The diving board story.
This story has always been referenced by that title.
I have not shared it for over twenty five years.
It was my story telling debut.
I babysat a lot when I was young.
I enjoyed it and kids liked me.
It gave me spending money and something to do.
My favourite family to sit for,
Lived down the street from me.
They were a nice family.
They had two girls.
They were great parents and always considerate of me.
There was always a pillow and blanket put out if it were to be a late night.
They always left my pay on the shelf BEFORE they left.
I was welcome to have any friends over who had been pre-approved by my parents.
But, not until after the girls were in bed.
They had an in ground pool.
Sometimes they would invite me to come early so I could swim before they left.
One particular spring evening,
As I sat doing homework at the kitchen table,
I could hear the sounds of a ballgame starting coming in the open window.
I remembered ‘the boy’ was playing ball that night.
With the girls safely asleep in their beds,
I thought I would venture out to the backyard for a peek.
The ball diamond was directly below the hilly property.
I was excited at the prospect of being so sneaky.
Once in the backyard,
I went around the pool to get to the back of the yard.
I could see the lights and movement of people at the ball park,
But the hedge was making it impossible to find ‘the boy.’
Darn, so close.
If only I was a foot taller.
A foot taller...hmm
Hey, I could stand on the diving board.
I was so clever.
I was all a giggle of anticipation.
I would be able to watch ‘the boy’
And he would never know.
I hopped up on the board.
I took a couple of steps forward!
Yes! I could see perfectly!
Now, to find ‘the boy’.
There he is!
I jumped for joy!
This is great!
Wait...I am moving.
What is happening?
I looked down.
My feet weren’t moving but I was.
The board was tipping!
Ever so slowly,
I surfed the atmosphere,
Until I had nothing but my toenails keeping me dry
I jumped into the pool.
Nooooo! My brain yelled.
Once my head became submerged under the water,
My brain yelled, ‘COLD! COLD! GET OUT! GET OUT!’
I scrambled out of the pool.
I looked at that diving board with deep seeded insult.
This inanimate object had become my enemy.
Why did you do that?!
Then I realised the board itself was sliding into the pool!
Completely soaked and freezing cold,
I grabbed that board and started to pull.
It was tremendously heavy.
I knew I couldn’t let that board enter the pool!
I readjusted my grip and pulled harder.
I pulled and pulled but it wouldn’t budge.
The crowd below let out a cheer...
I sent them a look of disgust in response.
It‘s all his fault.
I headed into the house.
I borrowed a robe from the bathroom.
I put my wet clothes in the dryer.
I stared out the window at that diving board.
My hatred did not make it move.
Back in my dry clothes,
I went outside to give it another shot.
I pulled until my sore arms told me to stop.
The game was over.
And so was I.
I was defeated.
If only I was strong enough to move the board!
I wouldn’t have to tell them any of this...
The board is the only evidence...
Well, and the wet deck.
It started to rain.
A lovely gentle rain fell from the sky.
Within seconds the partially wet deck was completely wet.
The wet foot marks of my calamity...gone.
I laughed in spite of myself.
My arms hurt,
Although, not as much as my ego.
I was embarrassed.
Embarrassed I had to tell the parents.
I had to tell them about ‘the boy’.