The pool smelled like I remembered. Chlorine and other chemical scents pierced my nostrils. My hair was pulled back in a ponytail and stuffed under a swim cap. I sat with my legs dangling in the shallow end. Jeneva dove right in and started swimming lengths starting with Breast stroke then moving into Backstroke. I kicked my feet back and forth watching her. She moved fast through the water. Her strokes kicked up little spray.
She could swim the length of the pool without taking a breath. I watched her complete a loop to the deep end and then she swam back to me popping up by my feet.
“You planning on getting in the pool anytime today?”
I shrugged my shoulders. “Yeah, I guess so. How do you do it?”
She rolled her eyes, pulled her goggles off washing the fog off with the pool water slapping them back in place on her forehead. “Just jumping in makes it easier. You’ll warm up once you start moving.” She tapped my leg pointing to the water.
“No. No. I mean I know that. I will get in. It just takes a little getting used to. With Bryce I didn’t swim. He didn’t swim and I got wrapped up in being married. But that’s not what I was asking.”
Jeneva shook her head and pulled her goggles down over her eyes. “Okay. Fine. You were always asking back then, but my parent’s freaked when I did it so I wasn’t gonna show you too. We’re adults now. I guess it’s up to you if you want to try it.”
I nodded. She smiled. Pointed to the deep end.
“You have to get wet all the way first.”
She dove under the water swimming under it coming up in the middle of the pool again without a breath. I took a deep breath and plunged in swimming after her.
L.B. Sedlacek has had poetry and fiction appear in different journals and zines. Her first short story collection came out on Leap Day 2020 entitled Four Thieves of Vinegar published by Alien Buddha Press. Her latest poetry books are The Poet Next Door (Cyberwit), The Adventures of Stick People on Cars (Alien Buddha Press), The Architect of French Fries (Presa Press) and Words and Bones (Finishing Line Press). She is a former Poetry Editor for ESC! Magazine and co-hosted the podcast “Coffee House to Go.” LB also enjoys swimming, reading, and playing ukulele. She recommends the Caldwell Humane Society.