The swimmer

The swimmer: the story of a girl who swims like nobody is watching
Published by Sofia on 2023-11-24 in Detective
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Stella was looking forward to a nightly swim. Her dance school had a swimming pool open 24/7 and she was sure nobody would be there at 2 a.m. She should've known better, she thought, when she saw who was there.

She had recognized Emily instantly, as soon as she had seen her brown skin shimmering under the lights, her long dark hair running behind her as she swam elegantly. She was incredibly fast and graceful. She was one year older than Stella, but they both attended the same course at the dance academy.

She had seen her dance, but now, observing her as she swam, she understood why Emily had always seemed ill at ease when she danced. She just wasn't meant for that. She was a swimmer; it was as clear as the pool water. Every stroke was precise and strong, but still graceful. She was gliding through the water, you would've almost thought that she was being pulled from the bank with some sort of invisible string. Every single movement looked natural.
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illustration by Radioimmaginaria
Stella sat down on the bench as silently as she could, still watching her. Emily reached the end of the swimming pool and, without slowing down, she went under the water and emerged looking in the direction she had just come from. She propelled herself toward the water and kept going, until she reached the other end and did exactly the same.

After a long time, Emily stopped. She emerged from the pool, the water droplets clinging to her like pearls. She turned and saw Stella, still sitting on the bench. A fleeting look of surprise passed through her features, then she smiled warmly.
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illustration by Radioimmaginaria
"Hi. Can you pass me my towel?" Stella blinked a few times, then she picked up the violet towel sitting next to her and stood up, meeting Emily halfway. She wrapped it around the girl's shoulders. They stood in silence for a while, Emily slowly drying herself, but giving no sign of wanting to move.

"How long have you been swimming?" Stella blurted out, desperate to know more.

"My whole life, I guess." murmured Emily. "I lived in a little village next to a river and I learned to swim there, even before I could walk." she chuckled. "How was I?" she asked shyly.

"You were... magical." Stella breathed.

Emily smiled.