Zach blinked, wheezing as he blew water out of his mouth and tried to connect to the world around him again.
“498…” he repeated, his mind only beginning to register the words.
“Zach?” Gentry cocked his head, crouching by the edge of the pool,” Are you ok?”
The other’s blue eyes snapped open, the way a bird’s did before attack.
“Yeah. You swam 498 laps.” Gentry repeated, looking at the clipboard.
Zach’s expression hardened, “Bullshit.”
Another boy leaned over Gentry’s shoulder, blocking out the sun. Zach’s eyes turned to slits when he recognized it was Carly.
“What are you doing here? Didn’t you graduate?”
“I’m the guest coach.” Came the smug reply, “The coach calls me to do it every summer.”
Gentry elaborated, “He times all the swimmers along with the team judges, and gives the final outcome if there are any problems.”
“That’s bull! You just don’t want any lower classmen on the team! Gentry…” Zach’s expression was pained, but Gentry looked away.
“You got a good time.” He said.
“I got 500 laps in five minutes, not 498!”
“Can you prove it?” Carly piped up.
“How the hell can I prove it if I was swimming it?!”
Carly raised both eyebrows, “You think the whole world revolves around you, don’t you? But you WILL accept that you lost, because that’s just what you did. My team loses too, but we accept it.”
“At least you lose fairly!” Zach moved to get out of the water, but Carly shoved him back and gripped onto one of his wrists.
“Let me go!” Zach yelled, trying in vain to pull out of Carly’s grip.
“Carly… let him go.” Gentry said softly.
Carly snorted in return, and Zach yelled, “You’re both fucking cheaters! You rigged the diving board for the freshman team last year! You de-motivated them at every shot, so that now they just don’t try anymore. So don’t you tell me about losing fairly when you are a dirty lying chea---”
Carly cut him off by pushing him under the water, letting the chlorine fill his lungs. He tried to struggle, but Carly firmly held him down. The chlorine stung his weakened senses and overwhelmed them.The other Seniors pretended not to see it, until a sudden loud splash forced them to look up. Carly had tumbled into the water, and Zach had narrowly escaped the former leader’s frantic grasps by pulling himself out of the water and fleeing to the girls’ locker room.