I worked at a Jewish Community Center (JCC) for the past 2 summers, and this was my piece venting my anger on my boss Alison. This is very, very barely based off of actual events. Enjoy
School let out a week ago, but that one-week of freedom flew by. Seven days of uninterrupted friends, movies, and most of all relaxation we all gone for Sari. There would be no more lazy summer days by the pool, or sleepovers with tons of friends. And especially no waking up at noon. Now her life was bound to the JCC. All summer. Her mother forced her to take the job, and "learn the value of a dollar." For until she went to work her allowance would be suspended, and her social life nonexistent. Grounded for two whole months.
So, under much protest, Sari applied, but as a life guard. Not only did it beat running around with snot-nosed kids, but she hated to swim. With any luck, it might only take a week to get fired.
Expecting the worst, she trudged down the fluffy pink steps. But her hand barely brushed the doorknob when her mother called her back. She sighed dramatically but turned to face her pink-clad mother. "Sari, do you have everything dear?" With a bored glazed over expression she nodded. "Swimsuit? Extra towel? Lunch box? Change of cloth…"
"I got it!" She interrupted, shrilly. With the last word in the conversation, she marched out the door leaving her mother facing the wood where a moment ago her daughter had stood.
Sari had turned sixteen months ago, but her mother blatantly refused to let her drive or even start to learn. It had been years since her brother had died in a car crash. She was not stupid enough to make the same mistake of drunk driving.
Her mother just didn't trust her.
In one angry shove she swung up the kickstand of her old bike and pedaled insanely down the street. Her anger left her seething when the bike made it to the parking lot all to soon.
She stomped all the way up three flights of stairs, swearing under her breath at everyone who passed. It was eight thirty in the morning, and Sari was anything but a morning person. She stopped outside the double glass doors prepared for the worst. As if coming from the mist, a figure appeared swiftly and silently. At first she thought she was in the wrong room, for she was supposed to meet Alison, but here was a, a guy. Her employer was short, with even shorter spiked brown hair, and was glaring at Sari. "Are you Alison?" She choked, the woman's eyes boring into her skull.
"Yes." Alison answered curtly; fervently praying this was not her new lifeguard. As planned, ripped jeans, knee high Goth boots, and a black shirt with the slogan "I'd smoke but it might annoy you," left a bad impression. With a tight frown Alison began to pace. "Here at the JCC, we pride ourselves in only hiring the best. The rest end up being let go." She paused mid-pace, letting the message sink in. Sari popped her gum loudly in response, her eyes glazed over once more. "You missed the training sessions, but seeing as how your mother and I go way back, I'll let is slide. Tomorrow you are to arrive at eight, not eight thirty, because your first group is already in the pool. From now on I expect nothing less than the best from you.
Another loud pop from her gum.
Without even one word uttered, Sari turned on her heel and stomped off, her boots slamming on the polished floor. It had not even five minutes before she stood outside the locker room door, the sound of overly eccentric kids pouring into her ears. Shut the hell up! That pool is an infestation of bacteria, she felt like screaming. To bad these kids would have no idea what bacteria was. She enjoyed a small chuckle to herself at the ignorance of childhood.
"I am completely insane." She muttered before throwing open the door. The reek of sweat, dirty diapers, and worse children! Everywhere, the little midgets swarmed each other, naked, stupid grins disfiguring their faces. "I can't take this!" Sari shouted, but nobody even heard as she ran to the only chair within the locker room.
She was going crazy from the noise! She needed a distraction. She needed her iPod, but no that was taken from her too. On an impulse she whipped out her phone and speed dialed her best friend Michelle. Sari had meant to go to a pool party today with her, and secretly hoped she was having a lousy time. "Hello?" But it wasn't Michelle it was some dude. Some dude who sounded incredibly hung over.
"Is Michelle there?" She screamed to be heard.
" Huh? Uh, yeah."
"Can you get her for me?" Man this guy was stupid! He grunted in response. "Michelle?" Another grunt. Not from the dude, but from Michelle.
"Brad, you are such a good kisser!" Michelle squealed, seemingly unaware that Sari could hear. She heard slurping and smacking from the other end. Nasty! It was barely nine o'clock and Michelle was already in major lip-lock. Sari didn't even bother to say good-bye before hanging up. She had heard plenty.
"Excuse me?" Through hooded eyes, she stared way down into the face of a small child tangled in her bathing suit. "Help? Please?" Sari heaved an exasperated sigh. The last thing she wanted to do was have a conversation with one of the little monsters; let alone touch one.
She looked down into the child's face for just a moment before the boogers and some other substance hanging out of the kid's nose repulsed her. "I'm busy kid ask your counselor." Her gaze was once again back on her phone, she felt less guilty about the snub. "This is gonna' be a long day." She muttered absentmindedly flipping through her pictures.
Another hour passed maybe two, and Sari still had not moved from her seat. Watching endless kids stream in through the locker room doors and stream back in covered in chlorine from the pool. In an endless cycle. Slowly, almost hypnotically her eyes began to close. Within moments, the hot stuffy locker room melted away into a dreamless sleep.
Hours passed as quickly as minutes before Sari was awoken by a shout of her name and a not-so-gentle-tug on her sleeve. She half expected it to be that that little brat from before, but instead Alison dragged her through the locker room towards the pool. She opened her mouth to protest, but Alison spoke first. "Sari! One of the kids went under, and she hasn't come up yet! Our lifeguard is off duty and you were the only one left. Run!"
Sari stared into the calm pool, searching until she found a bright patch of bathing suit at the very bottom of the deep end. Without a second thought she dove head first into the cold, murky water. As much as she hated kids and swimming, her best friend Katie had drowned at the bottom of a nearby lake. Sari had pledged never to let anyone die that way ever again.
The frigidity of the water only then hit her oxygen-deprived muscles. She had not taken the proper time to draw breath before her plunge. Her eyes were blood shot as she searched everywhere for the child, but the only thing on the pool floor was the small piece of bathing suit.
No one was drowning.
No one is drowning!, she wanted to shout, but someone grabbed her throat from behind as she rose to the surface. The water was too deep to stand on the pool bottom, and she couldn't even turn her head. Her air supply slowly dwindled, and within moments she was gasping for breath. But only cold, icy water filled her aching lungs before her vision went from a red haze to black nothingness.
Alison slowly rose from her perch by the pool edge and watched the dead body drop. "I told you. We only hire the best. The rest end up being let go."