A tense friendship ends with a night swim.
Start writing a post

Fiction On Odyssey: Night Swim

All I'm doing is plunging deeper into the water, further from the dim moonlight at the surface.

Fiction On Odyssey: Night Swim

I sputter, water in my nose, down my throat, oxygen barely there, struggling to fight it all. My chest tightens, lungs straining against my ribs as I try to let in a breath but all I'm doing is plunging deeper into the water, further from the dim moonlight at the surface. I whimper, and the sound is strange in the water, a soft grunt accompanied by bubbles.

I should've learned to swim. I really should've. Just because Mother was afraid doesn't mean I should've been. Now I'm going to die with the fear I was too afraid to feel when I was a kid.

Trying to kick and pump my arms, I only feel like my limbs slide through the water, useless. My vision blurs and an incessant burning spreads through my lungs. I open my mouth, pull in a breath, not even thinking, and water floods me.


Alison lazily gripped the steering wheel, right hand on the bottom of it, two fingers wrapped around the rim with the other arm stretched out with her wrist on the top of the wheel. The song on the radio dimmed down, ended softly. I can't remember what the song was.

We hadn't spoken in an hour at that point. Silence pulled between us and I hoped it was because we were both lost in our own minds, thoughts too loud for us to speak.

I only agreed to go out with her because she had a car and I needed to drop some of Mother's books off at the library. One of my bike's tires were flat. By the time we got to the library, it was closed. I'd forgotten it closed early on Tuesdays. The two books sat in my lap, the corners of the hardcovers digging into my fleshy thighs.

The summer air streamed into the car, making my hair fly into my eyes. I was seatbelted, I always was when she drove, and my body lurched against the cloth seat as she accelerated around a sharp corner.

"Careful!" I shouted, but she didn't respond.

I glanced at her, quick enough for her not to notice. Her jaw was rigid and the jagged ends of her newly-dyed black hair were tangled in the wind, pushed away from her face to reveal heavily-pierced ears, dripping with black studs.

I tried not to wrinkle my nose at the sight of them.

She'd changed in the past months, dyeing the hair, going to her ears with a piercing gun, even getting a tattoo (which she swore she'd never do) of a mermaid on the top of her left thigh.

I laughed when she showed me, the skin there all red and hot, unshaven, with the curve of the mermaid's tail pointing straight at her crotch. She'd given me the finger in response.

At a red light, I swallowed around the words jammed in my throat. "What are we doing?" My voice was hoarse from disuse.

She didn't take her eyes from the road. "Going for a night swim."

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments