Wild Water Wars
Sydney, Age 13, Doylestown, PA

Finally, I can see them. It is finally time.

“No! No! Stop!” I yell as Thijs picks me up. I thrash and fight to wriggle free of his gorilla grasp. Ignoring my pleas and escape plan, he hurls me across the pool.

“AHHH!” My scream slices the frozen air.

Splat! Hitting the water, I momentarily sink into the glowing crystal-blue pool. Popping back up, orange floaties glued to my arms, I take a big gulp of air.

‘What’s the best way to attack?’ I ponder, searching my brain for blueprints. There is only so much an eight-year-old knows, so it takes a while. Starting to paddle towards him, ready for revenge, I follow my mental map.

Padding, like a cat stalking a mouse, I start for the deep end.

Suddenly seizing Simon by surprise, he hurls him to the exact same spot he hurled me. Ducking to avoid his flailing feet flying through the air above, I keep swimming, starting to doubt I’ll be able to get my vengeance. I decide to sneak into the deep end, hoping he was too distracted with Simon to take any notice of me.

Finally, I am able to grasp the smooth, curved edge of the wall at the deep end. Quietly, I make my way around the perimeter of the water until I’m two leaps away from him. To get within leap’s reach, I need to move slightly closer to him. Grasping the edge with my hands tethered behind me, feet anchored to the glossy tiles, I imagine him ducking, as he’s done several times before, and landing back into the cold, chlorine water. I leap onto his back, taking him by surprise.

“Ha! Ha! Got you!” I yell with triumph. As me shakes me off, ready for another throw, the adults rescue me.

“Time for bed!” My opa cheerfully exclaims. He holds four large, aqua towels. We jump out and make a mad dash for them, shivering in the cool night air. As I blanket myself in the towel, I smile, relieved that I got away. Well…kind of. We wear our towels like cloaks as we mosey our way into the brightly illuminated house, flip-flops squirting water up my calves.

In this moment, I am so happy, almost wishing I could live there with them in Villarouge, on the Hill. Be there like we used to every summer, instead of every other summer, like we do now.

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