Today is the day that starts it all. The day that I have been waiting for the whole year. The start of summer 2016, the last day of school. School was a breeze, field day is always everyone’s favorite day of school. The day was a blur. The last day of school is one of the most exciting days of the year.
I get on the bus and shove my things into a seat. The air is thick and hot on my skin. The sky is clear blue and cicadas are humming like softly played violins. The sun shone like a big bright gooey yellow egg yolk in the sky. The bus roared and the engine spit out putrid grey clouds. It rumbled and purred like a great cat and lurched forward. Empty backpacks slid freely up and down the bus aisles. Kids were shouting the whole bus was practically overflowing with kids. The noisiness was overpowering, like a booming orchestra. Kids high pitched chatter and giggles with the rhythmic sounds of talking. The occasional boom of a “HEY!” or a “STOP!” like a crash of a symbol or a thud of a drum. I stared out the window watching the rolling landscape, the leaves on the trees illuminated with green light from the sun. I could see my house come into view and I hopped off with great pleasure, because I knew summer was about to start.
My Dad wasn’t home yet so I had the house to myself for about half an hour. I started to set up the air mattresses and bring my chair downstairs. By the time my Dad got home I was finished with the room. Air mattresses littering the floor, our long red L shaped couch draped with blankets and hidden with pillows. My bright blue chair in the middle of our living room, the best spot. “What is all this?” my Dad asked. “Did you forget?” I asked him. I hoped he didn’t forget. “Of course I remember It’s all you fools talk about.” I let out a sigh of relief. Just then the screech and whine of the bus could be heard outside, then the screech and the whine of my brother as my sister chucked her backpack at my brothers face.
I went outside and my sister was running and Tillman chasing her. They were laughing. My sister stopped noticing me, and my brother still unaware eve had stopped running crashed into her back. “Hey!” He sat up and rubbed his fuzzy head, his hair still growing in from ST. Baldrick’s. He stood up clapping his hands to get rid of dirt and grass“Guy’s come see the living room.” I said as I hopped up the three stone steps back into the house. My siblings followed, and they were slightly annoyed I had set up the space before they got home. My Dad walked in announcing that he was going to mow the lawn, and we could go to “The Pond” after he was done. I could remember the summer before at this place we call The Pond.
The lawn mover whirred and the fire was filling up with more and more of our old school papers. Wisps of blackened paper floated lazily into the sky. The fire glowed and flames licked my schoolwork like it was alive. We sat far away from the fire, the heat overpowering, watching all our homework become reduced to nothing. The sun beat down harder now, and it was HOT. Too hot, a huge fire in the blazing sun is SUCH a great idea. I told my siblings to wait until tonight to burn everything, when it was colder, darker, maybe a few stars shining in the ashen sky like little drops of liquid silver, oh, and we could roast marshmallows. But oh no, we had to burn them now, because keeping them after three o’clock on the last day of school is “bad luck”. Keeping “cursed” objects past the deadly three o’clock was just simply not okay.
I ripped off the slick cover of my agenda planner, slid out the swirly plastic thing that held it together, and threw in all the paper. My Dad circled past us on the lawn mower with bulky headphones on, stopped and yelled over the rumble “GET READY FOR THE POND!” then spun away and continued mowing.
I ran in throwing my towel on the warm sand, taking enough time to kick off my worn old navy flipflops, sliding into the cool water. I submerged myself and opened my eyes, peering through the murk. Bringing my hand up to my face I noticed how the water made my hands discolored, too pale and slightly blueish. I stopped moving my hand and let it sway with the light current of the water. It looked like a corpse’s hand, somebody drowning, floating in the middle of the water, lifeless and limp. I imagined it as a shot for a horror movie, you see the hand being tugged down into the dark water getting smaller until all that’s left is a bubble floating up to the surface.
Going up for air then dunking back under pushed off the sand at the shallows and glided under towards the rickety old dock, stopping once to bring up my head and take a deep breath. Busted up, looking rather odd with the shiny new steel ladder instead of the original splintering three rung ladder. It’s scarred with the names of children who decided to cut into the light wood. It was lopsided, probably lost a barrel. I grabbed on to the ladder and pulled myself up, and I stood there for a minute staring at my dark reflection quivering at the edge of the ladder. The water glittered, and it looked like stars. I moved to a corner of the dock and spread my arms out letting the sun touch my face and warm my flesh.
More people had come to the pond, Katherine and Sydney were here now too. Eve and Sydney popped out from the underneath shallow end of the water and waded towards me, then when it was to deep to wade, they swam. I quickly jumped in the water, colder than I expected after standing in the sun. I swam underwater towards the middle of the pond to meet them.
We swam after the sun was a straight smudge of creamy yellow along the horizon. And we swam after the sky was pink and purple. And we swam after the sky was navy. And we swam after the sky was a startling black spotted with shining stars like drips of liquid silver. And we swam after we couldn’t see each others faces in the veil of darkness