One thing he could do—and there wasn’t much he could—was dive. He pushed off with his toes and when he hit the water it was pure and lovely missile. He was across the pool or through the lake or up the river and like that. Raising his head from beneath and anyone to see was impressed.
She was lying on the pool cement. Her hair was a black hat. She kept swatting at the flies that landed on her legs, her small stomach, the tender shoulder either side of the yellow strap. They were everywhere, she was saying, the flies and the dirty needle of their bites. He’d not felt even one or even knew besides her saying so that they were present. He’d not in his life that he could remember ever been bitten by a mosquito.
The sun began to go dark, pitching the tree above them. Large patters of rain fell on her towel and marked the poolside stone. The guard raised his whistle, the must to climb the ladder and stand himself beside her. The air was a whorling of dust that stung at her eyes.
“Let go,” she said when he reached to lead her indoors. But she took his hand the same and they felt the cool between. One arm touched his ribs, the smooth of her as soft as he might have thought. “So we’re safe,” he said and flipped the hair from his eye. He stood on his heals, pushing back, there the more to know her.