I Almost Get a New Uncle, Part 1 is the thirty-seventh chapter of The Gift of a Best Friend. It was first published on January 20, 2017.
I am now afraid of water.
Or hydrophobic, as it’s called when I looked it up on the Internet to find a shorter word for it, like Annabeth’s fear of spiders is called arachnophobia. Though I’m also afraid of spiders.
Ever since that incident of me falling in the river a few months ago, whenever I look at the pool or tub or even a puddle, I remember falling in it and think I’m drowning just by looking at a pile of water.
Even by touching it I freak out and start shaking. Well, cold water. Not as much with warm. But I still freak out.
For about a month after it I had nightmares about drowning. I would even fall off my bed, and that scares me even more. But then I would sleep with Annabeth in her bed, she’d wrap her arms around me, and that helps me sleep without any nightmares.
I guess it’s because that’s what she did when she jumped in to save me was wrap her arms around me. It helps me know that I’m safe.
Everyone would try to help me conquer my fear of water, but every time I went into the pool, I panicked and felt like I’m drowning, even though I can touch the bottom with my feet, and I splash around, trying to stay afloat and don’t stop until Luke helps me out of the pool and I grab onto him, not letting go and shake for awhile until I calm down.
Annabeth tried to help me get over my fear of water, but stopped when I compromised that I will try with her if she tries to get over her fear of spiders with me. She immediately said no.
But, unfortunately, they didn’t bother Luke, so he didn’t stop trying with me.
“Come on, Jasmine,” he said, swimming in the middle of the pool and beckoning for me to swim toward him. “You can do it.”
“No I can’t!” I disagreed, holding on to the pole right next to the steps that go into the pool. “I’m too scared.”
“I know you are, but you know you can trust me, right?”
“Then come on. Swim to me. I know you can do it.”
“And I know I can’t.”
“Jasmine, go to him,” Emily said, standing right next to me. “Don’t make me throw you in there.”
“Oh, yeah,” I replied sarcastically. “That’ll make me go.”
She grabbed me, but I held on to the pole tightly.
“No, no, no, no, no, no, no!”
She let go of me and I clung more to the pole. I glared at her.
“Jasmine, please,” she said.
“I can do it,” Peter said, swimming around Luke.
“Shut up, Peter,” I said.
“Look, Jasmine, I’ll make you a deal,” Luke said. “If you come to me right now, I won’t make you get into the water again.”
“You swear upon the river Styx?”
He hesitated. “I swear on the river Styx, but only if you come to me right now.”
Now I’m hesitating. But if I did it, then he’d leave me alone.
I stood up and walked to the edge of the pool.
“That’s it,” Luke said. “Just a little more.”
He wasn’t helping.
I took a few steps back, took a deep breath, and ran and jumped into the pool. Big mistake. I told them that I couldn’t do it, but did they listen to me? No.
As soon as I hit the water, I fell under it and I couldn’t get back up. I heard Luke and Emily calling to me, but they sounded so far away.
I was so scared. I tried to swim up, but every time I did, I felt like I was being pulled down farther. I screamed and water came into my mouth.
I knew that I was going to die. I was going to drown. Then I felt hands grab me from under my arms, pulling me up, and I broke the surface of the water.
I gasped for air and clung to Luke.
“It’s ok,” he said. “I got you.”
I was shaking.
Peter laughed. “Scardy cat.”
Luke glared at him. Then he took me to the edge of the pool.
Emily grabbed me and tried to lift me up, but I held onto Luke tightly, as I’ve done every time I freaked out after the incident.
“Really?” Emily asked me. “He’s the one that made you get into the water in the first place, and you want to cling to him every time?”
“What can I say?” Luke replied. “I’m very lovable.”
“He also helps me out too,” I said.
Luke sat me down on the edge of the pool and tried to get out, but I kept holding him.
“At least let him get out of the pool so that you can get out too,” Emily said. “Don’t you want to get out?”
Yes, I thought, but was too shaky to say.
Luke grabbed my arms from around his neck and adjusted me so that I was facing him.
“It’ll only be for a minute,” he promised.
I let go of him and Emily pulled me out. Then Luke got out of the pool, dried himself off with a towel, and sat down on a nearby seat.
Emily let go of me and I ran to him, wrapping my arms back around him.
“God, she is like a magnet to you,” Emily said.
“Yeah,” Luke agreed.
I looked at him. “You promised you wouldn’t make me go into the water again.”
“I know, and I won’t.”
“You better not.”
“Or I’ll hit you with my sword. And you swore on the river Styx, so you’ll also get hit with lightning.”
He smiled. “I’ll remember that.”
Emily gave us a big towel to wrap around us, and we stayed there until we were completely dry.
The next few days were ok. No one tried to get me into the water anymore.
Annabeth and I went to school, any kind of homework we have we do together, and always seem to get an A+ on it. Then we go to gymnastics and karate. We do that to learn another way to defend ourselves without a weapon. Anybody else in the class with us, we beat easily. But it takes a while for me or Annabeth to beat each other. It usually ends in a tie for us.
One day after school ended, we got into the school bus and sat in the very back like we always do. Peter sat in the middle of the bus with his friend Elliot.
When the bus dropped us off at the nearest stop to our house, Elliot went home and Peter did too. But Annabeth and I stayed where we were for a moment, looking around.
“Where’s Luke?” Annabeth asked.
“And Toothless?” I asked.
They always came to get us when we got back from school, and to take us there too. Then something dark descended from above us and Toothless landed next to me.
“Toothless!” I greeted and gave him a hug.
Hello, you two, he greeted back. How was school?
“The usual. Where’s Luke?”
“He’s preoccupied right now.”
“Preoccupied? With what?”
With who, Toothless corrected.
“Whom,” Annabeth corrected.
“Is it Emily?”
No. But she is with him. They’re both preoccupied.
Let’s go find out. But first, let’s go see your mother. Your father’s with his parents right now.
Daddy’s a Secret Scientist, like Grandma Drew and Grandpa Doc are.
Annabeth and I climbed onto Toothless’s back and he flew us home.
After getting home, we said hello to Mommy and Komodo.
“Mommy, Luke didn’t come pick us up at our school bus stop,” I said.
“Toothless said that he was preoccupied with someone?” Annabeth asked.
“Uh, yeah,” Mommy replied. “We might be getting a new brother.”
“A new brother?” I asked. “Is Grandma pregnant?”
“No. At least, I don’t think she is. But she’s thinking of adopting a new orphaned boy, who’s a little younger than you two are. He’s at her house right now, and he and Luke have been playing together all day.”
“Can we go meet him?” Annabeth asked.
“Yeah,” I agreed. “Can we?”
“Sure,” Mommy replied. “Your grandma didn’t want us to go meet him until you two got home. Now you two are, so let’s go.”
Can you guys guess who this orphaned boy is?
Please review here.
- Sarah Saturday
- Luke Castellan (mentioned)
- Emily Hollinger (mentioned)
- Zak Saturday (mentioned)
- Raylee Hollinger (mentioned)