The hose dumped a stream of water into the pool, and during my lesson, the water level rose, lapping a few inches from the filters that catch bugs, paper, or even once, a snake.
The swim teacher tried to coax me off the high dive, but I wouldn’t budge, and the line waited. “I’ve got you. Come on. You can do it. You can’t let fear run your life,” she said.
I closed my eyes, jumped, and she pulled me up and told me to dog paddle to the shallow end. I paddled my arms and feet and bobbed up and down like a buoy until I could touch the bottom with my big toe pointed like a ballet dancer. I got water with chlorine in my nose and mouth, sneezed and spit, and ran up the steps, onto the pavement, and back to the diving board.
“Can I go again?” I asked the swim teacher.
Niles Reddick is author of a novel, two collections, and a novella. His work has been featured in nineteen anthologies, twenty-one countries, and in over three hundred publications including The Saturday Evening Post, PIF, New Reader Magazine, Forth Magazine, Citron Review, and The Boston Literary Magazine.