At practice the next Tuesday Sally told us that the next meet was the biggest one before the state championships and that we would be swimming against the two best teams in the northern half of the state. Our performances at the meet would be used as qualifying times for the state meet and a poor performance could mean a poor seed or even the possibility of not qualifying for a race. Beth squeezed my hand as we listened to Sally, and then to Matt discuss the week’s training schedule and suggested diet strategies. She was as nervous as I was and although her season hadn’t been going as well as mine she’d managed to come in second in a lot of big races and had a very good chance of qualifying for the state meet.
After the talk the team slowly moved to their lanes and began to practice. Coach Matt stopped me as I was walking to my lane. “Amy, I’d like to work with you on your starts today after you finish the workout - will you have time?”
“Yep Coach, I’ll have plenty of time and would love to get some help.” The words came out much more smoothly than the sudden rush of adrenaline should have allowed. God, I hoped he’d put his hands on me again.
The promise of a private practice session with Matt kept me swimming so well during my laps. I felt like I was positively floating and that the lengths were over before they began. In fact I kinda lost count of where I was at in my workout when I felt somebody tap me when I came into a turn. I stopped and as I pulled off my goggles I looked up to see Matt crouching at the edge of the pool. “Hey kiddo, you about done? Everybody else is showering or already gone!”
Crap! I looked around and I was the only one left in the pool. I’d been completely absorbed in my workout and hadn’t even noticed the others leaving. “D’ohhh.” I exclaimed, copying the the rant of a character on a new TV show. “I completely got zoned into my swim coach. Sorry. I’m totally ready for some starting help though.”
Smiling down at me Matt said, “OK then, get outta there and I’ll get your towel. We’ll work off the blocks in lane 3.” He padded off in his flip-flops and sweats towards the towels. I pulled off my cap and quickly submerged letting the water cool and refresh my head after its time under the hot rubber cap. I walked over to lane 3 and turned to see Matt coming behind me, a couple of towels in his hand and his eyes fixed on my butt! Turning back quickly so that he wouldn’t notice that I’d seen him I continued to walk to the blocks almost beaming that he was taking notice of me. When I got to the blocks I decided to give him a bit of a present - I ran my fingers inside the back of my suit like some many swimmers do, but instead of pulling them out and down I helped them slip a bit up and in revealing more of the alabaster-white curve of my well-muscled rear.
“OK kiddo, the first thing I want you to think about is your attitude before you get onto those blocks. You should have a little ritual of things that you think about before you stand up there and it should put your head in the same place every time you start. I always tell myself that I’m sure of myself, then I visualize my legs as steel springs that will fling me far down my lane, and then when I hit the water I’ll move as effortlessly as a dolphin. Sounds corny, huh?” Matt smiled at me as he handed me a towel.
“No Coach, that’s cool.” I smile at him. “You won your races so I think that’s great. I’ll work on that this week.” I was feeling strangely confident in his presence though for what reason I couldn’t guess. What was interesting to me is that the the feeling of being just a girl with a crush, while still present, was crippling me.
“Good. Let me know if you need help with it, but everybody I know comes up with their own.” Matt began to take off his sweats. “I think that I’ll do some starts to show you some stuff as we work today.”
The sight of his chest sent a rush through me. I honestly couldn’t believe that he couldn’t see my passions for him as easily as he could have read today’s headlines.
“So when you get up on the blocks try to clear your mind and focus only on the gun. Nothing else! The gun is all that exists for you once you get up there” he said as he stepped aside indicating that I should get up on the blocks. “So lets see what you look like up there.”
I climbed up onto the blocks and stood with my toes curled over the forward edge of the block, then bent over grasping the front of the blocks with my hands placed just outside my feet. Now I felt a bit awkward. I couldn’t possibly look good like this as the blood rushed into my head and my ass hung out for all to see.
“Ok... you are doing it again. Your weight is too far back on the blocks - it’ll take you and extra half a second to shift the weight forward to the point where it can work for you. So pull yourself forward till I say stop, ok? And remember that you won’t have to hold this position for long - it isn’t supposed to be comfortable, got it?” He said standing back and looking at my body which probably was nothing more than legs, arms, and a jutting butt.
I pulled myself forward on the blocks, feeling the weight shift gradually from my heels more onto the balls of my feet, and then, without any notice, onto my toes which had no ability at all to support weight as they were curled around the front of the blocks. Realizing the inevitability of the situation I pushed off and knifed into the still water. Returning to the edge of the pool I was greeted by Matt’s hand lowered down to me which I grasped and he helped pull me out.
“That was great! You were right on it for just a split second!” He smiled. “Now I’ll show you one more thing that you haven’t been doing and we should be in for a much better start come Saturday.” He got up onto the blocks, and unselfconsciously stretched a bit as most swimmers do. As he swung his arms above his head and bent backwards I looked down across his chest, to his tight, tanned abs, and then to the bulge in his shorts. My gaze caught there for an instant before I heard him say “You need to lower your center of gravity just a bit more while you are in your crouch.”
I looked up to see him looking down at me, and knew for certain, that he had seen me checking him out. Then our eyes met again and that animal lust feeling that had overwhelmed me before enveloped me again and I felt my body ready itself for a coupling that it desperately wanted but wouldn’t get. The difference this time is that I saw something in Matt change too. The look in his eyes as our gaze met was aware of the mutual attraction and that gaze seemed to say ‘I want you’ as clearly as words could have - more clearly perhaps. This time I broke the gaze, almost afraid of the power that he held over me as my body signals betrayed any innocence that I could have professed in the matter. My nipples stood rigid against the tight fabric of my suit - lighthouses warning those in the vicinity of turbulent, dangerous waters. But this time I noticed as my gaze fell that Matt’s body seemed to have betrayed him as well. The bulge in his shorts appearing significantly larger and more defined than it had just a minute ago.
He quickly turned on the blocks and crouched, toes and fingers hooked over the front edge. “Watch me.” (Like I’d have watched anything else at this moment!). “My knees are bent and my weight is farther down... like a cat waiting to spring.” With that he launched himself into the air, seeming to fly down the lane and gracefully arcing into the water with the tiniest splash as he managed to slip only a few inches under the water before quickly surfacing. Turning back he said, “not bad for an old man, eh?”
I giggled my little girl giggle and got up on the blocks as he stood in neck-deep water under the flags about 1/4 of the way down the lane. “Well I’ll give it a try and this young girl may just kick your butt, Coach.” I ran my hands through my hair, then quickly thought of a cat springing before I stepped onto the blocks.
“When you get up, don’t think Amy, ok? Just do it.” He encouraged from the pool.
I stepped up, bent down and placed pink toes over the pale blue fiberglass of the blocks, then grasped the block, readied my knees and legs and... LAUNCHED.
I honestly thought I’d learned to fly. The distance between Matt and I disappeared in an instant and I felt myself slip, not plunge, into the water. My arms, stretched in front of me rammed into his chest, instantly stopping my momentum and pushing him back a bit in the water. The surprise of this encounter - I’d never gone that far out on a start - took both of us by surprise as I could tell by the look on his face which was not a foot away from me.
“Hell yeah!” I exclaimed taking a phrase from the boys on the team. “That rocked!” And in my enthusiasm I wrapped my long arms around Matts neck without thinking and pulled myself into him in a hug that started out as girlish enthusiasm. “I thought I was flying Matt... I mean Coach” I said as I released the hug to hold him on his shoulders as I couldn’t quite touch bottom here.
“Amy, that, that was incredible. You amaze me.” His eyes are smiling as he looks into the very core of who I am in my moment of unguarded joy.
I pulled myself into him, “Coach.... Matt?”
I felt the absurdly powerful muscles in his shoulder ripple as his arms reach out under water.
“I...” pull myself in to him, our eyes never breaking the lock they have and as my lips meet his and I feel his hands on my waist. The fullness of his lips press back against me and as he returned the kiss I feel his hands clutch at my waist as if he doesn’t trust them to stay there. And before I could really begin to appreciate the moment those same hands pushed me away hard and fast. I moved back through the water, propelled by the force of his thrust.
“Amy... what was... I ... you ... you can’t do that! I can’t do that. WE can’t do that!” the emphatic pleading desperation in his voice sobered me instantly. “I don’t know what just happened there but it wasn’t right. I’m your coach. You are 16. That can’t happen.”
I stood there in the water, my heat draining into the cold water and my shame and embarrassment filling the void it left. I didn’t know what to think or say, let alone to do. I think I had been as shocked by what had just happened as Matt had been, even if I had been the one to initiate it. “I... I...” Tears flooded into my eyes as I turned to the wall, took a few steps and quickly pulled myself out of the water. I almost ran to the locker room, only diverting to grab my bag and never turning to look at Matt. I was terrified by the consequences of what had happened - not that I had any idea what they might be. So I assumed the worst: getting kicked off the team, suspended or even expelled from school, my parents thinking me a whore, my friends abandoning me.
When I got to the locker room I found myself alone dreading the thought of having to leave with the possibility of seeing Matt a serious concern. I sat shivering in front of my locker for a long while before the cold air compelled action. I stripped off my suit and walked into the showers, a large communal space with no thought for privacy. I went to the back and turned on a couple of shower heads so that they would stream steaming water onto me from two angles and just stood in the spray letting the heat sink in to my skin and begin to take the edge off of my nerves. Perhaps I was overreacting, after-all wasn’t it possible that Matt might feel just as guilty and nervous as I did? He had kissed me back, of that I was certain, and the way he had put his hands on my waist.
So despite all the guilt and confusion I was feeling, or perhaps because of it all, my body responded to what had just happened by focusing in on the feelings of his hands and lips on me. He had kissed me, he had touched me, hadn’t he wanted me too? My head only raced faster through a million thoughts as I thought of this new realization. I no longer felt the steaming water running through my hair and over my skin. All my senses were wrapped up into the tingles and sparks I was feeling in my nipples, in my chest, and deep inside my vagina. My hands moved gently across the landscape of my body, over nipples that were almost aglow in bright red. Across my petite breasts, down the flat, pale stretch of my abdomen, through the thin, almost non-existent patch of pubic hair. I turned to let the water rush down my back and butt. I opened my eyes, I don’t know why, perhaps I sensed something, and Matt was there.
He was standing in the doorway to the shower area in his suit, a towel around his neck, looking directly at me. I was fully exposed to him and despite all my girlish insecurities I didn’t attempt to cover myself as I almost instantly realized that his presence could mean only one thing. He was looking at me as though I was the only person left on earth, his eyes were wide, clear, bright. Then our eyes met through the steam and so much was said in the ensuing silent conversation that I felt we had no more secrets by the time that he turned back to the door and left.
The confused, dissonant energy I’d felt in the aftermath of the kiss quickly rekindled into desire for him. I ended my shower and bursting with energy quickly got dressed. I was able to walk out of the locker room not as I had feared earlier - in shame and worry - but with a self-possessed air of confidence that in hindsight, I really had no business wearing. But teenagers, especially those in the throws of first love, aren’t known for their keen insight and rational decisions and I was certainly no exception. Although I did begin to feel the nerves creep back into my belly I walked towards Matt’s office as though our love was a forgone conclusion and that within the week we would be showing up to school events holding hands, hickeys on my neck and his letterman’s jacket over my shoulders. When I reached his office I was disappointed to find the lights out and the door locked. A note with my name on it had been taped to the door. Amy,
I need to think about what happened today. Please forgive me for lea v ing early - we’ll talk about things soon, I promise.
Not much in the way of a love letter, but he had at least left me something. I took the note, slipped it into the back pocket of my jeans and left for home. On my way I debated whether or not I should call Beth and tell her what had happened. I saw many reasons to do so, but many reasons not to do so as well. I decided not to in the end after I thought about what Matt had said in the pool. If he was ‘caught’ with me I knew that he would be in very deep trouble and I felt the need to protect him in much the same way that I felt he would help me.
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<a href="https://www.lushstories.com/stories/first-time/swim-coach-chapter-4.aspx">Swim Coach (chapter 4)</a>