The Thibaults were nice people and good neighbors. My mother was friends with their daughter Zoey growing up so there was a neighborly connection. The Thibaults had a built in swimming pool and when I was younger my mother brought me over when Zoey was visiting her folks.
Zoey had a daughter April who was around my age so I got to know her even though she went to a different school in a different town. I mostly saw her in the summer. We swam together as little ones and I remember manning a lemonade stand with her a couple of times too. She was pretty and funny and she seemed to like me so I had no complaints.
But April stopped coming around as much when she became a teenager. Job, boyfriend, activities with friends were the reasons I heard from my mother and her mother and I stopped using the Thibaults' pool around that time too, not wanting to be hanging around with my mother and April's mother and grandparents once I became a 'cool' teenager if April wasn't going to be there.
I did some work for the Thibaults as Mr. Thibault got a little older. I mowed the lawn in the summer and snow-blew the driveway in the winter. I painted their garage one summer, the last time I saw April. She brought me cold lemonade and we had a long conversation that afternoon as I scraped the old paint. She was definitely an interesting person and I might have asked her if she wanted to go out sometime if she didn't keep going on about her 'boyfriend' John and how great he was.
April attended St. Anne's Catholic School and she seemed to have a small elite group of friends. I got the feeling I didn't fit into that mold as a Blue County Technical School kid so I didn't pursue the idea of getting to know April better because she didn't seem to be all that interested in me beyond being the kid who lived across the street from her grandparents.
By the time the next summer rolled around, I had my driver's license and a job at Fontaine's Family Grocery Store so I was independent and free. I turned over the lawn mowing responsibility to the younger Jimmy Britt down the street and I thought I was free from my Thibault obligations but one evening my mother told me that the Thibaults were taking a week long bus trip to Canada and they were hoping I'd tend to the pool and feed the cat. It wasn't something I wanted to do but because the Thibaults were nice people who had been kind to me through the years I didn't want to say no.
It didn't turn out to be that much of a hardship. I'd tend to my duties after dinner before heading out to hang with my friends. The cat was harmless and evasive – as long as there was food and water in his dishes and his kitty litter box was clean, he was happy. The pool was easy enough – skim the surface of leaves and twigs, toss in the chlorine and other treatment chemicals at night – and I was good to go. The week I had the pool duty was glorious weather wise and the pool looked inviting and refreshing each night I stopped by to treat it. It had been years since I'd been in the pool and I was feeling both nostalgic and tempted as I stared at the refreshing water on a warm summer's night. The Thibault's backyard was private and protected, concealed by a high fence all around so privacy was not an issue.
I'd never been skinny dipping before and the urge became too much to ignore by the third night of my duties. So, knowing I was on my own and nobody would be stopping by, I stripped naked and walked into the delightful water, feeling sensations I'd never felt before. Nothing stuck to my body or weighted me down as my body sliced through the water and it was a thrilling responsiveness to defy all the rules and norms and be truly free. I felt myself get turned on which was unusual, especially in water. It was wonderfully refreshing and humorously stimulating.
I swam a few laps, letting the evening air tickle my ass when I was on my stomach, and allowing my privates to stick out of the water like a sail mast when I did the backstroke. I was being goofy and silly and childish but I was alone so I didn't have a care in the world. I was almost giddy enough to run naked from the pool and do handstand cartwheels all over the back yard!
Good thing I had Superman's hearing because, even as I splashed about and had my head dunked under the water's surface several times, I still heard the muffled sound of a car's engine. I stopped swimming, treading water in the middle of the pool when I heard the creak of the gate opening. I quickly moved to the side of the pool to hide my nudity just as April stepped into the yard.
"Oh!" She said, startled when she saw my head bobbing from the water, probably looking like it was decapitated from her angle as I peered above the side of the pool. "I didn't know you were here."
"I'm in charge of the pool and the cat," I explained, trying not to sound nervous or embarrassed even though she had me at a great and vulnerable disadvantage.
I was struck by how much April had changed since the last time I saw her. She was a couple of inches taller and definitely fuller. She was wearing makeup and her blond hair was long, half way down her back, in a ponytail on this night. She was wearing Khaki shorts and a loose blouse on the warm night, flip-flops on her feet.
"What are you doing here?" I asked.
"I couldn't remember when my grandparents are getting back," April explained. "I just stopped by to see if they were home yet."
"Saturday afternoon," I let her know.
"Oh," April said.
And then she saw my clothes in a heap on the pool deck and her eyes went wide. "Wait, are you naked in there?" She asked.
"Don't come any closer or you'll find out," I warned.
She giggled with amusement. "Well, isn't this interesting?" She teased, taking a seat in one of the nearby deck chairs and crossing her legs, giving me a long look.
"I wasn't expecting visitors," I said.
"It's my grandparents' house," she reminded me. "I think you're the visitor."
"I suppose," I admitted.
"You skinny dip here often?"
"This is my first time," I told her, not sure if she believed me.
"Don't I have great timing?" She teased, clearly having a good time with my vicarious situation.
All I could do was keep myself flat against the side of the pool. At the angle at which April was seated, she couldn't see anything. "So, are you going to leave?" I asked after a moment.
"Eventually," She grinned. "I thought I'd torture you for a while first. So, how are you?" She asked casually. "We haven't seen each other in a while."
"You don't come here much anymore," I pointed out.
"Yeah," she sighed. "I feel bad about that. My grandparents aren't getting any younger. I really should make more of an effort."
"I guess it's tough being popular," I said sarcastically, perhaps with a little bit of resentment in my voice.
"I'm not that popular," April insisted. "But I do stay busy."
"How's the boyfriend?" I had to ask.
"Boyfriend?" She squinted.
"John, was that his name?" I said. "You were talking about him last summer."
"Oh, John!" She laughed. "Yeah, I was crushing on him pretty bad, wasn't I!? He's fine. I guess were 'just friends' right now but that's okay. My mother doesn't think I should date anyway."
"Aren't you a little old now to be under your parents' thumb?" I asked, resting my folded arms on the side of the pool and balancing myself that way.
"I don't mind their authority," she shrugged. "I am living under their roof. I should follow their rules."
"I suppose," I agreed.
"What about you?" April asked. "What's up with you, besides your new skinny dipping fetish?"
"I'm not perverted," I protested.
She held her hand up. "You don't think I didn't sneak out here and swim naked?" She asked.
"Really?" I asked with interest.
"Late at night if I stayed over," she explained. "After my grandparents went to bed. I was around twelve."
"Well, well, well," I mused.
"Don't get any ideas," April warned. "I'm not joining you."
"My loss," I joked.
"Don't tell anybody either," she requested. "It's not the kind of reputation a good Catholic School girl needs to have."
"So, you got your license?" I deduced, knowing she drove herself over.
She glanced at her cell phone. "I'm supposed to have the car back by nine," she frowned.
"I bought my own junk," I beamed proudly. "I guess I have fewer restrictions."
"Where do you work?" April asked with interest.
"Fontaine's," I replied.
She nodded with recognition. "I like that place."
"CVS, but only about twenty hours a week." She sucked in her breath and glanced at the house. "This place represents a big chunk of my childhood," she said. "Many wonderful memories spent here. I loved the pool in the summer. And it was nice to have a playmate right across the street." She glanced at him. "Remember playing Marco Polo?"
"Of course," I smiled. "The floats. The noodles. The squirt guns."
"My grandfather made the best homemade ice cream on the planet," April bragged. "And my grandmother's lemonade could be sold on the mass market."
"Never had any better," I agreed.
"Now I have to worry about college applications and jobs and all the rest of it," she sighed. "I wish I could be a kid again."
I realized I was starting to turn into a prune being stationary in the water for so long. The sun had almost set and it was beginning to cool off. "You should probably get going," I suggested.
She laughed. "What fun would that be?"
"I don't want to embarrass you by doing something I shouldn't do," I warned.
"Like what?" She dared.
"You know what."
She looked intrigued, fascinated, curious and nervous all at the same time. "You mean you can't wait me out?"
"I'm supposed to be meeting the guys," I reasoned.
"And I'm supposed to be bringing the car back," she smirked.
"So, go," I said.
"Maybe I don't want to."
"You don't think I'd get out of the pool?"
She chewed on her lip pondering my - and her - options.
"Could you at least give me that towel over there?" I asked, gesturing with my chin to a towel draped over the back of a nearby chair.
"No," she decided.
So, she had called my bluff. She was stubborn and determined as a kid, never giving up or giving in, willing to challenge me to another race no matter how many times I beat her from one end of the pool to the other. She almost drowned one time because she wanted to break my mark for longest time underwater.
We shared a stare down similar to our younger days when we would dare the other to do something or to give in. I recalled that April usually outlasted me in such endeavors, so I started to slowly move down the pool along the wall toward the shallow end which was away from April.
"When I get to the end I'm going to walk out," I told her, pointing to the built in cement stairs at the shallow end of the pool.
"Go ahead," she dared.
Okay, the only way to end this was to embarrass the hell out of her and shame her by going fully monty. I figured she'd leap from the chair and run for the gate as soon as I got close to the stairs. I shallow dived into the water and swam on my stomach, pretty sure she'd be able to see my ass through the clear water.
I reached the stairs and stood with my back to her, glancing over my shoulder to see if she was running red faced for the gate but she was watching with me with interest. I was pretty sure she had never seen a guy's naked ass before and I hesitated before I turned to walk toward her, giving her one last chance to exit stage right, but she remained in her chair looking at me.
Now I had to make a choice - show her everything, back my way into the pool, or cover my go-nads with my hands as I approached her. I figured there was no point denying her what she apparently wanted to see so I kept walking with my hands by my side and I could see that April was blushing even though she didn't take her eyes off of what there was to see.
I saw her glancing downward and then I realized that I had a significant unplanned hard-on. I guess being naked in front of a girl does that to a guy.
"Can I have the towel now?" I asked as I approached, enjoying the great and wonderful sensation of the water dripping down my naked body and the night air on parts of me that weren't used to being exposed to nature.
"I've never seen any boy naked," April admitted with fascination.
I hoped my penis passed the test as I smiled and reached for the towel she had refused to give me. I made it a point to dry off the top half of my body first as I stood in front of her.
"I guess we're not kids anymore," April said, looking disappointed when I finally wrapped the towel around my waist.