Into the Deep
Claire Kim"Welcome to the Living Springs Aquatics Center!"
It was strange to hear so much English being spoken at once after two years of near survival on Korean. I smiled at the aquatic's head counselor who was showing the group of teenagers, including me, around at Living Springs. I tried memorizing the grounds of the center, but I couldn't grasp the layout of the huge area. I smiled as I remembered why I was here. It had been a total two years since I had left the United States for Korea to train there. I was a diver, specializing in springboard. My parents had come with me too, but since they were native Koreans, they decided to stay in Korea. So I'd been the only one in the Kim family to actually come back to the States. I lived here in America for fifteen years, before moving to Korea, and had left all my best friends behind. I guess somewhere along the line, they just all got too busy to return my calls and emails. Of course there was facebook, but they never got on. So, in the end, I lost contact with them.
But I hadn't forgotten them
I smiled as I remembered hitting the send button after a long email telling everyone about my returning to the States for a huge diving competition. I wasn't too surprised that I didn't get a response back from anyone right away, but I was definitely ecstatic when I got a reply back from my best friend Michael Anderson. I'd known him ever since fifth grade which is where he and I got in detention together because of debating with the teacher about evolution. Yup, that was us. No one could ever seperate us. But, the whole moving to Korea thing obviously did. Michael had never bothered to reply to any of my emails, so there had been no way to communicate with him. But I'd invited him to the opening ceremony of the diving competition where all the competitors would be introduced. He replied saying that he'd be coming.
I realized that I'd fallen behind the large group that was touring the grounds, and I ran to catch up. I really hoped that things wouldn't be too awkward when I meet everyone again. Especially Michael. We were like brother and sister. I caught up with the group and accidentally bumped into a boy about my age with floppy black hair. "Sorry!" I apologized.
"Ah it's okay," he said, his light blue eyes sparkling as he smiled. "Hey, you're Korea aren't you?"
I laughed, then lowered my voice as some kids shushed me. "Yeah I'm representing Korea," I told the boy. "Ugh. But I'm the only one from there who's actually competing in this competition."
The boy nodded and gave me a sympathetic look. "Sucks."
"Yeah, tell me about it. Who do you represent?" I asked, trying to talk and memorize buildings at the same time.
The boy poked me with his map as he answered me. "I'm Canada."
I squinted at him, not really sure whether to trust him or not. "Seriously?" I asked, looking at his sleek raven hair.
He nodded and explained, "My dad's Japanese. Soo..." he pointed to his dark hair. "Ta-da!"
I laughed. "Well, fine, Canada. Nice to meet you! I'm Claire Kim," I held out my hand to shake.
"I'm Kevin Hokkaido," Kevin ignored my hand and opted for a hug instead.
I choked back my surprise and went along with it. We stayed close as we continued touring the grounds and were set free for a while till 6:00 PM when we had to report to the SuperGym for a small welcome. It was interesting to see how many kids would be competing in the World Grande Nats, and it would certainly be great to work with them in training for the big event. I smiled as I imagined the next few weeks of my life. This was an opportunity I'd die for.