Chapter 6: Release the Shark!
The digital clock on the wall chimed 11 o'clock. The air smelled of chlorine and sweat.
"Inhale. Exhale." Chelsea chanted to herself.
"Chelsea," Miranda said in an exasperated voice, "You’re supposed to be stretching."
"I’m stretching my lungs, dumb-ass." Chelsea’s usual know-it-all attitude.
I rolled my eyes and shrugged her off. Go ahead and get a cramp and drown. The hell if I care. I thought to myself, and then looked around nervously to see if anyone else heard. Oh, wait, of course no one heard. Stop being so paranoid. I chuckled to myself quietly at how scary I was being.
First, practice then, tryouts. Coach B blew the whistle, a sign that it was time to do some practice laps. Chelsea made her way to the bleachers swishing too hard. I laughed quietly to myself. Why is she trying so hard? Is it because we have an audience today? I looked up in the stands to confirm my belief. Yep, our usual cluster of horny middle school boys and over ambitious middle school girls.
Before I knew it 10 laps had passed and I was being tossed a towel. "Had an extra dose of speed this morning Montgomery?" I swiveled around on my heel to see Coach B approaching me.
"You don’t usually do this well on practice laps. Is it because we have a bigger audience today or what?" She gave me a firm pat on the back and I tried not to cough up chlorine.
"Umm, yea. I guess so." I nervously glanced around the perimeter of the bleachers and sure enough, there were more people than the last time I checked.
Coach B chuckled, "Miranda you have got to learn to loosen up." I just gave a small smile and jogged my way to the bleachers towards Chelsea. It was almost time for tryouts and unfortunately I had to vote on our new teammate. Or choose some new "bait" for the "sharks" as Coach would put it. The Judges were Coach B., Naomi (a senior) was head captain, and then I was vice captain. We took our seats as the "bait" lined up before us.
Chelsea Summers pushed pass the flock of boys surrounding her. I tried my best to ignore the claps and gasps as she did a lap around the pool in 1.05 minutes flat. A round of applause erupted as she crawled out. I even saw some of the other contestants leave. Naomi was the first one to speak. "Wow, that was amazing! Incredible timing! How long have you been swimming?"
Chelsea brushed off the back pats and accolades and just shrugged. "For about a year," she aloofly looked away and brought her attention to her nails.
"Hey girls, we’ve got a new shark on the team!" Coach B ran up and shook Chelsea’s hand vigorously. Chelsea pulled back and fanned her hand in pain.
"Um, no." She took a few confident steps in my direction.
"I just wanted to prove that I could make the team." She seemed to be talking to me than Coach B.
"Tootles! I have to try out for cheerleading next." Chelsea strutted out the door before a few middle school boys shouted, "Call me!"
I secretly hate my best friend, Chelsea Summers.