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Every so often people get the opportunity to shine, to grasp that warm feeling of accomplishment and to know they have bettered the lives of the people around them. It is that sense of pride that lingers in your head for the rest of their life.
In my old neighborhood, I was looked upon as the little kid that everyone had to keep an eye on. Once I moved, I suddenly evolved into a responsible teenager, able to look after other children. I had always wanted to babysit because it seemed like it was an easy way to make money. Sadly I couldn’t find anyone to babysit for.
A year later, the Guadio family moved in next door with three children. I thought I finally found a window of opportunity to shine. However, I had barely gotten to know them and therefore had not earned their trust. Trust is like a key. It opens the door to many possibilities, but also is hard to find the right fit. I had to keep trying until I got the perfect match which I had been craving since I moved.
One summer day I woke up sweltering under the tangled layers of sheets that I had cocooned myself under the night prior. When I peeled the sheets off my sticky body and wiped the sweat from my face, a thought shot through my brain. Telling me that today is another perfect day to drift in the pool.
I grabbed my bathing suit, a towel, sunscreen and rushed for the door when, “Hey Tom, how about you invite the Guadios to come swimming today.” My mom had been nagging me all summer long saying the same thing and every time I’d say,“ How ‘bout tomorrow?” However, I could hear it in the tone of her voice she was serious. “Um? Ok mom.” I said, still trying to persuade her that I didn’t feel like seeing them today, but I knew she wasn’t asking me, she was telling me.
I slouched over the counter and picked up the phone. The dial tone was ringing in my ear like a gnat. ”Hello” the voice cuts off the ringing, it was Mrs. Guadio. “Hi Mrs. Guadio, I was wondering if the kids wanted to come over today and swim?” I said loosely. “Sure!” she said, ”Oh wait, actually Mr. Guadio and I were going to take Isabella and Andre to Long Island today,” She sighed, “but Ava and her grandmother can come over.” The back and forth answers were starting to confuse me so I said great and hung up the phone.
The Guadio family consists of Mr. and Mrs., Isabella, Andre, and the baby Ava. Ava is two years old and always has a smile for me. She has messy blonde hair like the rest of the family and is still working off the baby fat.
In about an hour, my whole family was by the pool, when we heard the rusty gate open with grandma Gaudio and cute little Ava in toe. She had on a white one piece bathing suit with two yellow floaties keeping her arms straight out. She looked nervous at first, but once she waddled her way over to us she recognized where she was and perked up and gave me one of her award winning smiles.
In the pool, grandma Gaudio held Ava by her arms skimming her on the water and letting her blow bubbles. I gave her some pool toys to play with and for about thirty minutes she was perfectly fine.
Later, we were out of the pool baking in the blistering sun. Ava had already been wrapped up in a towel to dry and had taken off her floaties.
I sat down by the edge of the pool dipping my feet in while watching Ava. She had taken a cup and started to fill it with pool water. Repeatedly, she would bring the cup over to a plant and simply dump all of the water out. There was no point to this but she was determined. Like a worker bee, she would continuously entertain herself as we all watched and laughed.
After, watching her repeat this for what seemed like a thousand times, I turned to the parents to talk thinking Ava was going to be fine. Suddenly, she bent over to far to get the next cup when she took a nose dive into the pool.
I turned around in fear as the parents jumped from there seats. Trying to figure out what had happened. I dove deep into the pool, holding my breath as I sliced my arms like paddles through the water. I pop up to refuel on air, then dove back under. I opened my eyes to see where she was. The chlorine started to burn my eyes, but before the sting was too intense, I saw the hazy image of her. I saw the water being engulfed into her mouth, as it did with the cup minutes ago. I swung my arms back taking one last stroke and then slowly grabbed her.
As we emerged from the water, I looked down and waited. It was silent, as we all held are breaths waiting for an outcome. The thought of having someone die in my arms was spinning around in my head along with many other outcomes, none that were positive.
Her face was scarlet, turning maroon. Her eyes were shut, and her body was as still as a statue. Then, a cough shot out of her mouth to break the silence. She flickered her eyes and started to squirm, life came back to the backyard. As she opened her eyes she looked up and gave me one of her award winning smiles. A smile that brought breath back to our lungs, a smile that evened out are heartbeat, a smile that destroyed all those negative thoughts in my head, a smile that made me feel proud, and finally a smile that handed me the key I desired.