Moonstone by Jaime Clevenger Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Moonstone by Jaime Clevenger Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jaime Clevenger
want to tell anyone about it. I worried that everyone would tell me I had to stop seeing him. God, I had it bad for him. I couldn’t look at anyone else. I wanted to yell it from the rooftops—I was in love with Sam Henderson—but I didn’t say anything to anyone. Not my parents or any of my friends. It was different back then…I knew no one would understand.”
    “Just because I look at someone doesn’t mean anything at all.” Joy swiped at the beads of sweat that had formed on her forehead. She reached for the Gatorade and took a big swig.
    Joy saw Coach Treble heading their direction. He smiled at her mom and then glanced at Joy. “You almost ready for your next race, Joy?”
    Joy nodded.
    “You pulled through on that relay. I knew I could count on you to give us a good start. And bringing in a second-place finish on that hundred-meter fly wasn’t bad considering who you were up against.” He paused and mopped his brow with the back of his hand. “All this sun is killing us. Are you staying hydrated?”
    Joy held up the half-empty Gatorade bottle. It was the third meet of the season—an open invitational in the blazing sun of Santa Rosa.
    Coach Treble continued, “Even with this heat, we’re close to winning this meet.”
    After Kelsey’s last win, the Raceda Rays were only three points behind the Del Rio Dolphins. The Monte Vista Matadors were in third place but only one point behind Raceda. Joy wasn’t only keeping track of Kelsey’s races, regardless of what her mom thought. She was watching every point.
    Coach Treble glanced at his scorecard and then at the starting blocks. When he squinted back at Joy, he cleared his throat. “Here’s the deal,” he started. Whatever was going on inside her head, he didn’t care. Or maybe he couldn’t tell. That was Coach Treble. All business. “You’re up in two races, so I want you to start warming up. You’re in Lane Three for the two-hundred-meter fly.”
    “Yeah. I checked.”
    He smiled at her mom. “She’s one of those kids you can always count on, isn’t she?” He turned back to Joy and continued, “I need you to clinch this one. If we pull ahead of Monte Vista in this race, we’ll be set to win the meet. Del Rio won’t have enough swimmers left to pull ahead of us. And if we win this meet, we’ll be in a really good position for the rest of the season. Recruiters are already starting to notice. But this is gonna be close.”
    Joy nodded.
    “We’ll all be rooting for you, Joy,” Coach Treble said. He waved to her mom and then turned and headed for the stands, his gaze focused on the lineup of swimmers at the starting blocks. The assistant coach, Jillian, was standing next to Andrew in Lane 4. Andrew dipped his hand into the water and splashed his chest, then stepped behind the starting block, waiting for the announcer to signal his race. He was swimming the hundred-meter free—his best stroke. Glancing over the competition, Joy guessed Andrew would win the race easily. Del Rio didn’t even have a swimmer in this heat.
    Joy reached for her goggles and swim cap. Her mom handed her a towel.
    “Don’t worry about what your coach said, sweetie. Someone should tell him to lighten up. Is he always like that?” When Joy didn’t answer, she continued, “You’re here to have fun. No pressure. Who cares about points?”
    Joy clenched her jaw rather than argue with her mom. She was there to sunbathe. Her mom should have been a hippie. Joy sighed. Long ago, she’d decided the woman was from a different planet. They didn’t get along but they didn’t fight either. They hardly spoke. And most of the time, she didn’t seem to be paying close attention to anything in Joy’s life. But she was suddenly noticing things now. She wished her mom would go back to being oblivious.
    Joy headed for the warm-up area. She passed a group of her teammates, all girls, but no one said anything as she passed. This, she realized was an improvement from the

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