"Ok, now, come join me in the water, it's not that cold I promise." I encouraged him as he made his way back to the edge of the pool.
Jason got to the edge of the pool, squatted down then took a seat. He slowly swung his legs into the water.
He started to shiver and I could see the goosebumps start to rise all over his brown even-toned skin. Even in the late afternoon sun I could see the small hairs stand right up.
"It isn't that bad, is it?" I asked as I cupped his feet with my hands. I felt Jason flinch and I immediately pulled back, realizing I had touched him without thinking, or asking if it was ok.
"Sorry I just thought I could warm your feet to help ease you in." "I'm good." Jason said with a short but embarrassed tone. I moved back as Jason slipped all the way into the pool.
The water resting right above his stomach. I was captivated. But I had to focus, we had a potentially life saving lesson to give here.
"Ok, Jason, so the first thing you need to learn is how to float. Once you can float you can do anything, ok?" Jason nodded.
"Ok so what I am going to need for you to do is slowly lean back and just let yourself rest on top of the water. Don't worry, I'll help keep you up."
I put one hand behind Jason's shoulder blades and the other behind his knees so that he could just let go and relax. "It's ok I got you.
" I reassured as he shakily lifted one leg from the bottom of the pool than the other. "Don't let go of me Lucas. For real.
" Jason warned with a shaky voice as his weight started to redistribute. "I won't, you feel me holding you right? My grip is sure.
Now make sure you are taking shallow breaths, you have to keep the air in your lungs or you'll sink."
And with that, Jason was albeit shakily, floating with my assistance.
I still had him almost cradled in my arms, supporting his back and legs as he slowly started to wave his arms just below the surface, treading water to help stay afloat.
"Wow I didn't even have to teach you to do that with your hands, you are a fast learner." I said as I gave his leg a bit of a squeeze. "Well, maybe I just feel comfortable around you.
" Jason said in between his shallow breaths. He quickly glanced my way and our eyes met again before he went back to staring at the ceiling. That's when I got a little too confident.
"Well in that case let's see if you can do this freestyle, on your own?" I slowly started to move my hands to let him free float when Jason panicked.
He began to thrash in the water, splashing, sending chlorinated water in my eyes, temporarily blinding me. Then he wrapped himself around my body.
His lanky form tightening around my chest and shoulders. I had to take a step back to balance the weight he suddenly threw on me.
There we were for a moment, heaving in a sudden rush of excitement. Jason pressed against me, our faces just inches apart. I could feel the puffs of breath against my chin as he panted.
Our wet chests with firm muscle covered in soft brown skin rubbing on each other. Our eyes deeply peering into each other's.
I kept looking into his, trying to decipher what he was thinking, what he was feeling, what was flowing through his mind in that sudden adrenaline rush.
After a moment that felt like a lifetime I gently let go of his legs, lowering them back to the bottom of the pool and helping him stand upright in the water.
Once on the tiles outside of the pool we stood there dripping, Jason grabbing his shirt and flip flops and preparing to escape the awkwardness.
"Well, I think it went well for a first lesson." I said raising my voice a bit to make sure he broke focus enough to listen to me. "Yeah, I don't know about that.
" He said, as he slipped back on his flip flops and started to fold his tank top nervously.
"No really, you made great progress on your first time, I just got a little eager but I will definitely take it slow next time.
Ok?" I asked taking a step in his direction, hoping he would keep that tough shell down for just a few more moments.
"Sure." Jason said. "Ok, great." I responded.
"And if you want you can go ahead and get changed first, I can wait out here." I nodded taking off my swim cap and wringing some of the water out of my hair.
"Yeah, ok. Don't want your friends getting the wrong idea?" Jason asked with a raised eyebrow. "No!" I quickly responded, startled. I tried to regain my composure.
"Maybe I don't want your friends getting the wrong idea" I said with a chuckle.
With that, Jason walked into the locker room, and I waited until I could hear the shower stop before I made my way in. Washing off the memory, of a swim lesson.