Grape is My Favorite
My friends showed up at the door right on time. I wore my yellow swimsuit with the purple polka dots and ruffled top, covered with shorts and a t-shirt, and grabbed my sunflower beach towel from the linen closet.
“Be careful walking through the house,” I told them. “We just had the carpets cleaned this morning.” The three of us tiptoed through the house, which is really hard to do in flipflops, and left through the front door. Dad must’ve been down in what my mom calls his man cave. He calls it his office, but he does watch a lot of football down there. And of course Mom was gone on her errands.
We walk to the pool all the time. It’s our community pool, so it’s pretty close—just a couple of blocks. It’s pretty big too, and sometimes it can get really crowded because the so-called community brings in their outside friends. I guess Meg and Alli are outside friends, too. Maybe it isn’t so bad. We threw our towels out on the deck in the sun, removed our shorts and shirts. Sunblock was passed around. I guess we could’ve put it on at home, but that’s not the way it’s done. You do it where everybody can see that you’re actually doing it.
“Lu, look at that guy over there. He’s looking at you. Pretend you don’t see him.” Meg spotted him first. I turned my head halfway and tried to peek out of the corner of my eye.
“He’s cute!” Alli whispered, trying not to move her lips. We all put on our fake smiles and posed.
“Let’s get in the water,” I told them. We walked over to the pool, sat down on the side and dangled our feet in the cool water. Before long, a girl from school pushed her way through the crowd in the pool and over to us.
“Hi, you guys! What’s up?”
In unison we all said, “Hi, Sheri!” Sheri Sorenson brushed her wet hair off her face.
“Hey, Lula, do you know Alex? He’s the guy over there looking at you, the one in the green swim trunks.”
“No.” But I sure would like to! I must be getting boy-crazy! Mom warned me about getting boy crazy. It’s happening to a lot of girls in school lately.
“Well, he’s my cousin and he wanted to meet you. He thinks you’re cute.” I blushed.
“Okay,” I said. Sheri waved her cousin over. It all felt kinda awkward, you know.
“Alex, this is Lula, Mega...