TITLE: IN HER OWN SKIN
GENRE: YA Contemporary Fantasy
If Coach says one more good word about me, I may scream. But it's inevitable. Coach thinks reading our top scores every week is motivating. I just want to crawl into a hole.
Every time she says my name, I wait for the team to glare at me with jealousy.
"Emily Mulligan, first place, ahead by a full second."
Instead, the girls whoop and clap for me, because my points are their points and we are winners. Their cheers bounce around the pool and I catch David grinning at me from the other side, not paying attention as the boys' coach does the same reading. When his score is announced the guys thump him on the back and chant, "Ecklestein! Ecklestein!"
We're a pair of winners, a matched set, the perfect couple.
So why don't I enjoy any of it?
I make myself smile for the other girls. I'm not competitive, but I don't want to hurt the team either.
I jump in for warm-ups, the water swallowing me. I rush downward, the bottom twelve feet below me. When I slow, I open my eyes and gaze up through the jelly-like water to the lights of the gym.
Emily, you don't belong here.
It starts as a prickle on my arms. Then I want to rub my eyes. They're gritty, like I haven't slept. Just as I'm thinking how weird that is, the pain kicks in. I gasp water.
I'm the best swimmer in the state and I'm drowning.