Brrrp Brrrp - Brrrp Brrrp - Brrrp Brrp
Her phone crawled around the bedside table as it vibrated. The screen flashed and illuminated the room intermittently.
Always a fairly light sleeper, Sasha stirred from her slumber in a less than conversational mood.
She held her phone at arms length towards the ceiling as she tried to see who might be calling her at this godforsaken hour.
The number was blurred through tired eyes and couldn’t be deciphered. She answered her phone with a sigh.
“I’m outside” said a familiar voice, but not one Sasha had heard for months.
It was Gus. He’d moved to a different school in rather rushed and unexplained circumstances. He and Sasha used to take Biology together. It was one of the few lessons that was at least tolerable for Sasha; mainly because of Gus’ terrible but actually quite good science puns.
“Good for you, I’m in bed. Night.” Sasha replied without even thinking before hanging up.
She turned her phone off, put it back on her bedside table and slammed her head back into her pillow, bewildered. She couldn’t settle down.
“Is he crazy now? Has he come to abduct me or something? I’m not really ready to get abducted” She thought to herself.
She was too busy thinking about all of the ways Gus might have gone mad to have heard the first clunk on her window but she noticed the second.
She lay still, held her breath and cocked her head to try and hear clearer. Thankfully, a third clunk on the window confirmed her own sanity, but not Gus’.
She got out of bed to inspect further, creeping towards the window. She lifted the curtain ever so slightly to see Gus stood in the driveway looking ready to throw another stone at her window.
She quickly swung the window open before he released the next projectile.
“Are you crazy!? What are you doing here?” Sasha whisper-shouted so as to avoid waking her parents.
“We should hang out.” Gus responded, using his outside voice, infuriating Sasha.
“It’s 2AM! Why should we hang out?” Sasha just about stifled a shout.
“There’s no-one around, we can go have some fun.” Gus’ voice reverberated around the deathly silent estate.
“Will you be quiet if I say yes?”
Gus nodded enthusiastically.
Truth be told, this was the kind of spontaneity that Sasha longed for. She hadn’t quite envisioned it this way, and with Gus, but it would do.
“Fine, but you also have to give me your jacket.”
Gus took his jacket off so excitedly that he got his arm stuck in the sleeve for a good few seconds before pulling it off with such force he sent himself tumbling a few feet.
“Okay, give me a minute. Meet me round the back.”
Sasha slipped on some sneakers and snuck downstairs in her nightie.
She carefully shut the back door behind her and turned to see Gus sat on the same bicycle he used to ride to school on.
She found her own bicycle which was propped up behind the shed, unused for a fair while.
“Hey” he said, handing over his motorcycle jacket adorned in obscure sponsors as she pulled up beside him.
“Remember Mr Bainbridge?” She said, putting on the strange motorcycle jacket. Her hands barely emerged from the sleeves and the jacket itself hung almost as low as her nightie. “Yeah”
“I know where he lives. He’s on holiday. And I know he has a pool.”
Gus didn’t ask how she knew those things.
“Lead the way then.” he said, trying to keep his cool.
The pair cycled off into the early morning. The clear night’s sky was littered with stars. It was nothing short of spectacular. There were no cars, no sign of people anywhere. They were accompanied only by a soft breeze as they headed to Mr Bainbridge’s house.
It was a nice, if a little old fashioned, house painted a slightly off-white. It had pillars either side of a large black door. Pillars have always been a pretty good indicator of wealth.
Mr Bainbridge was a pretty mellow teacher who only had a few years left before he could retire. He used to go on holiday to the UK every summer to visit family. Trespassing on his property seemed morally passable, given the nature of the man.
Sasha had heard rumours in the neighbourhood of Mr Bainbridge’s fabled pool for years.
He didn’t live far away. No one would even know. Gus’ unannounced return to town was fate.
Tonight was the night… Or rather this morning was the morning. But that doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. So even though it was technically morning at 2AM, for the purposes of some snappy literature, tonight was the night.
They cycled past the front of Mr Bainbridge’s house and found the back road which was similar to the one behind Sasha’s house.
They rested their bicycles on a bush in a vague attempt to hide their means of escape should things go pear shaped.
There was a low picket fence between them and the hallowed turf of Mr Bainbridge’s garden. Sasha hopped over the fence with impressive grace.
Gus, slightly more tentatively, climbed over the fence. His shoe was caught between two pickets on his way over and it slipped off. Sasha could barely contain herself, stifling a belly laugh.
Once Gus put his shoe back on, they surveyed Mr Bainbridge’s garden. It was a large square of land with pristine grass in the centre, all cut to within the millimetre.
The perimeter of the square was decorated with flowers of various different colours dulled in the darkness of the early morning.
“There it is!” Sasha said, gasping as if she had seen something biblical. It was in fact, the pool. It beckoned them from the other side of the garden.
They stepped forward, leaving monumentally obvious footprints in the grass. After a few steps a beaming white light shone down from the balcony at the back of the house.
Gus darted off to the side of garden and hid between some lovely daffodils. Meanwhile Sasha stood there in Gus’ jacket, stunned. The light was piercing and intrusive. She had never felt so naked without actually being naked.
After a few seconds, it became clear that nothing would come of the light’s theatrics. Sasha simply decided that she had come too far to run away. Gus was in hysterics sat in the soil next to his daffodils. The police would be there soon, and it was all his fault.
Sasha strolled towards the pool, this was a date with destiny. The pool was there to be conquered. She would become a legendary figure among the neighbourhood kids. She would become immortal.
She stood poolside, staring into the water that sat motionless in the calm of the early morning.
She turned to face Gus, who had just about composed himself, and shrugged his jacket from her shoulders. It landed in a heap at her feet as she kicked her sneakers off.
To Gus, she was a beautifully angelic silhouette, illuminated by the balcony light.
Sasha opened her opens her arms wide, still facing away from the pool, and fell backwards.
There was a crash followed by serene silence. Bubbles rose from everywhere around her and escaped to the surface as the light filtered down from above.
Her nightie gave her an ethereal quality and flowed with her movement as she slowly rose to the surface.
The tranquility dissipated as Gus smashed through the surface of the water, a mess of arms and legs.
Sasha emerged for air, calm. Gus rose from the water, flailing.
He gasped for air in shock, laughing hysterically. Once Gus had regained control of himself, their eyes met across the water.
They didn’t say a word. But in that moment, in Mr Bainbridge’s pool, everything was right.