“What is that you said?” she called out from the middle of the pool, hands on her face, trying to keep the water streaming down her hair from entering her eyes. She laughed, more out of pure enjoyment than anything else.
This was the first time in a long time since she had swam in the pool. I remembered a week ago when I had come here, she had spoken briefly about how her family didn’t use the pool anymore, because no matter how many times they cleaned it, the water always turned brown. It was the sad look in her eyes that had made me come here yesterday morning, in a pool cleaner’s outfit, acting all knowledgeable to her father with the little information about pool cleaning I had come by on the internet. My gamble paid off. Working with the in-house pool cleaner, we were able to shock the pool using some industrial chlorine and make it look good again. Her father knew nothing about us.
I wonder if perhaps I was imagining things. The way she smiled at me, the way she held my hand on that one walk we had to sneak out her house to take, the way she picked something out my hair. Maybe I was reading meanings into things that weren’t there? Or maybe I was on the right track, and she just wanted me to get the hint. I guess I will never get answers to these questions.
“Come and listen!” I call out to her, laughing too. Not that I felt particularly happy at that moment. I did, but then I was scared. Scared that her father might walk in on us. Scared that he’d catch his daughter in a revealing bathing suit being watched closely by the new pool cleaner. Scared of what I was about to say to her.
What to say to her!
She was coming towards me, wading through the water with a mischievous smile playing on her lips. Dear Lord, those dimples. They were magical. She reached the stairs, the water falling off her body as she climbed it, like something out of a movie. My goodness, God took his time creating this one. And before I knew she was in front of me. Right in front. So close I knew I could steal a kiss in a flash. I pushed my hands in my pockets, searching for it. I gulped.
“Yes?” she asked, smiling. It was hard to concentrate with her smile on. Too hard.
“Umm…you know that thing you said about guys who are spontaneous?” I asked her, an introduction to my request I was about to place before her.
“Yes! Spontaneous guys are just…” she ended her statement with a grin that proved a better adjective than any other.
“Well…I have something to say,” I said. Then, that instant, everything became clear to me. I had something good going on here. Maybe it would be wiser to take things slow. Or was that the fear talking? What if she said yes? Or no? There was no going back on this one. And I didn’t want to find out just yet.
“Yes?” she asked, an expectant smile on her face.
“Well…how’s this for spontaneous?” I asked, and in one movement, pushed her into the pool again, while pushing deeper into my pockets the ring I had been playing with. The ring my mother had given me when I went to her and told her I had found the one. Her squeals of laughter made me smile a genuine smile.
As long as she was happy, I’d be too.