As I dived into the pool at the sound of a whistle, a rush of cold water came over me, cooling me down. Mrs. Godenburg, or “Hera” as she liked us to call her, was barking at me from the pools edge.
“Ariel, you got to go faster! Try to take your breathes a little quicker! Faster, honey, Faster!” I rolled my eyes in my goggles. I was the fastest swimmer at The Disney Academy, and held almost every record. I carried my team to states and had won the gold-medal in Freestyle. I didn’t understand why Hera always pushed me to go harder. I already tried to my fullest and had succeeded. What else more did she want from me.
I did a flip-turn and headed back to the other side. I start to try and shorten my breathes even if I am annoyed at Hera. I hear her add some comments.
“Good job! But, cut the water with your arms, don’t slap it honey.” I wanted to pull my hair out. I can’t believe Hera. She’s never criticized my swimming this much in one day. First she comments on my butterfly, to make sure my feet hit the water at the same time, and now she comments on my freestyle? I reach the edge, and hoist myself up and out of the water. I whip my goggles off and go join the rest of the team on the bench.
“Good job.” Eric, my boyfriend, whispered in my ear, kissing me on the cheek. We’ve been dating since Freshman year in The Disney Academy. I met him on the swim team, although he didn’t really know how to swim then. He was just doing it to pass the time. Over the years I found out that His Parents sent him here so he wouldn’t be living in the house, but of course at the school. That his parents have hated him, basically his entire life. When Hera blew the whistle my attention was snapped back to her.
“Now, school is starting in a couple of days, and we all know what that means. Competition is starting too. For the Freshman on the team, Ariel is our best swimmer. If you didn’t already see that over the last couple of days of practice. She has led us to victory in other competitions, and usually swims the 200 Freestyle. The rest are pretty much open from my knowledge. Sign-Ups will be up on the 1st Day of School. Any questions?” Hera looked up and down the bench, “Ok, Good. Practice Dismissed.”
I stood up and took off my swim cap letting my red hair fall. I looked around at the freshman as I headed for the locker room. Hera always has newcomers wear name tags to help her remember their names, and to help the swimmers (like me) learn their names too. I intercepted one at the front of the Girl’s Locker Room Door. Her name tag read Adella Triton. I’ve heard about these girls. The 6 Triton sisters. They’ve all swam since they were like 5. No wonder they came to the Disney Academy, the swimming program is great!
“Your Adella, right? Hi, I’m Ariel.” Adella continued to look at the ground, slowly moving to one side of the door, trying to get in. “So, what’s your best stroke?” I asked again. I noticed Adella rolled her eyes, and then breathed in deeply.
“Actually its freestyle.” Adella said now looking at me straight in the eyes, “And, once Hera starts to realize that I’m a better swimmer than you, she’ll put me at 200 Freestyle.” Surprised, I stood there for a second, dumbstruck, but finally got my mouth to form the right words.
“Well, why can’t you swim the 100 Freestyle, it’s basically the same thing, just a shorter distance.” She scoffed at me.
“Because we all know Strawberry Shortcake, that the only thing that matters, is the longest race.” She shoved past me into the locker room. I stood there for a second looking into the pool’s water. No way am I letting Adella get my position on the swim team. I storm into the locker room, but when I get in there, Adella’s nowhere to be found. When I check her locker all of her things are gone too.
I bang my fist on the locker. She must’ve already left. Well, if I can’t get it into her head that she won’t get my position by telling her, I’ll prove it to her in practice, and I'll be giving it all that I got. I'll be trying the working the hardest I can.