Alex wakes up to his mother’s voice. “Get out of bed! We’re gonna be late!”
Everyday Alex has swim lessons. After swim lessons, his mom lays out on the deck and gets her sun. So Alex is stuck at the pool until 2 ‘o clock or so. Every day. For at least 5 hours. Every day.
A typical day allows for some swimming, a few jumps off the diving board, some four square, and maybe even some standing around watching everyone else play soccer. It’s good that he has his little fortress. In his fortress he is safe from all mockery. He is secured from all hazing. He is barred from the world. He is all alone.
Alex grabs his towel and swim bag. He rushes to the car and they drive off to the pool. When they get there, Alex has to run to the pool to avoid being late. Today is the first day of the session. If he is late, he will have to search for his class. As he is nearly sprinting through the bathhouse he runs into Corey. Corey is the ringleader of the jerks. That’s what Alex calls their little group. Corey is ever so happy to see Alex.
“Hey little man, where ya goin’?”
Alex doesn’t have time for this. He tries to push past them but Corey and the jerks don’t give up so easily.
“Hey hey hey, not so fast dude. We’re just sayin hi.” The jerks are snickering. “Have some manners.” Alex doesn’t have time for manners and tries to climb his way past the blockade, but to no avail. They pick him up and carry him over to the toilet. One of them flushes the toilet while the others dip his head in. They laugh and snicker. Alex struggles to get away and they finally drop him to the ground. Alex lays on the floor in the stall crying lightly. The jerks snicker as they leave, thinking they’re so cool for dropping a small boy into a toilet. Alex just sits there, his tears dropping into the bowl.
Alex is able to pick himself up and make it to the pool deck. He is late for swim lessons. His mom sees him walk out of the bathhouse and yells, “get to class, Alex, you’re late!” Alex walks over to the swim director to ask where his class is. “You’re a little late, aren’t you?” she asks. Alex just stands there with his head down. She looks through her book and sighs. “We had to change the classes around a little bit,” she begins, “you won’t be moving up a level because there’s no class to put you in.” Alex looks at her noticing that she is not joking. He begins to walk away when she stops him. “Wait a second… you’re mom already paid so we have to put you somewhere.” Alex just feels like falling to the ground and laying there until the second coming. “… I guess you can stay in your level,” the swim director allows, “you’ll be with Casey. Now hurry up and get over there.”
Alex’s head shoots up. Casey? He can’t believe it. All the crap that happens to him day after day and he finally gets something he likes. He gets to be in Casey’s class. As he walks over the swim director yells across the pool, “Casey, Alex is with you!” Casey is a little confused but she welcomes him to the class. Alex is quite happy.
After swim lessons Alex runs to the concession stand. He orders his nachos and heads for the fortress. He is the happiest little kid on the planet at that moment.
to be continued…