man diving into the past.One woman emerging from the depths. At the age of seventeen, Amelia Baide won silver at the Olympic Games and was
the second-fastest woman in the pool. Then one tragic night she crashed into a
lake and was dragged out without a pulse. Now twenty-four, she is still haunted
by it and hasn’t swum again. Until this year’s anniversary of the accident. It
is a day unlike any other and a strange turn of events finds Amelia back at a
swimming pool.Harry Jamieson had eyes for one girl, while women and the media had eyes for
him. As a trainer of Olympic athletes, he was an in-demand man. Until one boozy
morning after … But from bad luck to pure chance he runs into his old flame,
Amelia, at a swimming pool no less. She doesn’t remember a thing from the night
of the crash.
And Harry knows every single secret.
The pair joins forces—a comeback for Amelia and Harry’s ultimate coaching
opportunity. But dodging waves is hard to do; and even the strongest swimmer
Where We Belong is a second-chance love story for young and
old, for swimming enthusiasts and romantics at heart.
moments after I slipped the robe off my shoulders into a pool around my feet. I had one foot on the shower base, one on the
plush rectangular mat.
fiancé, Kristopher, knocked from the other side of the bathroom door, which I’d
already locked for privacy.
tendency often. The first word he would speak to me all day? As I stepped into
the shower. Was it okay if he went out with his friends instead of the dinner
reservation? As I stepped into the shower. His
solution to cancer? As I stepped into the shower.
awaited the question.
Amelia?” he asked.
should have gotten it when I told you I needed to shower. Or while I collected
my creams and lotions and make-up. Or while I sniffed around for a clean towel
in your stash in the corner.”
knew—was irrelevant in this argument. For a fleeting moment, I wondered if we
stayed together out of laziness. And maybe we did. Because I hated many
characteristics about my fiancé. Especially his ignorance of this anniversary.
my boss’s mobile at the crack of dawn to fake a sick day, playing up my groggy
tone as a terrible sore throat in addition to a nauseous tummy. She told me to
get well, and I swallowed the news with a lump in my throat, guilty for lying. I was an assistant for a
medium-sized advertising business and handled paperwork, invoicing and calls
all day long—it wasn’t like my absence would be of consequence to day-to-day
activities. I’d pick it up tomorrow.
and I made dates apart with our respective best friends, and I’d spent it
eating all the ice cream along a strip of shops down the coast. I’d thrown up
once and then kept on going. Jaffa flavour, I remember.
slurped the drips down the paper cup, and only thought twice of the
anniversary. Once on the drive down to the beach, and then once as I’d clutched
the sides of a rusty public bin and spewed my guts up to the backdrop of
disgusted gasps from passers-by.
Kristopher did that day, but he came back when the night sky was a deep
sapphire blue, whisky on his breath as he climbed in bed behind me.
took a day off from work and spent $600 buying cocktail dresses I would never
have occasion to wear. The next day I
donated them to charity.
today, I died. Hence, it was the one time
of the year we didn’t forget the date. Unlike some years when we had to shop
for Christmas gifts at two am on
white door of the bathroom, one foot tingling with the sharp cold of the shower
base, hand clutching the knob. I stepped back onto the tiles, accepting defeat.
he said in a low tone. “Just one Goddamn bottle of aftershave. That’s all I
haven’t showered and I stink. I just need a few fucking sprays, and I’ll be out
of your way all day.”
and hobbled from toe to toe, the cold seeping up my legs. If we kept going on
like this staying out of each other’s way was pointless. We knew how to nip at
each other’s sensitive spots in a way learned from several years of being
together. I saw the forthcoming crash, clenched my eyes shut against the pain.
My shoulders heaved, bracing for impact.
happened to me just before my crash?
there a moment of wide-eyed fear as my corded, muscled arms grabbed the wheel
at the proper ten and two positions, and I flew through the air, reduced to a
thin, crushed and crumpled body at the bottom of the lake?
heavy behind my eyelids as something inside me snapped. I shut the gate to the
his fist on the door, the boom
echoing. I bent and hurried on my new
clothes folded on the counter.
beyond a joke. It will take you a few seconds to pass it.” The door rattled,
the handle jerking, but I’d locked the door already. “Amelia.”
into the cardigan and threw open the
door, despite the bags under my eyes and the chill settling over my chest
because of the unbuttoned front.
all,” pushing the aftershave bottle into his chest, then rushed past him.
and heart-shaped glow-in-the-dark
stickers radiating in neon green from the
ceiling. A ceiling I’d never seen before in my life—typically, I wasn’t the
sort of man to befriend the fancy sticker type of person.
barely so, the sun a tiny orb just under the horizon through the crack in the curtains.
I tilted my head. I held my ears in my palms, and my fingers weaved through the
messy state of my bed hair. Under the purple sheets, my stomach churned, and
farther down, morning glory unstuck from the
aforementioned undelightful purple
sheets. I crawled out of the bed.
flashes from the previous night. A club, a slime party, and breathy kisses with
the girl who lay splayed under these purple sheets beneath her stars and hearts
my achievement. But that dropped into a wobbly set of lips. My stomach churned
again. I lurched into the attached bathroom and retched, wiping myself clean
though I was ninety-nine-point-nine per cent certain I fucked Vicky (or
Vivienna), I shivered at the thought of sharing her toothbrush, so I used the
handy finger-stick in lieu and then the mouthwash beside the basin.
refreshed, I let out a deep breath and looked around the bathroom, not much of
a better sight than the bedroom. The towels were white and pale purple, the
soap purple, and more stickers dotted along the corners of the mirror above the
to one side, a chunk plastered across my forehead in a teenage boy-crush style.
I fussed it around with my hands. It looked as if I just had sex, which was
better than it had moments prior.
her bedroom, peering amongst the sheets and all her hair. I sighed upon seeing
her, confirming one thing. She had the youthful expression of someone I hoped
was legal. I was twenty-eight, she perhaps twenty or twenty-one. I hoped.
asleep, I returned to the bathroom and looked around for supplies to make
myself appear more human. But I caught my reflection in the mirror and stalled.
My tan skin and dark hair vividly contrasted against my steel-blue eyes. Most
noticeably, a bloodshot glare, lined with
purple bags, rolled lazily at the reflection.
pick-up techniques from last night would have worked if I’d looked like this.
ago, one look at Vivienna and she was
under my arm, my lips near her ear telling her things she wanted to hear.
wished I’d had the foresight to stop drinking and pick up her nuisances: the
squeals I thought made her sound cute, the frilly neckline of her dress more
girly than sweet, and the bright purple shoes. The poor woman had a young girl trapped inside her body.
the doorway and whispered, “You’re a little crazy, Purple Vivienna.”
Then I walked out of her bedroom without a note or text. I didn’t have her
number, plus she didn’t care for me.
either. They thought they cared.
thrill of a night with the Harry Jamieson.
night of passion and drinking
with the idea of love.
have our heads screwed on.
mine teetering on the right side of sanity, I dashed out and found my car
parked by the kerb outside her house, hoping she’d been sober enough by the end
of the night to drive it. I knew
with absolute certainty I wouldn’t have gotten behind the wheel.
after drinking. Not anymore.
travelled home, which took an hour—a long way for pussy, even by my
standards—and did the whole routine: shower, force down some hangover-cure
food, spend the rest of the day watching TV like a zombie. Late afternoon, I got onto all my emails,
responding to meetings, questions and other ad hoc business, then prepared some
training sessions for my swimmers.
next morning, I stumbled drowsily onto my front lawn in just a pair of sleeping
pants and retrieved the delivered roll of newspaper. My neighbour, having
noticed my exit, darted her eyes away and scurried inside her house.
be a sight for sore eyes in the morning. But what the hell was that about?
Five minutes later, as I tipped a steaming cup of coffee to my lips, I saw the headline and
cursed, spraying coffee all over my granite countertop.