DEEP WATER • by Ruth Schiffmann

“I swear, Griffin, if I have to graph one more factored polynomial function my brain’s going to spontaneously combust.”

“Cool. I’ll drag you next door into Mr. Farber’s science class and turn the lab rats loose on you. Whatever’s left I’ll donate to the experimentation that goes on in the dark corners of the cafeteria. I’ll be the only one who knows the secret ingredient in next week’s mystery meat.”

“Shut up, Griffin. I’m starving. My alarm didn’t go off this morning and I missed breakfast. I’m aiming to be first in that lunch line no matter what they’re serving.”

“No one would want it anyway, Kaleigh. Your brain’s gotta be tough meat. The way you overwork that thing. Honor roll every year since middle school. Can you say gristle?”

“Yeah, but I’ll ace the SAT next week with my eyes closed.”

“Ha! Is that why you took out Miss Shipp in gym last period? Forgot to open your eyes?”

“Shut up, moron! It wasn’t my fault that I tripped over your size eleven Chucks. And hey Griffin, I’d take uncoordinated over unintelligent any day.”

“What are you looking at me for? I do okay.”

“Yeah. Right, if you call a 1.75 grade point average okay.”

“What I lack in academic excellence I make up for in pure irresistible charm. Just ask Allie.”

“Allie Benton? She wouldn’t give you a second thought.”

“Didn’t need to. She said yes the first time I asked. Before I’d even finished my sentence, I think. She couldn’t get the word out fast enough. Although, I could do better. There was a stick bug on my window screen this morning that had more shape than her.”

“You’re so deep, Griffin.”

“Hey, you don’t need deep water for a quick dip.”

“Get over yourself.”

“Not likely. Hey, slow down. What’s your hurry?”

“I told you, I’m starving.”

“No worries. The cafeteria’s got plenty of slop to go around. Hey seriously. Wait up. Jeez, Kaleigh. What the hell?”

“Shit, Griffin, Allie Benton?”


“She’s not even your type.”

“I have a type? Ow. Quit hitting me. Okay so what’s my type?”


“Smart? Hey pass me one of those puddings.”



“Seriously? I need to spell this out?  Are all guys this clueless?”

“Are you… jealous, Kaleigh? Ow. Enough with the hitting already. And save some of that chop suey for me. Okay, I think I’m catching on. My type is smart and witty, hungry, and. . .clumsy?”

“Let’s say uncoordinated.”

“And spontaneously violent? Ow. I’m just saying. Let’s not forget gorgeous.”

“I wouldn’t say — ”

“I would. Definitely gorgeous.”

“What are you doing?”

“I’m buying you lunch.”

“It’s the school cafeteria, Griffin. It won’t win you any points.”

“But it might win me a seat next to the most gorgeous girl in school.”

“We always sit together, you idiot.”

“Yeah, but that was before I knew how much you liked me.”

“Quit wiggling your eyebrows like that. You’re creeping me out.”

“So, you want to hang out this weekend?”

“I’m studying for the SATs.”

“I’m telling you, gristle.”

“Okay, I might have some time Saturday afternoon.”

“How about a swim at The Heights Beach?”

“A quick dip?”

“No. I think I’m ready to start swimming in deeper water.”

Ruth Schiffmann puts pen to paper always hoping for that magical moment when the words take on a life of their own. More than a hundred of her stories, articles, and poems have appeared in publications both in print and online. To read more of her work, visit

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