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BLARGH: "My First SWOON" by Nancy Holder

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"My First SWOON" by Nancy Holder

Many thanks to Aimee Friedman for sharing her passion for Paris. Ooh-la-la, as they say. We've so far had swooners swooning over songs, dogs, dancing, embarrassing rock stars, and now a city. Point being: Your first swoon doesn't have to be about a boy. So if you have a swoon to share, please do so by 30 June 2009. Comment back with your tale for a chance to win a signed copy of SWOON.

And so, the swooning continues...

Nancy Holder writes like a demon. She has more books to her credit now than most people have socks, though she’s perhaps best known as the co-author of The New York Times bestseller Wicked: Witch and Curse and (coming in July) Wicked: Resurrection. Thanks, Nancy, for swooning…

My first swoon took place in the water, just as in Nina’s Swoon. I was twelve; it was summer in Japan, hot, sticky, buzzing with mosquitoes. My blended navy family lived on a military base in one of five row houses created out of World War II parachute lofts, and I was home in a sort of bored fugue, probably reading and listening to sad rock songs. No doubt feeling a little sorry for myself, since my stepsister, who was two months and four days older than me, had a boyfriend and I did not. I was pretty sure that Danny, the boy I liked, had no clue how I felt, which was a relief, because what if he didn’t like me back?

Then our home phone rang, and it was my GF, Karen. “I’m at the pool,” she told me. “And so is Danny. And he says he’s not going in the water until you show.”

This was stunning news. This was fabulous news. And I honestly don’t remember getting my suit on and layering it with shorts and a T-shirt. I don’t remember putting on my sandals. I can’t remember if I took the bus or walked to the pool. I don’t remember much of anything until

I saw him sitting on the edge of the pool, legs dangling in the water, grinning at me as I appeared just like Cinderella to make his day.

I remember that the world fuzzed out and I almost didn’t recognize where I was—same old pool, the usual smell of French fries; and there was Karen, who was laying out on a chaise lounge and grinning at me, too. Caught in the tractor beam of Danny’s smile, I felt hot. Literally hot. I felt as if I were dissolving.

I peeled down to my suit—blue and green boy-shorts and a halter top—like I really didn’t know he was watching me, and walked on over. My blond hair brushed my shoulder blades. I felt beautiful.

I sat down next to him. Then, without a word, we pushed on the palms of our hands and we just kind of slid into the water, warm and cold, no words spoken. We both went under, and I could see him through the water, his face filled with joy. Because I had shown. Still submerged, he took my hand and pulled me toward him. And as we got ready for our first kiss, I remember thinking, What will it be like when we come back up?

Nancy Holder is the co-author of Wicked: Witch and Curse and Wicked: Resurrection. Visit her at


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