Kyle is a swaggering bully; Lenny strives to be invisible.
Kyle has been left alone in the world; Lenny is the world’s biggest loner.
When Kyle saves Lenny from drowning, their lives will never be the same.
After a brutal encounter with school bullies, Lenny swims out into the ocean, determined to let the current whisk him away. Next thing he knows the meanest kid in town is pulling him from the waves, promising to be his Dead Sea, and to never let him sink.
All Kyle wants is to get out of beach cleanup, is that too much to ask? So he goes for a swim, only to come upon the most epic “nobody” in the senior class drowning in a riptide. Lenny’s haunted gaze grips him, and Kyle makes the impulsive decision to save his life or die trying. And through this ordeal, Kyle and Lenny are transformed.
Kyle’s heroic act sets him on the straight and narrow, and he opens his heart to the young man he dragged from the ocean. Lenny changes too but is still unable to reveal the truth of his pain. While drowning in a sea of secrets, the reformed bully and wary victim fall in love. But staying afloat in the Dead Sea is not as simple as it seems.
“You’re…in the Dead Sea now, dude.” Even though I’m breathing heavy, my voice comes out gentle. I don’t recognize the sound, seeing as there’s nothing gentle about me.
“You heard me.” The kid stiffens like a board—he’s definitely hurling. I hang onto him tight as I swim with one arm. Every stroke burns my shoulder. “You can’t sink in the Dead Sea.” But damn, saving somebody’s ass from a rip current takes a long fuckin’ time.
Lenny pushes off me enough to swivel his head around and gawk. I’ve never been this up in a dude’s face before. And I’d have figured a guy so invisible would have everyday gray eyes like mine. They’re the darkest blue I’ve ever seen, though. Can’t believe I didn’t notice this before.
“It’s not really a sea, you know…th-the Dead Sea’s…a s-salty lake,” I stutter and suck in a quick gulp of air.
Again, Lenny leans back on my chest. I rest a hand on his belly. Even half-frozen, his skin is smooth and slick and softer than I’d ever have figured a dude’s skin could be. He kicks a couple times, kind of half-hearted, and asks again, “What?”
“The salt…in the Dead Sea…it makes you float. You don’t even have to try.”
The arm clutching Dubinski’s belly trembles, so I wrap my fingers tight around his wrist. He tries to peel them off.
“Did ya know…did ya know the Dead Sea’s…the lowest point on earth?”