I was struck by my siblings’ comments after reading my recent post about jumping off the high diving board. Whereas my focus was on my fear, they remain, to this day (well over 30 years later!), a bit upset about the two milkshake bribe. So, I decided to try to write about the diving board event from my sister, Beth’s, perspective. (She was the most vocal about the unfair milkshake part of things—still no sympathy for my paralyzing fear!) Here it is:
I plunk down on the reclining lawn chair, drops of water splattering at my feet, freckling the hot concrete. This is so stupid! I can’t believe Mom made us get out of the pool to watch. I keep my eyes stubbornly on the ground watching the water freckles fade in the hot sun, listening as everyone else keeps playing. “Marco!” “Polo!”
Jamie plops down on the chair next to me, similarly disgusted. We both glance over to the high board where Molly is. She’s at the very end but too scared to jump. What a baby! Mom had to bribe her with a milkshake to get her to even go up there. Oh my God! They even have Dan, the lifeguard, in the water below the board. Molly is such a wimp! This is taking soooooo long! There’s a huge line of kids waiting to use the high dive. Talk about embarrassing!
“Come on, Molly, you can do it!” I hear Mom and Dan call. God! I wish she’d just do it and be done with it. How long will she stay up there anyway? The slats of the lawn chair stick to the backs of my thighs and I pull them away impatiently. My hair is practically dry already from the afternoon sun. “Marco!” “Polo!” Everyone will probably quit playing while we’re still out here, baking in the sun, forced to watch idiot girl.
I look up again and Molly is still standing up there, bobbing up and down at the end of the board, her arms stiff by her sides. She looks so stupid. Mom and Dan continue to baby her, calling out encouraging comments.
“Maybe I can just climb up there and push her off,” I suggest to Jamie and we both laugh.
Mom suddenly calls out. “Molly, you can have two milkshakes if you jump!”
“What!” Jamie and I turn to each other in disbelief.
“Two milkshakes!” Jamie protests.
“I can’t believe she’s going to get two milkshakes for being an idiot!” I complained. “This is so unfair! We’ve been jumping off the high dive forever and no one had to bribe us.”
My head turns quickly and I see water arcing upward from the pool, glinting in the sun. The high diving board quivers above but Molly isn’t there anymore. I guess she finally jumped. Thank God!
I leap up and race over to the pool, diving in neatly, calling out “Polo!” just before I hit the water. Jamie is right behind me.