Only 5 Seconds

Prompt: Describe whats left.

      As the whistle sounded, I drew in a quick breath, plunging into the clear blue water.  “This is what matters most,” I thought as my arms windmilled out of the water from my ferocious freestyle.  Through my pink goggles, I could see the chipped floor and the bold black line that indicated I was 3/4 across the pool.  I quickened my pace and dove into a turn, rocketing off the wall.  While I was still gliding on the surface, I flipped over and sprang into backstroke.  The muffled cheers that I heard faintly while my head was submerged rose into an earsplitting cocophany of voices from the stands.  I so wanted to look across the plastic lane dividers at Rebecca Burkley, my swimming rival, but I knew it would slow me down and I was positive all I would see was a smug smile on her wet lips. 

      Above me on the white washed ceiling were scratches and dents I hadn’t noticed during practice. “How the heck did those those get there?” I thought, but pushed it away from my mind violently.  Up, down, up, down, that was all I should be thinking.  I noticed the colorful flags waving above me and started counting my strokes.  Once  I got to 8 I would flip over and do one lap of butterfly to win this race and get into the finals.  At 7 I lurched backwards and spun around, getting a mouthful of chlorinated water.  I coughed once then lunged into my butterfly, aware that my carelessness had already lost me dear seconds that could mean the difference between life and death.  I started my dolphin kick and my arms burst out of the water then cut back smoothly to my sides. 

       The black tiles on the bottom of the pool showed themselves again and I sprang into hyper-mode.  The water in my lungs still uncomfortable, but almost forgotten.  As my fingers touched the side of the pool a smile touched my lips, but when I pulled onto the ledge, it slipped into a look of shock.  On the score board were two numbers Rebecca – 3.24  Casey – 3.29. 

       She had won by 5 seconds, the time I was coughing.  Rebecca was going to finals, not me.  What would become of me?  My grades were OK, not that I cared, my parents worked all day, I doubt my dog could provide some happiness.  I would be an empty shell.  My swimsuit at the bottom of a pile in my closet, never to be seen again.  As I got on my feet in the crowd of people, I saw Rebecca pull off her cap, flinging a shower of water droplets onto us as she sauntered away.

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One Response to Only 5 Seconds

  1. kosy123 says:

    Love this you are a great writer!

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