Standing at the far end of the pool, opposite the diving boards, I scanned the faces of the day's swimmers. Nothing out of the ordinary, just the usual, a couple of younger girls dressed in suits that they thought were cool. Then to the left, a pair of older ladies wearing the same suits as the young girls in larger sizes. This wasn't surprising on a day like this. Sitting on my stand, twirling my whistle, like the stereotypical lifeguard does, I waited for something new to happen. I'm not sure why I would bother, it was a common day. The sun was in the same position as every other day; in fact, it was directly above me as always. For some reason I had a tiny hope that something new was going to happen. Finally, I decided to give up, and took my break early. I slid down the ladder, not even bothering to use the rungs. Turning around, suddenly I stopped dead in my tracks. What I had been waiting for all day was finally here. It was a young guy, about my age, walking with what looked to be his sister toward the side of the pool. I hoped they really were siblings, because they great;y resembled each other. In fact, they both had dark skin that would hold its color all year round, with dark brown eyes accented by even darker lashes and full eyebrows. Zooming in on his features, he had light brown hair with yellow highlights from the sun. His nose was a perfect little ski slope. My eyes continued to move around his face and back to the girl's, comparing. When my five minutes were up and break ended, I began walking toward my stand, continuing to study the "siblings." Then, out of the blue, another lifeguard called over to the guy and called him Ekdahl ... Joe Ekdahl? Goodness! All that time I had been admiring my next-door neighbor. I can't believe how bored I must have been. c
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.