red lips; green starbursts tucked inside the brown hue of his iris; brown crown of curls on his head. How long have I been lusting after these photos?

"I'm not sure...I'll have to ask. My mom doesn't like me giving people rides. You know how she is. haha" I responded, hoping he would move onto someone else. I can't give him a ride. That means I'd have to spend time with him...and he could be so negative...and...here come the excuses.

Alas, he was persistent, "What's your number? I'll have my mom call and explain. You live so close and I can have my mom drop me off at your house." Dammit. What can I say to that? I'm supposed to be trying to be a good person.

"H/O, I'll ask her." Reluctantly heaving my swimmer physique from the bed on which I had been laying, I trotted into the adjacent room.

After a VERY quick decision from my mother in the affirmative, it was decided that I'd be giving my crush, a boy I've tried my very hardest to stay away from, a ride to swim practice every day, for the entire season.

"Hey, Pat, I can give you a ride as long as you meet me here at 5:00."

"What's your number, Bran? I'll text you if I'm going to be late. ;)" Jesus this was going to be a long season. Bran? What? Only family calls me that. And what the hell is with that winky face?

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