Kai and Paisley are having a chat when Cody calls him to the slide. A boy is up top having a seizure. Cody’s called EMS, but the boy is getting worse.
Kai took over, talking calmly to the boy as his body shook. He had nothing to keep his jaws from snapping together, so he hoped the truck hurried. He didn’t want the kid to bite his tongue.
“Tell Mom to open the gate.”
Cody went down the slide and swam across the pool to tell his mother that the emergency vehicle was on its way. Kai’s younger brother was a strong swimmer, and got across the huge pool in record time, faster than he could have walked around it. Dripping, he ran to the office, giving their mother the news.
Mrs. Beecher got up and unlocked the side gate as the emergency vehicle pulled up. The lifeguards had everyone out of the pool, gathered to one side, as the paramedics dog-trotted to the tower.
“Talk to me,” Thad Purcell said, as soon as he and his partner got up top.
Kai filled them in as they stabilized the boy for transport.
“How the f**k do we get him down?”
“I had an idea about that,” Kai said. “Strap him to a backboard and lower him down with ropes.”
“Good plan. Make it happen,” Thad agreed.
Within minutes, the boy was down and safely stowed in the ambulance. His mother stood by, wringing her hands.
“What am I gonna do? I’ve got my other kids!”
“They can go to the summer program for now,” Kai’s mother told her. “Let us know how he is, okay?”
“I don’t understand what did this. He’s been fine….” Her voice drifted away as she got in the ambulance.
A day care worker collected her other children, taking them inside as the ambulance took off. Kai watched it go, wondering what else could possibly go wrong. The day was young—there was way too much potential for mishaps.
The call came an hour later that the boy was fine. The heat, and an imbalance in his meds, had caused the seizure. His father came by to pick up this siblings, thanking Kai and Cody for their help.
“We didn’t do all that much,” Kai told him.
“You kept him calm and called EVAC. Fast thinking, kid,” he said to Cody shaking his hand. “I own Sonny’s Steakhouse. You two come in sometime, I’ll fix you a free steak dinner, any way you like it. All the sides you can eat.”
“Thanks.” Kai said, shaking the proffered hand. “We sure will.”
Kai finished setting up the umbrellas and flopped in a chair beneath one, eyes lingering on the pool. The usual gaggle of elementary aged children monopolized the slide, while the older kids tussled in the middle of the pool. A few stalwart adults swam in the lap lanes and the babies played with their mothers in the shallow end.
A group of youngsters, about 10 years old, came over to him. “Can you turn on the umbrella?” The leader of the pack asked.
The umbrella, and other pieces of equipment, were usually reserved for parties, but it was so hot, Kai didn’t see why not. He double checked with his mother, got her okay and turned on the fountains and umbrella. Children and adults flocked to the shallow end, grouping in the watery shade of the umbrella or the gouting fountains, laughing and playing.
“Thought you could use a cold drink,” a soft Southern voice said at his elbow.
Kai turned around to find Paisley standing there. She looked cool and fresh while he looked, and felt, hot and sweaty.
“I sure can. Thanks. How’d you guess Coke’s my favorite?” He accepted the Coke from her with a grin.
“Total accident. It matches your clothing.” She shrugged, toasting him with another can. “When do you go on break?”
“Right about now,” he said with a grin. “Yo, Cody! Back in twenty!”
His younger brother nodded from the tower, gazing over the water. Kai led Paisley to a shade tree and sat on top of the picnic table. She joined him, sitting with her legs crossed.
“How do you stand it out there? It’s horrible today.”
“You get used to it. I’m strongly considering a haircut, though. I’ve had it with the long look.”
“It looks good, but I imagine it’s torture. Shorter hair would look good.” She brushed some of the wispy locks from his broad shoulders. “Why the long hair?”
© 2019 Dellani Oakes