The emotion. It wells up inside of me, and I wait for the second where I see him cross through the doorway.
It’s 2:58. Swim practice starts in two minutes. He should be here any second now.
I slide into the pool, glancing at the doorway. I strap on my goggles, and check the door again. Nothing. My cap is tight against head, biting the loose skin of my ears.
I look back at the door. It opens, and there he is.
I bite my lip, trying to contain my smile, my feelings. I crave him. He walks down into the bleachers, carrying his swim bag. I turn, and smile. I want him so badly, but does he want me?
I push off the wall, my muscles taut in streamline. The water calms me, the steady rhythm of strokes coursing through me, taking over. I know he feels the same thing. The same love and passion for such a beautiful and compelling sport. A sport that can make or break you.
I look forward to swim practice every day, hoping for any words at all with him. The hope for making eye contact with him, feeling his gaze within mine.
As soon as I finish warm-ups, I eye the lane next to mine. He has just finished, his muscular body coming up, out of the water. The water runs down his back in small rivulets, his tan, muscular back. How can a back be so captivating? I want to trace my fingers down those small rivers, to feel his tense shoulder muscles, to feel the hardness of his back.
He rips off his goggles, and shakes his head, water droplets falling out of his hair. He glimpses back, and I immediately look down, hoping beyond hope that he did not catch me staring at him.
Between each set, throughout practice, I look for him, and sometimes we’ll catch each other’s gaze. I hold my breath, whenever we do.
Swim practice ends, and I hop out of the pool, tired, but I look back over my shoulder anyway. He’s putting his kickboard back into his bag, on the side of the pool. I smile, one last time until I see him tomorrow at three.
I put my T-shirt and sweatpants over my wet suit, and grab my swim bag and backpack as I get ready to go. I’m thirsty, so I turn down the hallway to the left to grab a drink from the water fountain. I pass some girls, and I smile goodbye as they pass, leaving the locker rooms. The hallway is silent as I quietly swallow mouthfuls of the cold water, thankful.
And then he walks out of the boys’ locker room, his hair spiky and messed up from the pool. I look up quickly, and quickly gulp down the remaining water in my mouth.
“Hey,” he says, with a small smile.
“Hard practice right?” I reply.
He walks over to me near the water fountain, in the small niche, so we’re close to each other.
“Eh, I guess so. I’ve done harder though.”
“Yeah, club is harder than this. But still I thought it was hard.”
He’s closer now, close enough now that I could reach. I smile, and look up into his dark brown eyes. I’m lost in them, and all at once he comes closer, and closer and closer.
He leans in, and his soft lips meet mine, and my eyes are closed, and I all I can feel are his lips and him. I hold onto his neck, and he drops his bags, and puts his hands on my waist, deepening his soft kiss.
I’m lost in him, the sweet, tender kiss and his unbelievably amazing lips. The moment seems to last forever, and I love it. My toes curl in my wet flip-flops, and my whole body is pulsing with this magnetic energy. All I can smell is chlorine, but somehow this seems okay, fitting for the both of us. I feel his warm palms placed carefully right above my butt, and my hands interlocked around his neck. This is what a real kiss feels like, I think. I’m lost, but found in this one moment.
He draws away, and my lips feel so cold suddenly; so barren. I look back at him, and we both know that something has started, a fire that has been sparked between us in this one day. He picks his bags back up, and suddenly the weight of mine has started to tug on my already-sore shoulders. I shift the weight of them, re-adjusting them as he does the same.
“See you later,” he says as he smiles back at me over his shoulder.
“Yeah, see you tomorrow,” I call back as I walk away from him, away from that water fountain.
I open the door and walk out into the stunning cold, but there is a pleasant, hot fire burning passionately in me that prevents the cold from feeling too cold.
I open the car door and slide in, buckling my seat belt.
“What took you so long?” My mom asks.
“I was thirsty, so I stopped at the water fountain to get some water,” I say.
I lean my head against the icy window, reliving that kiss; reliving him.