“11:23. That’s your worst time all year.”
Gentry said to Zach’s back, clicking off the stop watch, “If that’s the best you’ve got, then it’s not good enough.”
Zach ignored him, pulling out of the water and trudging back to the locker room with the rest of the team. Gentry didn’t concern him until one pale white hand roughly yanked him back, reddened fingers pressing into his arm, “Coming from you, this is crap.”
“It’s good enough,” Zach said curtly, roughly jerking away his arm, “I don’t owe this team anything. It’s all for one and one for all, right? Well, for so liberally ripping down my posters, you can all suck my balls.”
“Quit being so melodramatic. What did you think was going to happen? You’re embarrassing the team. There wouldn’t be a problem if you didn’t act like such a faggot.”
“I am a faggot. A faggot who’s a damn good swimmer.”
The last swimmer slammed the locker room door behind him, leaving them alone. These days, Zach’s rebellious streak had lost its novelty and become a routine, if not annoying, sight.
“You can’t be both. Get that through your thick skull. If you can’t fit in, get out.”
“I’m not going anywhere---”
“There was a meeting today for Nationals. Everyone was there except you. Where the hell were you?”
“Where do you think? Hanging up the posters you and the other Mongoloids tore down yesterday. Put that down for team spirit!”
Zach elbowed him aside.
“Get the fuck out of my way.”
Gentry moved aside, seeing as there was no use arguing with a charging bull.
“You have to decide what team you’re on, Senior Swim or the GSA.”
“I’m not deciding shit, I’m both. You’re a weak leader for not being able to stand up for freedom of speech. And now you want me to choose? Hah! Make me!”
The last syllable was gurgled as water flooded his mouth and nose. He wasn’t surprised to feel his hand gripped around Gentry’s familiar bony wrist. Push me I pull you.
But the struggle was brief, as Gentry gained the upper hand by restraining Zach’s. He shoved him against the blue tile wall and cupped his mouth,
“Shut up and listen. I don’t like this team, but I represent it. And because of that, we’re good--- so good that you fought Carly to be here. You want to know why he didn’t want you? Not because you aren’t a good swimmer--- no, Zach, you’re a damn good swimmer--- But because he knew your type. People like you can’t follow orders or compromise. You destroy teams. But I’m not going to let you do that, not when it’s MY team. We are going to do everything to win Nationals, because nothing matters. If your gay ass can’t handle it, quit.”
Zach shoved him off, but Gentry quickly shoved him to the wall again.
“And if I catch you telling anyone else about what we had, I’ll beat you so hard you won’t remember it.”