THE DEEP END
She smiled as the new guy held the taxi door open.
"Come in for coffee," she said.
It would be more than coffee. She had been hurt in
the past but then who hadn't and that was no reason
to sit life out at the side of the pool. Even if he was a
little on the old side, his Mediterranean good looks
more than compensated. There was a confidence
about him and old-fashioned values she found
attractive. Here was a man who held doors open, who
insisted on taking a taxi if he had two drinks with
dinner, who paid the bill discretely with cash instead
of loudly flashing the plastic. And he would be quite
a trophy to show off to her pool-party pals, all girls
together and all wealthy and divorced.
It was a fine evening and they had coffee beside the
pool. A gentle breeze carried in the sounds and smells
"There's a story about this pool," she said. "The kid
next door turned into a wild teenager. The parents
weren't always there. He started having his friends
round and it was all cans of beer, loud music and
showing off to the girls. And then there was a silly
game. Sometimes I would have some girls I know
round for a pool-party. Still do. They're coming
tomorrow. You can drop in if you like. Anyway back
to the story. This day the party was in full swing
when these kids came crashing through the hedge
between the properties. It's over there beside the deep
end. And they just threw themselves into the pool."
"Doesn't sound too bad," he said. "Just kids you
"Well there was a lot of shouting and bad language
but the thing is they took all their clothes off first.
You could say it was just kids having fun but it was
an invasion of privacy and we did get a fright."
"So did you think of putting in a fence or what?"
"Something happened. The next week the pool was
drained but we went ahead with the pool-party
anyway. We had some drinks and so on. And then the
kids came charging through the bushes again and
jumped into the pool. It was quite a drop. I didn't
really set out to trap them but I knew it could happen
and I did nothing to stop them. At first we had a good
laugh and said it served them right and they wouldn't
come back again next time. But one of the lads, it
was the kid from next door, had a bad landing. It was
his head, brain damage. The family moved away. Just
as well for I was in over my depth myself without
knowing it. You see it turned out the boy's father had
connections with organized crime. Would you believe
"Oh yes and he asked me to give you a message."
They found her next day floating face down in the
The Deep End was the Winning Entry
Adult Creative Writing Club
Competition No. 72