4SWIM LESSONS

Paul’s sudden seasickness caught Scotty off guard, who quickly handed his rod over to Brittany and stood by Paul. Scotty knew from years of fishing that some fish vomit up their guts as you pull them out of the water. He instinctively put his hand on Paul’s back to offer comfort, but the way Paul’s body tensed at his touch let Scotty know that it might be better to back off. Paul reemerged, wiped the side of his mouth with his arm, and wiped his watering eyes.

“Not sure what that was about,” Paul said with a small laugh, slightly embarrassed.

“Was it the motion of the boat? Or something I said?” Scotty asked, careful not to mention the P-word if that was what had caused Paul to get sick.

“No, no, it’s fine. Probably something I ate this morning,” he said dismissively, standing up and walking the length of the boat. “Should have taken my Dramamine,” Paul mumbled. Scotty wanted to give Paul his space, so he walked toward the front of the boat. Zach picked up his phone.

“Wait, wait, wait!” Paul said excitedly. “You told us about the shark and the suckerfish, but what about the parasite? What did Drew teach you about the parasite?” he asked. Scotty noticed a sense of urgency in Paul’s voice. Scotty, not surprised that Paul wanted to continue, walked back toward him and sat down.

“Parasites are nasty. Nasty, nasty. They’re an entire species of microscopic nastiness. All they do is spread death and disease. This was, without a doubt, my least favorite lesson to learn. ...

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