Manuscript status: Finished
Mentor Name: Brooks Benjamin
Mentee Name: Caroline Thompson
Word Count: 36,000
Thirteen-year-old Sam lives for swimming. Or she did, until she nearly drowned in a car crash. When Sam is paired with Echo, a therapy dolphin, they quickly form a bond. But the more time they spend together, the more Sam worries she’ll never overcome her fear of water and swim again.
I tug the dark purple fleece over my head, ducking into the back seat of the car. Although the Subaru is a few years old, the leather seat still squeaks against my jeans in protests. Dad is driving today, so I sit behind Papa on the passenger side where I will have more legroom.
“Ready to go?” Dad asks as he climbs behind the wheel.
“Yep!” Papa and I call in unison.
I buckle myself in as the car backs out of the driveway, eager to get up the mountain. Today is the first day of spring break, and I have been looking forward to this trip for weeks now.
The last few days at Mustang Middle School, where I attended seventh grade, were brutal. Unable to concentrate, I know I didn’t ace all the midterms I took, but at least I didn’t bomb any. Papa and Dad promised that as long as I keep up my grades, they’ll let me join the swim team at high school in two years.
“Think you’ll remember any tricks you taught yourself last time we hit the slopes?” Papa tries to sound optimistic, but I groan in response. Secretly, I do wonder if my body will remember anything I learned snowboarding over winter break, or if I’ll spend the majority of my time face planting in the powder. Not falling every five seconds was probably the most noteworthy “trick” I’d picked up.