The Girl in the Pool

Once upon a time, there was a boy in a swimming pool. The boy was with his mother. The pool was shallow but the boy couldn’t swim, so his mother accompanied him. It was night time.

There was a girl swimming in the other pool, the one next to the shallow pool. She was wearing an inflatable flotation ring around her waist. She appeared to be alone.

The girl saw the boy. She left her pool and hopped into the shallow pool where the boy was. The boy saw her. He strengthened his grip on his mother’s arm.

“It’s all right, dear,” his mother said. “It’s just a girl.”

The girl was active, her arms alive with energy. She swam near the boy and circled around him. Then she grabbed the boy’s hands and pulled him away from his mother’s arms. She squealed with delight as he screamed in terror.

Twenty years passed.

The boy was now a man. He was back in the same hotel where he and his mother stayed when he was little, but she was no longer with him. He sat on a lounge chair near the shallow pool. It was day time.

There was a woman sitting on a bench by the pool. Her hair had streaks of gray and her back was slightly bent forward. She reminded him so much of his mother. She appeared to be alone. Slowly she stood up, put on her summer hat, and walked towards him. She was about to pass him by when she tripped on his sandals. In a fraction of a second he was up on his feet and he got hold of her wrist to prevent her from falling into the pool.

He pulled her towards him and helped her steady her stance.

“I’m terribly sorry, ma’am,” he said. “My sandals were on the way.”

“Not your fault, dear,” the woman said. “I didn’t look where I was going. Thank you for your help.”

She fixed her hat and walked on.

A lady rushed from a nearby cottage and met the woman at the other side of the pool. Her arms and legs were alive with energy and youth. She was about his age, with long hair neatly kept in a knot behind her head. She looked visibly upset and worried.

“Mama, are you all right?” the lady said. “Who was that?”

“I’m fine, I’m fine,” the woman replied. “Just some boy. He was rather nice.”

She removed her dark glasses and he slipped on his eyeglasses and they each saw the boy and the girl in the pool.


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