Kai and Paisley meet right after Mrs. Springer nearly passes out in the pool.
“Well,” he gasped. “Bout anything that needs doing. During class, I’m on deck to keep an eye on folks like Mrs. Springer.”
“She shouldn’t even be out there,” Paisley said heatedly.
“Don’t I know it. I was against it from the beginning. But folks get a doctor’s excuse and think they can do any damn thing they want. Doctors think that just because this is in the water that it’s easy.” He snorted in disgust.
Paisley smiled. “Thanks. That’s exactly what I was going to say. I’m glad we think alike on this. I was afraid it was going to be hard to get her out of the class.”
“All taken care of. In fact, I need to talk to the boss, so she can back us up.”
“You’re sure she will?”
“Positive. Great class, by the way. I liked your choice of music. Deanna always used some jazzed up Big Band stuff that really got under my skin.”
“You don’t think it was too hip for the old folks?” She smirked, raising an eyebrow.
“Didn’t hear them protesting, did you? Good music is good music, doesn’t matter your age. Before it gets busy again, I need to talk to the boss. Excuse me.”
“No problem. Thanks again for your help, Kai.”
“Very welcome.” He wanted to say something else simply to keep her there, but couldn’t think of another excuse. He really did need to talk to the boss, so he bid farewell and ducked into the office.
Boss Lady looked up with a happy smile. “To what do I owe this visit?”
She frowned, motioning him to sit. “Is she okay?”
“She’s fine. But I told her daughter she has to exercise inside. I had to get pretty firm. She has her doctor’s excuse, and wants to be with her friends.”
“No problem. I’ll call Dr. Holloway myself, and take care of it. So, how was Paisley’s first class?”
“What I saw of it, good. I couldn’t really pay close attention, with Mrs. Springer alternating between flushed and pallid, but the music was good. Folks were smiling on the way out.”
“Great! I was in a class of hers over the weekend. She was at the convention. She said she was looking for a job, so I hired her practically on the spot.”
“Cool. Well, I better get back out there. Next class is coming in.”
The second class went even better than the first. Kai had more of an opportunity to watch Paisley, which he did in short spurts, assiduously keeping an eye on the class at least ninety-five percent of the time.
After class, his mother beckoned him over. He trotted to the office to see what she wanted.
“Set up the umbrellas before open swim. It’s supposed to be eighty-nine with a heat index of nearly a hundred. I almost hope there’s a thunderstorm, so we can shut down. I don’t like having you kids out there in that.”
“Think of all the sno-cones we’ll sell.”
“Not my fault. It’s in my blood,” he said over his shoulder.
“Yeah, yeah. Get your butt back out there, Son.”
“Sure thing, Mom!” He saluted her and walked out, nearly colliding with Paisley. “Oops! Sorry about that. I need to watch where you’re going.”
She giggled. “I was just standing here.”
“Then I need to watch where I’m going. Did you need something?”
“Just my schedule. Mrs. Beecher said she’d have it for me after class.”
“Oh. Hang on a second.” He tapped on the office door then poked his head inside. “Paisley needs her schedule.”
“Here.” She handed it to him.
Kai presented the paper to Paisley with a flourish. “Your schedule, Señorita.”
Paisley grinned at him. “Gracias, Señor.”
“I’ve now exhausted most of my Spanish vocabulary.” He teased, he was fluent.
“No problemo. Thank you.”
“Kai!” Cody called to him from the slide. “Need you!”
There seemed to be a tussle up at the top of the slide. Kai took off without saying goodbye, trotting rapidly to the tower on the other side of the pool. Paisley watched him run, admiring the way he moved, sinewy and silky. With a shudder of appreciation, she headed to the women’s dressing room to shower and change.
Kai got to the tower. One of the other guards had the children lined up below, keeping them off the ladder. Kai went up two steps at a time. Up top, a teenage boy was having a seizure. Cody did his best, but his eyes were wide with panic.
“Did you call EMS?”
“Yeah. But he’s getting worse.”
© 2019 Dellani Oakes