I was eleven years old and an independent. Bored and hot at the barbeque, I walked down the hill to a public pool. It was not yet open for the season, but the water was pouring in from a large spicket in the deep end. The pool operator had straightened the pool furniture, swept away the leaves, and placed the diving boards on their posts.The rush of the racing, cold water was irrisistable.
I began to scale the fence, which was a good strong barrier but not climb-resistant. It was so easy to go up, up, up and over. Landing lightly, I glanced around. The canopy of trees between the pool and my backyard protected me from being seen.
It was a cool thing to walk around the pool all by myself. But I needed more.
I stepped up on the low dive and began walking out toward the end of the board. Suddenly the board began to tip. Like a teeter-totter, when I crossed the middle of the board it tipped into the pool because it wasn’t secured to the post! I knew what was happening but couldn’t back up. Gravity won and I flew into the air.
I came down hard into the three feet of water pooling at the bottom of the deep end, and remained there a moment, stunned and submerged.
Fully soaked, I had to swim-crawl out of the deep end and clamber up onto the deck. It was a big splash. Had anyone heard? I attempted to wring out my pink and aquamarine shirt and matching pants. It was hopeless.
I stole back silently to my backyard and hid behind a tree. The grown-ups were laughing and drinking. I crept from tree to tree until I reached the front door, turned the knob and…
oh no. It was locked.
I rang the doorbell and peeked from the side of the house, praying that my mother wouldn’t come to the door. I was so in trouble. Oh thank goodness. One of my mom’s friends opened the door and her eyes grew big. My heart was pounding as I approached her and waited.
“Why, Sara! Did you run into a rainstorm?”
“Please don’t tell anyone!” I ran inside, upstairs and into my room where I changed into dry clothes.
She never said a word to me about it. Not that day, not ever. I loved this woman.
Out back, I claimed I’d just had a shower. One of the guests looked at me with doubt in his eyes. Not feeling well, I went back upstairs until the party was over.