The Pool Incident
A true friend may care about you before they even know you.
I was only 8 and in third grade getting ready to go to Girl Scouts. I was really excited because there was an end-of-the-year pool party that afternoon. I loved Girl Scouts, and I’ve always loved pools, and this was both of them together!
The pool was a place where fun was welcomed, and I definitely took advantage of that. My friends and I pretended to be mermaids, I searched under water for “lost treasure,” and flew down water slides like a toy car on a race track. Rushing to get there, I slid into my bathing suit, jumped into my sandals, and yanked a beach towel out of the closet. Now I was ready to head over and plunge into the pool.
Dad put the hair brush into my palm unexpectedly.
“Brush your hair, Sofia. It looks like a hot mess,” he said. I brushed it until it looked as fluffy as cotton candy at the bottom and jetted over to the car.
As soon as we got there, I flung off my sandals and JUMPED full cannonball into the pool. I didn’t care if the water was ice cold because I was so hot from the blazing sun. I got out and jumped again. WHEEEEE! Landing right in the deep end, I swam over to Julianna (who was my only Girl Scouts friend at the time) and we swam around tirelessly together for what felt like forever.
Julianna was my only friend because I met her before Girl Scouts started that year, and being that I knew her already, I wasn’t alone when I started Girl Scouts as the only Sea Cliff kid out of all the third and second graders. In fact, me, Julianna, and two other girls named Ava were a big part of that group, being that there were a lot of second graders. But my friendship with her isn’t the same as most friends. We were like opposites. For example, I ate only organic food, and like most people, she didn’t. We had the similarity of loving Minecraft though. But other than that, I biked on the dead-end road with her, being the young child that I was where I couldn’t sit still unless I had the ability to move around. But we had a lot of fun together.
Time slowly passed and I energetically jumped out of the pool to dry off and have something to eat. But no running at the pool, they say. You’re gonna slip, they say. Pfft, I thought, like I’ve fallen at the pool! Not gonna happen! I just want to dry off in my warm towel. I ran over to my dad to get my towel. I was halfway there when…OOOOF! Argh!
So much for running at the pool. How could I have thought that wasn’t going to happen? I guess that I could say that I fell from running at the pool before now. But that wasn’t what mattered. What mattered was that I was bleeding. WAIT!!
I was bleeding?! Owwww! It hurt so badly! There was a big red patch of blood on my knee where it hit the floor, but the other knee wasn’t bleeding as much. The pebbles from the concrete were sticking to my knee caps. The floor had two circles of deep red blood as well, one much bigger than the other. My hands were scraped up as well and a little bloody. It hurt just looking at it. Tears come uncontrollably out of my eyes and I started crying from the unbearable pain.
Another Girl Scout, Ava, that I didn’t really know sees that I’m hurt and comes running.
“OH MY GOD!” she shouted “Are you okay?!”
“Yea… I’m fine,” I managed to reply between sniffles and tears.
“Come on, my mom has a first aid kit,” Ava helped me up and I limped over to her mom with her.
“What do you need, Aves?” her mom asked nicely. I pointed to my mangled knee cap
“She’s bleeding!” Ava replied.
“Oh my god! Sit here, I can help you.” her mother said sweetly. I fell into a chair next to her. The cut STUNG! I watched nervously as her mom poured on peroxide. SSSSSSSSS~! OH MY GOSH IT STINGS EVEN MORRRRREEEEEEEE!
I heard Ava behind me, “ARE YOU OKAY? ARE YOU OKAY? ARE YOU OKAY? ARE YOU OKAY? ARE YOU OKAY?”
“Yes! I’m fine” I said with a laugh. Okay, I couldn’t stop laughing in my head about how she kept repeating herself despite the fact that my knee was in so much pain. I knew it wasn’t a joke, but even she knew that she was panicking and had no idea what to do. Also, I realized that she was really loud at normal volume, like me, but now it seemed like she was practically shouting at the top of her voice. We were alike in that way, as if we were destined to meet each other.
Her mom examined my other cuts and cleaned the pebbles off my knee caps. Then she looked at the opened first aid kit. Then back at the cuts. Then she removed some of the bandages from the kit. Then she looked back at all the cuts another time and took out a giant bandaid the size of a baseball and put it carefully on my bruised knee.
“This cut isn’t as bad,” she said, pointing to my left knee “You won’t need a bandage as big.” She attaches a regular sized bandaid which has a cartoon character on it that I can’t quite remember clearly now but I know l liked it. Then she looked at my grazed hands. Then at the other bandaids she took out. But I was busy looking at the scrapes and bandaids gratefully. The big bandaid was tan, nothing special, and really (and I mean REALLY) sticky. I liked the smaller bandages because they were mostly pink, which was my favorite color at the time. The bandaids smelled both like fresh blood and cotton on my bloodstained knee. Small pebbles were all over my hands because of all the concrete in the pool area. Ava’s mom reopened the cap to my mortal enemy, the peroxide. WHYYYYYYYYYYYY DOES PEROXIDE ALWAYS STING SO BADLY ON CUTS?!—AND WHY DOES SHE USE IT SO MUCH?!
“FFFFFFFFFFFF! OW! Owwwwwwwww!” I said somewhere between a shout and my regular voice.
“Yes, I know it stings a little” Ava’s mom said calmly. When she put on the bandaids I felt better because the bandaid had sucked up the peroxide. Yay, I thought, the cuts don’t hurt as badly as before! In fact, they don’t sting anymore! I looked to my side to see my new friend.
“Are you okay?” Ava asked again. By then I knew that kind of question meant that she cared for me, and I appreciated her for caring for someone she barely knew.
“Now I am” I said with a smile, “Thanks to you and your mom.” Truthfully, why wouldn’t I be okay then? What mattered most was that she witnessed me fall and did what she could to help. To this day, we’re best friends because of that incident, and if I didn’t fall, well, we probably wouldn’t even be friends. But what I kept in mind is; anyone can be friendly, but a true friend is someone that cares for you, someone you can trust, and depend on when necessary.
“I usually wasn’t that quick at making friends. So, for that friendship to happen so fast was a miracle.” S.M.