The Bullet

The Bullet

A Story by Eponine is my Spirit Animal
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A swimmer's first meet

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I wake up with sunlight from the window reflecting into my eyes. Usually, I would just shove my pillow over my head and wait for my mom to come in and shake me awake, but not today. Today, I have my first swim meet, so I convince myself to sit up and jolt out my grogginess. I walk over to the bathroom and take a cold shower to completely wake myself up because it’s the normal things I do automatically  today that keep me sane. I put on my brand new swim suit made of a tight lycra fabric, which helps me go faster when I swim,  and take special care of making myself look presentable. I fidget with my hair a bit and adjust my swim suit again and again. I finish off by putting on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt over my swimsuit to cover myself.

I jog down the stairs quickly and bound to the kitchen, but I find my usual appetite has disappeared and has been replaced by nervousness. I sit down at the kitchen table anyway. My older brother, Pete, is at the counter making breakfast. He grins.

“Hey Amelia. You hungry?” I have no idea how he is that cheery this early in the morning. I shake my head.

“Not really that hungry,” I reply. He looks offended, so I add quickly, “I’m just too nervous.”

“Ahh, I see. No matter, you have to eat something. Plus, some food  might make you feel better,”  he says wisely. “Not like that ever happened to me, so I wouldn’t know.” He grins mischievously.

“He’s failing to tell you that he almost peed his pants before his first meet,” Jenni, my older sister, mutters.

“Not true,” Pete retorts as he turns around to face her. I catch the small blush on his face and giggle. Jenni just rolls her eyes.

She turns to me. “Hey Amels. Don’t sell yourself short. You’ll do great today.” She puts her hand on my shoulder and smiles at me genuinely.

They have nothing to worry about today; they are the gems of our swim team. I’m just their baby sister, so I have do a lot more to prove myself.

Pete puts a chocolate chip bagel and a blueberry power shake in front of me. “Bon appetit.”  

***

I can barely say the team cheer because of my nerves. Afterward, the meet starts. My siblings are in the first two events, so I cheer for them like a lunatic, jumping around and screaming my lungs off. It makes my heart sink a little too because they know exactly what they are doing and why they do it. I breath in deeply. If they can do it, I can too, I tell myself. After they finish I run up to them and give them each a hug. My event is coming up soon, so then I run off to see my coach.

***

My favorite coach, Coach Emily, smiles when I come over. “Your first race?”

“Of my first meet.”

“Wow. Let me check what you are doing… Ah, the 100 IM. Can you tell me what you do you do for each length?”

“One length butterfly, one length backstroke, one length breaststroke, one length freestyle,” I say quickly.

“ Very good. Just don’t think too much. I’ve seen you do this in practice, so I know you can do it.” She smiles. I give her an humongous hug.

“Good luck, Amelia.”

***

I stand behind the blocks apprehensively. I see my parents in the stands, beaming at me. Pete and Jennifer stand behind my lane at the other end, preparing to cheer. The race before mine is about to finish, which means it’s almost time. My heart is about to burst. I hear the whistle that signals the race is over, so I mount the starting block. As I get ready to dive, a flood of memories shoots by.  I see myself at Jenni and Pete’s practices, my first swim practice, and when I learned to dive. I get a sudden blast of courage.

“Take your marks…”

I can do this.

“Go!”

It’s showtime.

***

The water chills me as my body hits the water. The moment I come up from my dive, I feel a surge go through my system. The butterfly is a fast dance. The kick, dolphin kick, a duet. One, Two. One, Two. I hit the wall at full charge and blast backward onto my back. I see Jenni jumping up and down, screaming  her head off. Pete is crouching down next to the water and roaring as well. I cannot hear anything except for the crashing of the water in my ears.

I kick as hard as I can in my backstroke. At the end of the length, my legs burn. Next I have breaststroke. Another duet, but this time, it’s slower. I still sprint though. Everytime I come out of the water to breathe,  I hear the crowd yelling. All of my nerves have disappeared. Instead, these feelings seem to shoot me through the water powerfully. In fact, they make me feel like I am flying.

Finally I have just the freestyle left. I sprint as fast I can. Everything burns, but I enjoy the pain. I am a bullet. I feel strong going into my finish as I reach the wall.

I look up at the scoreboard and see a number one next to my name. I won my race. I look back at Jenni and Pete jumping around happily, giving each highfives and hugs, and I smile.

As I look back at the board, my heart begins to soar again. Hey, maybe this won’t be so bad.

© 2015 Eponine is my Spirit Animal


Author's Note

Eponine is my Spirit Animal
This is a story I wrote for a local writing contest. I hope you enjoyed :D

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Added on March 12, 2015
Last Updated on March 12, 2015
Tags: swimming, swim meet, IM, freestyle, backstroke, breastroke, butterfly, swim

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Eponine is my Spirit Animal
Eponine is my Spirit Animal

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I'm an aspiring writer. I mix around. I do poetry, short stories novels. I do a lot of fan fiction. But yeah. Collabs with friends will appear here too. more..

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