Michael was bad at tennis. The coach advised him to quit. Michael was
even worse at baseball.His teammates shook
their heads. Finally, Mrs. Phelps
thought, “Well, perhaps my son can try swimming?” MOV **** trifecta writing challenge
She swam to
the deep end and back, less than 20 seconds by her count.Mike’s words still burned in her ears:Sophie
asked me to the prom and I’d rather go with her.
While he did
earn points for honesty, those were quickly obliterated by his alarming lack of
Sophie.Why would Sophie ask Mike when she knew that Deidre liked him?Sophie and Deidre were not friends, but
everyone knew that Deidre and Mike were dating.
Well.Deidre knew.And Mike knew.Didn’t he?
movies with five other friends register as a date?Or being study partners for the chemistry
exam?The teacher let them pick their
own partners, and he’d asked her.Sure,
she was the top student in the class, but still.Then Deidre had assumed they’d go to prom
together, and Mike didn’t run out the door when she brought it up.
“I bought my
prom dress,” she had said coyly in between reciting chemistry formulas.“It’s red.”
“Who are you
going with?” she remembers him asking.
and he kissed her.Well, if Deidre was
being honest, she kissed him.But he
didn’t resist.He had kissed her back
for a second or two.It was a good kiss
as kisses go, not that Deidre had anything to compare it to.
When he ran
into her at the local club's pool a
week later, she was excited.A new place
they hadn’t been together!That brought
their total dates to three—four if she added the time he dropped off her jacket.
But at the
club his words tumbled out like nickels from a loose slot machine:Deidre-I’m-sorry-we-need-to-talk-it-will-only-take-a-minute.
And it did
only take a minute.Just like that, he
was done:I’d rather go with her.
She swam the
length of the pool again, faster.I’ll show him, she thought.
She felt the
ice-cold water against her skin as she kicked hard, and the space seemed
infinite in front of her.
You are at
work when the call comes you have been expecting it and your sister says you
better get on the plane RIGHT NOW and you are like oh God this is it and the
whole flight you are praying for her not to die you want her to at least live
long enough that you can see her one more time and say goodbye at least say
goodbye and apologize to her not for one specific thing but you guess for your entire
relationship and you swear it is the longest flight ever and then when you get
there and your brother picks you up he tells you how bad it really is and when
you finally FINALLY get to the house she can barely breathe but she is alive
still alive and talking a little bit and she totally knows who you are and you
sit up with her all night even though the hospice nurse is there by this point
and you get no sleep and the nurse says you should really consider giving her
some morphine but your sister doesn’t want to and your brother does you are on
the fence the whole thing is such a blur so fast and yet so slow and so many
memories in that house too.