It was a hot summer Sunday, and I was already ready for winter. I was in my house, a nice two-story suburban home. We lived in a nice neighborhood that had a community pool. There were a lot of nice families and kids here. The thing was, all of my friends that lived here were on vacation. So here I was, bored and at home.
“Mom,” I asked. “Can we please turn on the air conditioner? It’s so humid.”
“No, Claire.” She answered, making cookies in the kitchen. “We need to save money. Go cool yourself off at the pool.”
I pouted. “Mom, I have no one to go with. It’s gonna be so boring.”
“Take Bryan, then.”
“He’s locked in his room, listening to that Hamilton music.”
She turned and looked at me. “Listen, honey. Read a book. Do crafts. There are so many things you can do. Wanna bake with me?”
“No thanks.” I turned and went back to my room.
I have my own room, with turquoise walls. Bryan is my brother, who lives next to my room. I could hear faint traces of Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down) from Hamilton. I like Hamilton, just not as much as Bryan. He is obsessed with it.
I plopped down on my bed, and looked at my Kindle. I checked the weather app, then groaned. 95 degrees? It’s only June! This was definitely a record. I mean, it normally is hot, but never this hot. I live in Southern California! But of course, we never get snow. We get rain, but not that much. And about once in a million years, we get hail.
I closed the cover of my Kindle and laid on my bed, staring at the ceiling. The ceiling is plain white, and flat. Except for that smoke alarm and the sprinkler. They both pop out.
I got up and went to ask my mom if I was allowed to play on my Kindle.
“Claire, you know the rules.” She said, putting the tray of cookies in the oven.
“Yes mom.” I sighed.
You see, my mom is strict about screen time. I mean, I can use my computer, but not for games. We get about 30 minutes a day, but it has to be after three o’clock. I look at my watch and sigh again. It’s only ten o’clock.
I try doing my doodle book, but I’m too bored. Finally, I put on my bathing suit, and get my towel and goggles. I knock on my brother's door to see if he wants to come.
“Bryan?” I ask. “Do you want to come to the pool and swim?”
“What?” He pauses the music and peeks out.
“Do you want to come to the pool with me?”
“No thanks.” He goes back into his room and unpauses the music. He’s playing It’s Quiet Uptown. That is not my favorite song from Hamilton. It’s quite depressing.
I go downstairs. My mom is on her computer, the cookies cooling on the counter.
“So you decided to go, after all.” She says, not looking up from her computer.
“Yup.” I said, grabbing a cookie.
“Have fun! Oh, and don’t forget sunscreen!”
“Oops!” I grab a bottle of it. “Thanks.”
I walk out my door and start walking out to the pool. It is only a few blocks away, so it's nice.
We have no lifeguard, so you have to know how to swim. Nobody new has moved here in the past 3 years, so most of us can swim.
When I got to the pool, there were a few families there. It was mostly little kids there, while the parents chatted. I saw another girl there, who looked a bit familiar. I think she went to my school. She was in the deep end, diving and swimming.
I put some sunscreen on, then jump in. Our pool doesn’t have a heater, so it’s cold. But I like the cold shock it gives me when I first jump in.
The other girl swims up to me.
“Hey! You’re Claire, right?” She said.
“Yeah! Sorry, I’m terrible with names. What’s your⎯”
“I’m Narcissa! Isn’t it hot! I got bored at home, so I decided to come here.”
“It’s super hot! Yeah, I’m extremely bored.”
“Do you like swimming?” Narcissa asked.
“Sure. Mostly just for fun.”
“Cool! I’m on the swim team, so I have to practice a lot. I live a few blocks away.” She points the opposite way where my house is.
“I live a few blocks away, too!”
“Awesome! It’s funny we never run into each other. I’m super busy, so maybe that’s part of it.”
“I brought some pool rings. Do you want to dive for them?”
“Sure!” I exclaim. Narcissa is super nice already, but she does talk a lot.
The pool rings were medium sized. They could fit around my head, like a crown. We threw them in the deep end, and dove for them. It was really fun. Narcissa was actually good at diving. She could hold her breath for the longest time.
After that, we relaxed in the chairs that were on the sides of the pool. We talked, and it turns out she loves Hamilton.
“Oh my gosh, it’s like the best musical ever!” She said.
“Yeah...sure.” I reluctantly agreed. “I am not the biggest fan, but my brother is. What’s your favorite song?”
“Ooh, that’s hard. Hmm, maybe Satisfied? I love it, and I figured out how to sing it without messing up!”
Narcissa then launched into a fast rap. She was pretty good at it!
Finally, it was lunchtime.
“I gotta go, Narcissa! It was fun hanging out with you!”
“Yeah, this was really awesome! Maybe we could meet up again sometime!”
“Definitely! See you soon!”
We said goodbye, and I walked back home. When I got there, my mom was cooking lunch.
“How was it?” She asked.
“Awesome! I met a new friend, Narcissa! She is super nice!”
“Oh! Does she live close?”
“Yeah! She lives like a few blocks away from the pool on the other side!”
“Cool, honey! Now lunch is ready! After lunch, I have to work. So please don’t distract me.”
“Of course, mom!”
I went upstairs and took a quick shower. I changed, then ate lunch. I went to my room and plopped down on my bed. I quickly realized I had nothing to do. It wasn’t three o’clock yet.
Here we go again.