Another monster Monday for you!
There's Something in the Water
"Are you going to Jimmy's pool party?"
"I don't know," Christie said. "You know how I feel about water."
"Yeah, but you don't have to go in the pool at a pool party. You can just hang out and look cute in your bathing suit." Beth leaned against the lockers. "Besides, I know how much you like Jimmy."
"I don't have a chance." Christie said.
"You definitely won't have a chance if you don't go." Beth said. Christie sighed.
"You're right." She said.
"I'll drive," said Beth. "Pick you up at 7, okay?" Christie agreed.
After school, Christie rushed home and rummaged through her dresser. She thought she had a bathing suit.
"Mom!" She yelled.
"In here!" Christie's mother yelled back.
"Do I have a bathing suit?"
"Of course not, you know how you are around water." Her mom said, setting down the laundry she was folding. "Why do you need a bathing suit? We got you out of having to do swimming in PE, I thought."
"You did. I just - I was invited to a pool party - and I'm not going to go into the water, I promise. I just -"
"Didn't want to be the only one not in a bathing suit. I understand." Her mom said. "What time is the party?"
"Beth is picking me up at 7."
"Okay then. Let's run to the store. But promise me," she started, her tone serious, "that you won't go in the water. We don't need another incident."
Beth showed up to Christie's at 7pm sharp. They drove with the windows down and the radio turned up. By the time they got to the party, there were already a few people in the pool, a lot of people were standing around, red plastic cups in hand. Beth and Christie changed into their bathing suits, Christie kept her shorts on over it - a signal, she hoped, that she wouldn't be participating in any swimming. She parked herself at a lounge-chair, drink in hand. Jimmy came up to her.
"Hey, you're the new girl, right? Christie?"
"Yeah, well - I've lived here a little over a year now, but I'm still new-ish I guess." She answered.
"Oh - I'm sorry I never introduced myself to you sooner."
"That's okay." Christie said.
"Want to get in the pool? I think a group of us are going to toss the beach ball around."
"Oh - no thank you," Christie said. "I don't really do...water."
"It's cool. I'll come back in a bit and we can talk about what you do like to do." He ran off and jumped into the pool, splashing a group of girls standing near by. Christie smiled.
About an hour later, Jimmy came back. He kept his promise. He asked her all sorts of questions, types of books she liked, music she listened to, and even the movies she liked to watch.
"I'm so glad you don't think I'm weird," he laughed. "Most people make fun of me for liking animated movies."
"I think it's cool." Christie said, "Well, except for The Little Mermaid. That one is just...not good."
"Why? That's like part of the renaissance era of Disney!"
"Because mermaids aren't good. They lure men to their deaths you know. They're monsters."
"Oh yeah, they sang to sailors or something, right?"
"Some did. Others just used people's curiosity to lure them into the water and drowned them. People would see something in the water, and strangely enough, they would just want to check it out. People are curious I guess."
"Ooh, that would have made for a much better movie." They both laughed.
"So," Jimmy started, changing his tone, "why don't you do water?"
"Oh - it's just a phobia. I guess." She said, nervously.
"Ah. Got it." He nodded. "Hey, you wanna go inside and grab some food - it's a little chilly out here, yeah?" Christie agreed and they stood.
As they walked back towards the house, Jimmy pushed her into the pool. A group of boys swarmed Jimmy. They all laughed.
"Dang dude, it took you long enough," one boy said, handing Jimmy a $20.00 bill. "I thought you'd never get her off that chair."
In the water, Christie's body squirmed and contorted. She tried to hide it, just keeping her head above the water.
"Sorry. Nothing personal," Jimmy said. "But look, you're not drowning. I guess that means your phobia is cured." He walked into the house with his friends.
The night droned on. Everyone had either gone into the house, or left for the evening. At one point Beth came out, yelling for her, but Christie stayed silent in the pool. Better that she thought she went home without her then know the truth.
It got late. The water got cold.
"I'm just going to grab my towel from outside, and I'll be right back." Jimmy yelled into the house - to the rest of his guests.
Christie watched, her eyes just above the water, as Jimmy grabbed some half-full glass bottles, and his towel. She started to hum.
"Well, aren't you coming?" A girl yelled from the house.
"Yeah-" Jimmy said, his voice monotone, "just a second." He said.
"There's something in the water. I'm going to check it out."