The pool area was just as Penny’s mother described. It was a large area surrounded by a fence perhaps eight to nine feet high, with lots of foliage between the pool and the fence. The house enclosed the pool on two sides, while there was a pool house to their immediate left were Penny assumed one could change and cleanup.
It was unlike any play she’d never visited before. And then there was the pool—
While Kemena’s pool was like most of the pools she had seen around her neighborhood, this pool was like something she might find at a YWCA. It was maybe two and a half times longer than three times wider than Kemena’s pool and while there wasn’t a diving board, there was a section of stairs at the far end where one could simply walk in and a couple of ladders on her end where a person could climb out if necessary.
Leigh Ann moved up alongside her daughter. “Beautiful, isn’t it?”
“It is, Mama.” The reflected sunlight seemed to dance and shimmer upon the surface of the pool. Penny was fairly certain she wasn’t wearing sunglasses the light would actually hurt her eyes.
“This pool is sort of special.” Leigh pointed at the end near where they were standing. “The the family likes to scuba dive, so when they had the pool installed they made it deeper than a normal pool. It’s actually about twenty feet deep on this end.” Before Penny could speak Leigh began pushing her in the direction of the pool house. “Let’s get changed.”
Penny was surprised that her mother had bought a new bathing suit for her. She was even more surprised that it was a pink and gold bikini, for she had never worn a bikini before, always a one piece. She slipped into it feeling a little self-conscious, because she’d never imagined she’d show this much skin.
She stepped out of her changing area to find her mother waiting for her, attired in her neon green bikini. Leigh smiled. “You ready for this?”
Penny didn’t need to be asked again. “I’ve been ready since you said we were coming here.”
“The let’s get going.”
With her towel over her shoulder Penny headed back to the pool area and began walking toward stairs at the far end. She was about a third of the way there when she heard her mother call out. “Where you going?”
Penny turned around and faced her mom. “To the shallow end, Mama.”
Leigh shook her head. “Not today, Honey.” She pointed at the end of the pool where she was standing. “Today you do the deep end.”
Penny walked back toward her mother with a shocked look on her face. “Really?”
Her mother nodded. “Yep. I think it’s time you started swimming in the deep end.”
Given the excitement she was feeling Penny wasn’t about to wait. She laid out her towel on the hot concrete, slipped out of her flip-flops and removed her sunglasses, and walked to the edge of the pool. She stared into the shimmering water feeling strange excitement. Even though she had never swarm in deep water before, something said that she wouldn’t have a problem staying afloat.
She glanced over at her mother. “Just jump in?”
Leigh gave her a bright smile. “Just dive right in.”
With a huge grin on her face Penny jumped up into the air and dove into the deep end of the pool—