He’d hit the snooze button six times already. Was contemplating doing it again when it dawned on him that he’d hit the snooze button six times. “Shit!”
He threw the covers back, leapt out of bed. Found a pair of jeans off the floor and hopped into them, then picked up a t-shirt and fumbled with the sleeves and the neck as he ran into the bathroom to brush his teeth and slap some water on his face and hair. He patted down the blond spikes at his crown, smoothed the strands near his temple, then bounded down the stairs to the kitchen.
Stood at the refrigerator, the gallon jug of milk to his lips—glug, glug, glug—then replaced the lid, then the container.
He pocketed the ten-dollar bill his mother had left for him on the counter, grabbed an apple and ran out of the house.
If he hurried, he might make it before first bell. Looked down at his bare feet. “Shoes. Shoes would be good here. Shit.”
She was still in the water at the start of first period. On the last bit of their routine for the day—a four hundred medley. Sometimes her coach let her substitute breaststroke for butterfly. Sometimes he didn’t. Today he didn’t. So she flopped around in the water like a fish on the shore. Maybe she hung onto the wall a little longer than she ought to on the fly leg. She practically drowned every twenty-five meters.
“Winston! Get off the wall!”
She glared at her coach, but dropped her arms and pushed off. Two more, and then backstroke, where she’d zig and zag all over the lane. Then breaststroke. A reward for having suffered through the other two.
She struggled to lift her arms up then over the water and bring her head up enough to get a breath. Her body sagged back into the water, relieved that it didn’t have to fight against gravity. She kicked, moved her arms down and away, then up and out again. Goddamned butterfly.
She thought about breakfast. Belgian waffles drenched in maple syrup and covered with powdered sugar. Two scrambled eggs generously sprinkled with sea salt. Blackberries. She wouldn’t have to be at school until just after nine a.m. Plenty of time to fill up before she went to hell.