Learning to Swim
Author's Note: I love to swim and my longing for a swimming pool is driving me nuts so I write about pools! Yay!
In the garage, every member of the GG gang was laid out somewhere, as long as it wasn't in the sun. The radio had just been turned on to hear DJ K announce it was one hundred and two degrees out that day. Corn, the gang's leader, had taken off his hat, which was rare for him, to put his jacket over his face while he rested on the couch. Clutch laid behind the couch to stay in its shadow with his hands behind his head in a nap.
Garam, Combo, Soda, and Yoyo were hiding under the shade of the first floor, but Yoyo was hogging the tub with Potts, his arms hanging out of the sides while Potts laid on his stomach, panting and whining. "Not much I can do, boy. You gotta deal with it like the rest of us." Yoyo sighed, wiping the raining sweat off his forehead. All the girls were hiding under the shady comfort of the huge speakers.
"It's too hot to move…" Gum sighed, sitting on the floor. "Are there any more drinks left?" asked Rhyth, covering her eyes from the sun. Boogie shook her head and crossed her arms, "No, the boys drank the last sodas and the ones in the fridge are hot."
"What about ice?"
"Are you kidding? We take out ice and the boys'll be suckin' it all down."
"Maybe we should lose 'em." smiled Jazz, and the rest giggled. Beat, who was by the pinball machine, glanced over at them, "What are they laughin' about…" he breathed, trying to inch away from the sunlight as much as he could, but in reality, there was no way to avoid it. One hour the sun could be high over your head and the next hour, it will be slightly off center. Then when you try to rest in the place that is no longer touched by the sun, it's still hot and sticky from before.
Cube fanned herself with a magazine she had and decided to talk to Corn. There had to be something they could do to get out of the heat. She climbed the stairs, feeling the scorching sun beaming down on her. Pulling his jacket off his head, she shook him. He blinked twice, "What?" he yawned, stretching. "What do you mean what? We're all dying here! We can't stay in the garage. Not at day, we can't." she complained, sitting on the armrest.
He sat up, "Well what do you want me to do? Blast down the sun?"
Clutch's relaxed voice cooled down the atmosphere a bit, "Is that possible?" Cube looked at him with a strange expression. Clutch came out with the weirdest questions and comments more than anyone she knew. "I think the heat's getting to you, Clutch, and it could be possible, but that would destroy our galaxy and all of mankind." she answered. Clutch chuckled, "Blast away."
Corn placed his hat on his head and pulled it over his eyes. "Come on, Corn! It's too hot…" Cube pleaded, sliding down next to him and leaning her head on his shoulder. "The beach is gonna be jam packed…" he muttered, "and you gotta get there early to get a good spot near the water."
"I'm up for fighting for a spot." said Clutch, getting up from the floor. Corn glanced around at the suffocating gang members. "We'll give it a shot." he answered, receiving a relieved smile from Cube. "Alright guys, you wanna hit the beach?" he called out, getting a cheer in return.
The boys packed up some food in a cooler and changed into their swim trunks, just putting a T-shirt on and sneakers to go with it. No one wanted to get their skates filled with sand or water. It was the girls that held up the trip. Beat banged his fist against Gum's door, "Gum! What are you doing in there!"
"Changing! What do you think I'm doing!"
"I changed, I packed food, dammit, I even put lotion on myself and you're still in there!"
"I'll be out in a minute! Lemme just do my make up."
Beat got up from her door he was leaning on in shock. "Did I just hear what I think I heard?" he asked Combo, who was packing in a few more cans of soda, "If she said she's putting on make up, then yeah." Beat stared at the door, "Gum, this hasta be by far the most stupidest thing you've ever told me."
Yoyo, on the other side of the garage, was hopping from side to side, "C'mon Rhyth! Can't you just do that in your room!"
"Yoyo! I'm already here! And besides, I can't see myself in my room. Only the bathroom has the full body mirror. You should've went before I got in here." she answered from inside the bathroom.
"But Rhyth! I gotta go! Please! Two seconds!"
"I'm in my bathing suit! I can't come out now, everyone will see me!"
Yoyo stopped for a minute, wondering where Rhyth thought they were going to go. Where was the logic? "Rhyth…you do know we're going to a beach, right? Like…where people are going to be?"
"I know, but it's different there. Just wait till I'm done."
Yoyo bit his lip with anticipation. He was going to strangle Rhyth when she came out. With Cube it didn't take that long because she had the idea in her head since morning, so she had chosen her bathing suit already. Boogie and Jazz also took their time, but they were the second and third ones ready to go. Corn looked at his watch, "Beat, let Gum know if she doesn't hurry it up, we're gonna leave without her."
Beat sighed and starting banging on Gum's door again. Rhyth was still in the bathroom, Corn figured as he saw Yoyo whimpering on the floor, hunched over in pain. The door opened, shining a ray of hope for Yoyo as he quickly stood up, but Rhyth wasn't ready yet. She was wearing her blue robe, holding two bathing suits in front of him, "I can't decide which one to wear!"
He glared at her darkly, "I can't decide if I should strangle you or choke you, but they mean the same thing, just like the problem you're having now! Just PICK ONE ALREADY!" he fumed, shaking. Rhyth crossed her arms, "You need to fix up that attitude, Yoyo. It'll be the death of you one day."
She looked at one bathing suit, her white bikini with blue lining on the borders of the suit, and her other bathing suit, which was also a bikini, but the bottom part were the shorts type, navy blue with white straps for the halter top. "This one's cute, but a bit revealing, and this one's…the same problem!" she juggled, explaining her problem. "What should I do?" she asked Yoyo, who had melted back on the floor.
"Rhyth, they're both bikinis. They're both revealing. Just pick one…" he said weakly. "Ohh…" she mumbled, trying to choose one. "Which one is better?" she asked Yoyo, showing them to him, "Rhyth, they're both blue and white and they're both bikinis-"
"Guys!" called Corn, "We're going!"
Gum had finally come out and was waiting with the rest. Yoyo looked at Rhyth grimly, "That one! Just get dressed so we can go already!" he said, pointing at whichever one was closest to him, which happened to be the navy blue one. Rhyth looked at it, head tilted, "Well…I guess I could wear this one…you sure this is the best one?"
Yoyo clenched his teeth, "Rhyth…hurry up…"
"Okay, this one it is! Thanks, Yoyo, you're the best!" she said happily, pinching his cheek and closing the door once again. Yoyo looked to were the gang had been waiting, they were starting to leave. "Rhyth! Hurry up! I still hafta go!"
"What do you mean the beach is closed for the day?"
"I mean no one is allowed on the beach premises."
The gang had walked blocks and blocks before they could get to the nearest beach, and the guard wasn't letting them in. "Is there any reason why it's closed?" asked Soda, one of the few who hadn't totally lost his temper with the heat. The guard nodded, "There's a very bad case of red tide and unless you want to be making sand castles with hundreds of dead fish, there's no point in going in there."
"The entire beach is filled with dead fish?" asked Jazz, disgusted at the thought. "Dead rotting fish." answered the guard, crossing his arms. "So where's everyone going who wanted to come here?" questioned Corn, getting tired of the pointless talking. "Local and private pools." said the guard, shrugging.
The GG gang left the man to his boring job of shooing people away from a fish graveyard and sat on outside tables outside of a café. "So…now what?" asked Beat, trying to avoid the sun again. "Try for the pools?" asked Corn, seeing a few nods and a couple of shrugs.
Boogie's eyes widened and she arched an eyebrow, "You've got to be kidding me if we're gonna fit in there." Every chair surrounding the pool was taken, some people had even brought their own chairs and were sitting or crammed into the pool that didn't even look like it had water anymore.
"There's not even room to swim…" muttered Clutch, watching as people in the pool were just standing in the sweat filled hole. "There has to be somewhere we can go!" complained Gum, wiping her head, "I'm beginning to sweat again and if I do, someone's gonna get punched."
"Every pool is gonna be like this and beaches are closed out…" sighed Garam, taking a soda from the cooler. "Does anyone know a cool place where we can go…?" grumbled Cube, "Speak now or forever hold your peace…" "What about the sewers, Cube? Would they be cool down there?" asked Combo, knowing she would know the answer.
"No, it gets even worse down there. All muggy and Poison Jam is lurking around down there. I've seen them when they're hot and cranky, trust me, at some points, even I couldn't control them." she explained, throwing that idea out the window. Boogie tilted her head after glaring at a kid who had hit her in the head with a ball, "There's the water fill in Kibogaoka."
"Isn't that sewage?" asked Garam, not too keen of the idea. Boogie shook her head, "Nope, just running water that's heading for the reservoir. It's all clean. I used to swim there when I was little and I know the perfect spot that gets the best shade, so the water will be cool." The gang members' faces lit up at the thought and followed Boogie to the paradise.
"Just watch out, it can get deep." Boogie warned as the boys dropped whatever they had, tossed their shirts and sneakers and dived into the refreshing water they had all to their own, except one. As the girl's removed their cover clothes and sat where the sun did reach to get a tan, Jazz noticed Yoyo hadn't jumped in with the rest of the guys.
He was sitting at the edge, shirt removed and sneakers too, but he was just by himself staring out at the water. She made her way over to him, "Hey, Yoyo. What's the matter?" He smiled, "Nothin'."
"Then why are you out here all alone? I don't know many guys who want to get a tan, so…why don't you go swimming?" she asked with a friendly smile. He shook his head, "Nah, I'm fine…I just don't…feel too good…" Jazz tilted her head, "Maybe you're hungry?"
"No, I know when I'm hungry, yo." he grinned, kicking at the water, "Don't worry about me, I'll be okay."
"Okay…" said Jazz, going to where the other girls were. Gum handed Jazz a soda when she sat down. Rhyth opened hers and was about to drink when she saw Yoyo, "Why's Yoyo by himself?"
Jazz glanced at him, "He said he doesn't feel good." Rhyth tilted her head, "That's strange; he was fine before we got here." Cube, who was lying on her towel searching for her sunglasses in her bag, nodded, "Any guy is fine when he's flirting, Rhyth." Rhyth's cheeks flared up, "W-we weren't-"
"Yes you were." Cube cut off, putting her shades on and lying flat. The other three giggled as Rhyth finished her soda quietly, watching the boys wrestle in the water. "He likes you, you know. You should tell him already." Boogie whispered with a smile, standing to go for a swim. Rhyth tossed her can and glanced at Yoyo, who hadn't moved from his spot.
Slowly, she slid next to him, "Why are you way over here?" He gave her a calm smile, "You here because Jazz told ya I don't feel good?" Rhyth blinked, "I just wanted to know why you're so far away from everyone else." Yoyo shrugged uncomfortably. Rhyth poked his arm, "Something's wrong. You never…not smile! You can tell me, Yoyo. I won't tell anyone."
Yoyo looked at her honest expression and slowly smiled, "Uhm…w-well…I k-kinda…"
Rhyth leaned closer, in case he didn't want others to hear, but was interrupted by a badly sung Jaws theme song, "Dun dun…dun dun…dun dun dun dun dun dun, danananan!" Yoyo's face paled, "I'm gonna go now…"
Rhyth grabbed his hand, but quickly let go realizing what she had done, "B-but you didn't get to tell me-"
"Oh Yoooyooo!" called Beat, peeking out from the water. "Rhyth, I can't, I gotta go!" answered Yoyo, pulling away. Beat climbed up, chasing after Yoyo, "C'mere you little shrimp! Today's the day! You're gonna learn whether you want to or not!" Rhyth stared as the two ran around the area and Yoyo running blindly, ended up in the same spot where he had started with no where to go. Beat smirked, "You just murdered yourself, dude."
He charged at Yoyo, pushing him in. Rhyth crossed her arms in frustration, shaking her head. Beat popped up and swam around for a moment. Rhyth leaned over to look at the water, "Beat…he's…he's not coming back up!" Beat chuckled, "I know. The dude can't swim." Rhyth's eyes widened, "What? What are you waiting for! For him to drown! Get him! Get him right now!" she screeched.
Beat dived under, got Yoyo's sinking body, and swam back up. "One Yoyo, soaked to the bone with a worried girl on the side." he snickered. Rhyth glared at him as Yoyo coughed and sputtered. Beat hauled him to where Rhyth was and she helped him up to the edge, "Beat, what's wrong with you! He could have drowned!"
Yoyo sniffed grimly, "No…he gets me before I drown. He just wants me to see the light before I can get to it." Beat shrugged, "Everyone's got their flaws, Rhyth. This is just how I get Yoyo back for all the crap he's ever done to me." Rhyth looked at Yoyo worriedly, "It's still cruel."
"Why don't you learn?" she asked quietly. Yoyo shook his head, "I can't."
"Everyone can learn how to swim, Yoyo."
"Once you get over your fear, and Beat stops giving you near death experiences…" Rhyth added, glaring at him. Yoyo sighed, "Too many memories keep me from it." Rhyth shrugged, "How?" Yoyo counted on his fingers, "Well when I was four…"
Yoyo stood at the pool's edge, daring to look into the death calling water. "But I don't wanna jump in Uncle Keni! It's too scary!"
The large towering man lifted the small child removing the arm floats and donut that was going to keep him up, "One day you're gonna be a man! You have to learn how to swim to be a man, boy!" Yoyo blinked innocently, "If I swim…I'm a man?" The poor child didn't get an answer as he was thrown into the pool without anything to keep himself up.
He shook his head as Beat laughed, "Guess you're still not a man, eh Yoyo?" Yoyo grabbed the can that Rhyth had tossed and threw it at Beat, hitting him in the face. "You do that again and I'll make sure you drown!" growled Beat. "Anyway." Yoyo smirked, "When I was ten…"
Yoyo stood at the pool's edge, daring to look into the death calling water. He nervously dipped his toe into the water, afraid to put his foot it.
"Cannonball! Move it, baby cousin!" screamed Mikey, a big muscled fourteen year old. "No, wait, NO!" screamed Yoyo, being dragged along backwards with his cousin. Mikey floated up quickly, looking around for Yoyo, who had floated up, too, but was hanging on to the edge of the pool with a grim expression. Mikey snickered, "I think you might need these." he said, rolling up Yoyo's trunks into a ball and throwing them on his head.
Yoyo sighed, "There was a party next door and my cousin's pool was kinda inground…see-through fence…not a good memory I wanna have." Rhyth blushed and giggled while Beat snorted, "Ouch. I feel bad for anyone who had the misfortune of seeing you."
Yoyo's fingers curled into fists and Beat smirked, "What are you gonna do? Spit me?" Rhyth rolled her eyes, "Beat…" Yoyo hung his head sadly, "But the worst time was when I was fifteen. The one that started them all…"
Yoyo stood at the pool's edge, daring to look into the death calling water. "Head's up, Yoyo!" screamed Beat, pushing him in.
Beat grinned, "Hey, I'm in this one!" Rhyth sighed, "Beat! You're his worst memory." Beat nodded, "I'm tellin' ya, it wasn't easy…and did you happen to notice all your memories start as looking into death calling water? Heheh…"
Yoyo glared at him, "Shut up." Beat floated around, "Just askin', that was the last trip down memory lane, right? Not that your life isn't fascinating oranything…" Rhyth looked at Yoyo, seeing his empty and cold expression made her feel so depressed. "I'll help you learn, Yoyo!" she offered, making Beat laugh. Yoyo arched an eyebrow, "Thanks for the offer Rhyth, but there's no possible way I can learn. Beat's introduced me into the fear of a watery grave too many times."
"Don't worry about that," she said, standing up, "I promise I won't let you drown, or sink as long as Beat makes you. And Beat is going to help us." Beat stopped his laughing and stared at Rhyth, "I'm gonna what?"
"We're going to cure you, Yoyo. You just gotta let us help!" she smiled, lowering herself into the water. The temperature was just right. "I'm sure you're also all hot and exhausted from the heat today, too, right?" she asked, floating. He nodded, "Yeah…sort of…"
"There's nothing to hold on to, yo."
"There's me and Beat."
Beat looked at Rhyth carelessly, "Rhyth, I never said I would agree to this." Rhyth glared at him dangerously, "You're going to help Yoyo and you're going to like it, got it!" Seeing Rhyth upset like this was a little shocking, but Beat shook it off, "And what if I don't?" Rhyth smiled sweetly, "Then I'll just have to let Gum know about those magazines and movies you have under your bed that she told you to get rid of."
His face paled quicker than if he had lost blood, "How do you know about those!" Rhyth leaned on the edge for support, "I have my ways." Yoyo grinned and pointed a scolding finger at Beat, "Tisk, tisk, Beat's being a naughty boy." Beat looked at him grimly, "Shut your face. Fine I'll help, but if you let one word out about that-"
"My lips are sealed." smiled Rhyth, taking Yoyo's arm. Beat swam over to them and waited for Yoyo to get in. Yoyo looked worried as his grasp from the edge didn't loosen as he went in. "There, not so bad is it?" replied Rhyth with a cheery smile. "Uhhh…." he mumbled nervously, "I'm not…s-so sure about this anymore…"
"We have to get rid of your doubt first. You can do this. Now just let go of the concrete…" she said, tugging at his fingers. "I…I can't…" he said weakly, closing his eyes. "I'm gonna get out."
"No, no, no, Yoyo! C'mon! You're already in the water! Beat, a little assistance would be nice?" she added with her teeth clenched. Beat looked up from his hands and nodded, "The lady said let go, Yoyo." he tried, pulling Yoyo's arms, but he wouldn't let go. Beat climbed out and raised his foot, "Smashy time!" He stepped on all of Yoyo's fingers, and Yoyo only winced each time. Rhyth, at the same time was pulling his arms, but they wouldn't give way. Beat sighed, "Oh well, think yourself lucky your shades aren't on." he smirked, giving Yoyo a good kick to his face.
He let go for a moment to check his nose that had made a cracking noise at the kick, but it was his mistake. Rhyth pulled him further out into the water, where they could see the others swimming around. Yoyo instantly forgot his pain and latched onto Rhyth, "We came out too far! Go back! Go back!" Rhyth blushed as she tried to unwrap his arms from her, but she couldn't. "Yoyo! Let go of me! You're dragging me down!" she squeaked, going under with him.
Beat dived back in and separated the two, pulling them back up. Rhyth coughed and sniffed, "You can't do that or we'll both drown." "Or Rhyth'll die of embarrassment first." Beat snickered while Yoyo took in deep breaths, "OW!"
"Okay, now that we got you out here, Beat will show you how to stay afloat." said Rhyth, holding onto Yoyo so he wouldn't sink.
Beat mumbled grouchily, rubbing his arm where Rhyth had punched him. Beat stretched himself out, "It's easy, all you gotta do is kick back and forth real gentle-like, and it keeps you floating. If you're a little nervous, in your case, on a verge of a breakdown, hang your arms out so you can push against the water if you feel you're sinking too low."
Rhyth held on to his arms while he did as he was told, doing pretty well for a beginner. Beat nodded, "Perfect, now you just need to try on your own." Rhyth bobbed her head, "Okay, I'm gonna let go now…" Yoyo stopped moving, "No wait! Not yet!" he yelled sinking. Beat sighed, "I'll get him…"
Beat shook his head, "Trying to teach Yoyo how to swim: take two."
Rhyth held onto Yoyo tightly, "I'm sorry, Yoyo, I didn't realize…" He shook his head with a tense smile, "Not your fault. I stopped swimming…or whatever I was doing…" Beat chewed on his bottom lip, "Count to three and let him go." Rhyth glanced at Yoyo who nodded. Rhyth counted and slowly let her grip on him go, allowing him to keep himself floating. "You're doing it!" she cheered, hugging herself. Beat rolled his eyes, "Finally! Just don't tire yourself out."
Rhyth nodded, "Now you need to know how to move to get someplace." Yoyo spit some water that entered in his mouth, "Okay…" Beat leaned forward, "Dog paddle. The easiest starting type of swim out there. You just lean forward like this and move your arms and legs like a dog would." Yoyo leaned forward, but sank as soon as he did.
Rhyth blinked as all of Yoyo's air bubbles blew out of his mouth, "Beat…" Beat smacked the water, "He's not even trying, dammit!"
Beat shook Yoyo as he threw up what seemed like gallons of water into a rain drain. Yoyo rubbed his eyes and burped. Beat shook his head, "You're hopeless." Yoyo sighed, "I know…"
"Then why don't you give up!"
"I can't give up! Rhyth won't let me do that!"
Beat sat hunched over, "Hmm…you're right…and she won't let me outta this either until you learn how to swim…"
Rhyth walked up behind the two, "Ready to start again?" Beat moaned as Yoyo stood up, "Uh…Rhyth? I don't think this swimming lesson is working for me…" Rhyth looked at him sadly, "You don't have any confidence, that's why. We're going to have to build that up. Then you'll be a pro! One more try? Please?" she asked, her eyes becoming shiny and innocent. Yoyo rubbed his neck and blushed slightly, "Well…I, uh…alright…"
"Great! I'll wait for you guys." she called out, jumping into the water. Beat glared at him, "Way to tell her straight out." Yoyo looked at him sheepishly, "Hey, what can I do? She put on the big-eye-cute-face!" Beat shook his head, "What can you do? You could've told her no!" Yoyo shrugged, "Ah well…"
"Man, you suck."
Back in the water, Yoyo was slowly dog paddling back and forth, picking up speed when Beat would tell him to. "You're doin' good, Yoyo. Now you gotta try backwards." approved Beat.
"Backwards!" Yoyo squeaked, stopping and sinking. He kicked quickly, keeping himself floating. "I can't do backwards." he said quietly with a blush. "Why not?" asked Rhyth, swimming around him. "Remember the story? My cousin knocked me into the most embarrassing moment of my life, yo."
Beat shrugged, "Hey, just because you lost your shorts once doesn't mean it'll happen again. What are the odds that it'll happen here?" "Nine out of ten." Yoyo replied, looking into the water. "Fine, then we'll work on that later. How about going under?" suggested Rhyth. Yoyo nodded, "Yeah, lets work on that."
"Okay…but you know we're going to get back to that one." warned Beat, swimming over to Yoyo. Yoyo sighed, "Under water first." Beat looked at his feet in the water and swam around a bit. A quick break couldn't hurt. He swam to the concrete edge and motioned for Yoyo to follow. "Hang on to this and dunk your head under the water."
Yoyo followed and did as he was told. He lifted his head, his hair flat against his head, "Okay."
"Now do it again, but open your eyes."
Yoyo tried it a few times, and he didn't like it. It reminded him too much of sinking. "Nah, it's not the same thing." Beat smirked, doing the action himself. "It's so you can see where you're going while you're swimming. You don't wanna bump into someone while they're enjoying the nice swim they deserved and rob them from their time now do you?" he asked grimly. Yoyo rolled his eyes and tried again, but popped up, breathing heavily.
"Why can't you do it right the first couple of hundred times!" fumed Beat, splashing at Yoyo. Rhyth came over from swimming with the others, "What happened?"
"Yoyo's a wuss! He doesn't listen!"
"It's his first time! What did you expect?"
"Not me teaching him, that's for sure!"
"Well you agreed to, so start helping him before I change my mind about our little secret."
Beat looked around for Yoyo, but couldn't seem to find him. "Yoyo!" Rhyth looked around too, but he wasn't there. "Yoyo!" They both dived under, fearing he had sank again, but they couldn't find him. Rhyth popped up, "Oh my God! I can't find him! What if something happened! What if he drowned!"
Beat came up, "Rhyth, I can hear your screaming from underwater. Don't worry, I'm sure he's okay…" he said, not even believing a word he said. "But I promised I wouldn't let him sink! I said I would be there for him to help him! I never got to tell him-" Rhyth yelped, suddenly biting her tongue as Beat arched a curious eyebrow with a sly smile.
"Hey guys, I'm back."
The two broke their silent second to look at Yoyo who was eating chips. "Yoyo! You're okay!" cheered Rhyth happily, quickly being pushed out of the way by Beat. "Who the hell told you to go and eat!" he growled as Yoyo sat in front of him. "I was hungry, yo."
"You know you're gonna get cramping when you get back in here, right?"
"Yeah, uhm, and I don't care if you cramp or not. You're gonna learn how to swim!"
Yoyo tossed a chip in his mouth, "Geez, fine already. Someone needs some anger management…" Beat reached out and into the bag with his wet arm, "Not that. I had to deal with a screaming Rhyth because she thought her dear beloved little-OW!"
Beat rubbed the back of his head as Rhyth smiled innocently, "My…ring! I think I lost my ring. A friend gave it to me a long time ago and it's just very special to me." she finished, glaring at Beat who grinned at her wickedly. He nodded and smirked, swimming backwards, the next technique he would have to teach Yoyo. Rhyth frowned as he kept his smile, taunting her. "To make Beat that pissed that had to be some ring." commented Yoyo, offering chips to Rhyth. She shook her head and rested against the edge, "Yeah…ring…"
"Backwards or underwater?"
"Uhhhhhmmm…." Yoyo found it extremely hard to choose one of both he hated. Swimming underwater would make him feel like he was drowning and he would need Rhyth's support for swimming backwards, but his memory would never let him try it in front of a girl. He shrugged, "Pick one…"
"Backwards it is."
Yoyo sighed and glanced at Rhyth, "Uhm…no offence to you or anything Rhyth, but um…can you miss out on this one?" She blinked, surprised, "Oh…um, okay." Beat snapped as if a brilliant idea had come to mind, "Tie the strings on your trunks tighter. Then there'll be a better chance of them not coming off." Yoyo ran his hand down his face in embarrassment while Rhyth swam over to where the others were, "Good luck!" she called out.
"With him, we'll need all the luck in the world." muttered Beat.
"Yoyo, you can do this. It's only the twenty second time you try this!" steamed Beat, using all the self control he had to not strangle Yoyo. Yoyo took a deep breath and leaned backwards, his heart pounding with fear. He pushed against the water, arms shakily motioning backwards. Beat heaved, "Thank God!"
"Was that horrible? Did you die!"
"Not this time, but the other twenty one tries were a bit brutal, yo!"
"Because you didn't listen to me!"
"Maybe I'd listen better if you would stop yellin' at me! Then I'd understand half of what you're yellin'!"
"I wouldn't be yelling at you if you would listen!"
Rhyth, hearing the argument from the other side smiled, "I guess they finished backwards swimming." Boogie looked up, "Huh?" Rhyth looked over to where Yoyo and Beat were, "We're trying to teach Yoyo how to swim." Jazz grabbed a sandwich from the cooler, "Oh, so that's why he was sitting by himself before? He didn't know how to swim?" Rhyth nodded, "Yup, but he's learning….slowly…"
She walked to where she had first found Yoyo sitting and sat herself, watching the two boys wrestle. "Are you guys done yet?" she asked, dusting the crumbs off her hands. "Rhyth, you gotta stay for the rest of the learning time! Beat don't got patience for me like you do! You gotta scare him with your Gum threats." Yoyo whined as she slid into the water. Beat shook his head, "He can't learn until you tell him the same exact thing fifty times."
"Blame that on yourself! It's half of your fault it's taking me so long to learn, yo! If you wouldn't have been pushing me in every time there was water nearby…"
"Dude, just shut up already! Your voice is cracking into my brainwaves."
"Guys, calm down!" yelled Rhyth, cutting the argument short. Yoyo took a deep breath, "I know what he's telling me, I just can't do what he's telling me." Beat smacked his head. "Then why don't you tell me that!" he yelled. "What part of 'I can't do it' don't you understand!" Yoyo threw back.
"Okay, okay, okay, how many more things do you have to teach him?" asked Rhyth, hoping to end this soon for all their sakes. Beat sighed thankfully, "Just swimming below surface and I'm done! I-I mean, we're done…" Rhyth nodded happily but Yoyo shook his head, "No, its cool, guys, you can stop teaching now. I don't need to learn this one."
"For real!" cheered Beat, but Rhyth grabbed his arm before he could move, "Yoyo, you need to know this one most of all in case you do sink and no one's around to get you!" Yoyo smiled weakly, "I'll make sure I won't drown or get into any drowning area…so thanks for the lessons." Rhyth placed her hand on his shoulder, "It's just one more quick learning experience. Five minutes the most!" He glanced at her with an I give up expression. "C'mon Yoyo! You can't give up!" she said as if responding to his look, "You never give up! You're you! You're not afraid of anything!"
"He's afraid of swimming." snorted Beat, diving before Rhyth could smack him. "No, he's right, yo." muttered Yoyo, getting tired and holding on to the edge of the concrete. Rhyth tilted her head, "I guess we all have fears, but we can fight that off. Like…when we're little, we're all afraid of some monster or something, but at some point we outgrow the fear. This is just like that!" Yoyo glanced at her, she wasn't going to give up on him.
"Why do you have so much hope for me, yo?"
Rhyth's cheeks went pink and she looked away, "Um…well, I know you can do this Yoyo. Then you won't have to sit all alone when the rest of us are having fun." Yoyo thought about this as he looked at the sky. Rhyth was right. If he learned now, he wouldn't stick with the embarrassment of not knowing how to swim, and he wouldn't suffer. But then, there was still that wall he needed to break through first. His fear. Rhyth was smiling at him, so filled with faith and hope. He couldn't let her down, or he could, but with the consequence of her disappointment in him.
"One more try?" she asked timidly, pulling his arm. He grinned, "Okay…one more try."
"I forget, is this when you hug, or when you both run away happily ever after?" snickered Beat, appearing out of nowhere. He dodged Rhyth's flying hand, but didn't notice Yoyo's fist until he felt it in his arm.
"Am I today's punching bag or what?" mumbled Beat, aiming his question at Yoyo. "If you would stop makin' stupid comments, you wouldn't get punched, yo."
"Well what happened to you giving up and releasing me from my chains?"
"Uh…Rhyth sorta changed my mind. It…is only one more thing, right?"
"Yeah. So you let Rhyth convince you? Man you're weak."
"I am not! She just asked for me to give one more shot at it!"
Beat swam, facing the sky, "And you said yes."
Yoyo practiced facing forward in the water, "…So?" "So you chose Rhyth over your fear. That's basically saying you want to get scared." Yoyo shrugged, looking at his feet, "Hopefully she got enough faith for all of us." Beat chuckled, "What people do to impress." Yoyo's head dunked under and he shot up quickly, "What!" Beat grinned, "You know you just wanna show off for Rhyth. It's okay, you can admit it."
"I never said-"
"You said you'll try. When you wanna give up, she comes around and the little itsy voice inside your mind is screaming, 'Show her you can do it! Just to prove you're not scared, do what'll give you a heart attack!'"
Yoyo blinked with an empty expression, "She's just a better teacher in getting me into the water and calming me down, that's all." Beat smirked, "Yeah, well it sounds like the student got a thing for the-OOF!" Yoyo blasted a kick to Beat's stomach as Rhyth came into view. Beat bent over, holding his sides, "You little bitch!" he breathed, trying to regain his air.
Rhyth held onto Yoyo's arms as Beat dunked his head in over and over. Rhyth looked at Beat innocently, "This seems a little mean Beat. How is this helping him?"
"It's not." Beat chuckled, "But its one hell of a stress breaker for me!" Rhyth let go of Yoyo's arms and he grabbed onto her arm, struggling to breathe. "You didn't tell me this wasn't part of teaching him!" she fumed, pointing a threatening finger at Beat. "I'm sorry Yoyo, I didn't know!" she apologized, receiving a tired nod from him.
"Look, all's you gotta do is hold your breath, open your eyes, and go under." explained Beat, covering his eyes from the sun. "Like we practiced before." Yoyo looked at the water and held his breath, but he couldn't go under. "If you don't hurry up, I'll make sure you go under." Beat grunted. Yoyo closed his eyes and leaned forward. "Too slow!" Beat called out, pushing him down.
"Beat!" Rhyth scolded, looking for Yoyo. Beat tapped his chin, "I wonder if I was supposed to tell him to swim at the same time…or to slowly release the air he has in him so he doesn't pass out…"
"I wonder if I was supposed to tell Gum about those movies a long time ago!" Rhyth threatened, looking at him darkly. "Alright, alright, I'll go get your precious ring." Beat winked, diving.
"That's it! I give up! No more trying, that's the one hundred percent I'm gonna give and it's all used up! I think I swallowed enough dirty water to last me a life time, yo!" Yoyo coughed, crawling bitterly onto the edge from the water drain he had been throwing up in. He wiped his nose with his arm and sighed. "Sorry, Rhyth, but I can't deal with this anymore."
She nodded sadly, but understandingly, "You did your best and for the first time learning, you did great." He sighed, squeezing his trunks of all the access water, "Thanks." Beat pulled himself up onto the edge to sit, "You know, it's just the swimming part you missed out on underwater. If you just swim while you're holding your breath and all that, you're done!"
Yoyo shook his head stubbornly, "I'm done." Beat glanced at Rhyth, expecting her to try to get Yoyo to get in again, but she didn't. She stayed quiet, facing the giant dam looking wall that kept all of this water from merging with the sewage. Beat arched an eyebrow. The two had given up, but oddly, he hadn't. Rhyth climbed out and went to where the others were, looking back at them quietly. Beat stood up, "I'm gonna get something to drink…you want anything?" Yoyo shook his head. Beat went and joined the others, "Hmm…"
Yoyo decided to see what the others were doing. The boys hadn't stopped wrestling, but now some of the girls were in, trying to keep away from the boys as much as they could. "Where've you been, kid?" called Combo, grabbing Clutch's arm and flinging him into Corn. "The other side." Yoyo answered, jerking his thumb in the direction.
"You look wet." smiled Jazz, swimming up. "Yeah, thanks to Rhyth and Beat." he nodded. Gum glanced at him, "Oh, he's been with you guys? I was wondering where he went." Yoyo sat down, "Yeah…"
"Are you just gonna sit there?" she asked, splashing him.
"Pretty much." he replied, splashing her back.
On the other side, Rhyth had gotten back into the water, swimming carelessly around. "I wonder how far that wall is…" she thought, swimming as fast as she could to it. The water was much cooler out there than the one by the concrete. The giant wall was also cold. Rhyth looked under, the bottom was very deep. So deep it was black. She could hear everyone else far off, laughing and having fun. "I hope Yoyo's having fun…" she sighed, leaning on the wall. Her arms were getting tired.
After an hour or so, Corn gave up on fighting the others to pull them under water. Water was clogging his nose and he was starving. None of the boys that had been swimming around (wrestling) had eaten anything since they had jumped in. Corn sat on Cube's towel, soaking the part he was sitting on. She looked at him, "Thanks for wetting my towel." He smirked, "No problem."
Opening the cooler, he grabbed the last sandwich, "My God, have you been pigging down our food!" Cube turned over, "Don't look at me, all I had was a soda. Talk to Beat about that one."
Corn's eyes widened, "He ate everything!"
"Whatever's missing, most of it."
Yoyo stretched and yawned, "I'm tired." Garam gave him a skeptical look, "Of what? Sitting?" "I did my share of swimming, trust me, yo." Yoyo contradicted, waving his hand. "I think you mean drowning." grinned Beat, sitting down. Yoyo looked at the water gloomily and shrugged. "By the way, you seen Rhyth lately?" asked Beat.
Yoyo shook his head, "No…why?"
"Just askin. I haven't seen her since we stopped with the lessons." Beat said in thought out loud. Yoyo looked around, "Maybe she went back to the other side?" he stood up and wandered around the area until he went back to his old look out spot where he started at. In the distance, he could see a small thing waving at him, but as he squinted, he realized it was Rhyth.
"What's she doing…" he muttered, trying to see as far as he could. She seemed to be bobbing up and down in the water, every time she would try to wave, she would sink. "Is she okay?" he wondered, seeing her go down, but then pop up like he used to. "Maybe I should get the others…" he said, backing up, but as soon as he did, she went down and didn't come up.
Fear filled him in the nastiest, most nauseating twist of his gut he could feel. In his mind he quickly thought of what he could do: either get someone who could swim, but time would be wasted in getting the person and explaining, or, try to swim out by himself and make sure both he and Rhyth don't drown and facing the fact that he would have to dive under to get her. He held his breath, "This is a mistaaake…"
Trying to remember what Beat had yelled in direction over and over, Yoyo kicked and pushed against the water as fast as he could, making it to the wall. He had no time to congratulate himself for the swim, he took a deep breath and dived. He couldn't even see the floor of this thing. Searching like crazy, he saw a light shadow of Rhyth's hand. Instantly, he grabbed it and pulled her up. "Please don't be too late, please don't be too late…" he pleaded over in his mind, shaking her, "Rhyth? Rhyth! C'mon! You gotta snap out of it!"
He leaned against the wall and held on to her in a squeeze. She coughed and spit up some water in a daze, "What…?" Yoyo chuckled, "That'll happen." She shook her head and gasped for breath, hanging onto his neck, "I'm still at the wall? …Then…you swam?" Yoyo froze, the words hanging in his head. He swam. His mouth curled up in a smile, "Yeah…I swam…"
He helped her get back to where the gang was waiting for them. "Dude! You swam!" grinned Beat, slapping him on the back. Rhyth shook her head, trying to stand on her own, "I feel so dizzy…" Beat scratched his head, "Yeah, Rhyth? I told ya to wait for me, not to drown…" Yoyo looked at him strangely, "Wait, what?"
Beat shook his head, "You needed a test to make sure you could swim in emergencies. I never told Rhyth what the plan was yet, just to wait for me, in this spot. Not to drown or to swim to the wall or anything…" Yoyo looked at the two, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, so you're tellin' me you two were planning to fake something like that to test me!"
Beat shrugged, "Something like that, but this was real." Rhyth sniffed, getting a towel from Gum. Yoyo crossed his arms, "Oh…I see…so you guys were gonna mess with me…its all coming together…" Rhyth sighed, "It wasn't to mess with you Yoyo. Beat just wanted to see how much you did learn. And you even went under, he didn't teach you that."
"Yeah," Beat agreed, "Well, I guess this counts as the test, even though it wasn't the one we were gonna plan, but I think I still gotta keep my end of the bargain since Rhyth did a good part here." Yoyo glared at him, "You guys made deals, too!" Beat smiled, "Yeah. Rhyth would never want to do something that would hurt or offend anyone so I had to make the deal good. She fakes a drowning or something like that," he said easily, "and I promise that you take her out on a date."
Yoyo's anger drained out, "Huh?" Rhyth blushed dark scarlet as Yoyo looked at her and back at Beat, "I got a date with Rhyth?" Beat grinned and ruffled his hair, "Yup, good luck on that one!" Yoyo smiled shyly as some of the gang members went "Awwww!". Yoyo looked at the ground honestly, "Aw…now I almost feel bad about telling Gum about those movies and magazines!" Beat's eyes widened as Gum crossed her arms, "You WHAT!"
Gum charged forward after Beat who had already started running, "Oh yeah, I almost forgot about that! Didn't I tell you to get rid of that shit you little perv! You wait till I get you, you filthy excuse for a boyfriend!" Yoyo shrugged as Rhyth looked at him, "Hey, it wasn't my promise to keep!" Rhyth giggled and took his arm, both watching as Gum threw whatever she could at Beat.
Author's Note: A one shot I wrote today. I laughed. It reminded me of some good memories. Family never lets you down. Especially big families.