“Hey,” I heard the Turkish accent from behind me, as I turned, “We have pool games, in a few minutes, you want to sit down?” He gestured to the side of the pool where a few girls were sat, dangling their lower legs into the water.
He had taken off his sunglasses, and his eyes looked hopeful at me. I nodded, smiling as he returned it, and turned back to walk into some sort of alley. I assumed it was some sort of ‘staff only’ thing.
Finally, the entertainer came back to the pool, with a surfboard. Oh. Shit.
The water aerobics was over, and there were now more people sat either side of me on the pool’s edge. One of the entertainment leaders was stood at the side of the pool right in front of the bar with a microphone, speaking in about 5 different languages (very fast), one after the other, talking about what was going on.
Basically, you had to run and jump onto the surfboard, balance while you float along, and then jump over a rope and not fall in. What had I gotten myself into? Not only do I have crap balance, but.. well, I have crap balance. I also had to jump. Urgh. I was most likely about to fall off and make a complete fool of myself.
I had no idea what was coming yet.
Thankfully, I wasn’t first. Unfortunately, we had to say our name, and where we were from. Oh dear. I was going to have the name dilemma again, because I couldn’t have a normal, easily pronounced name, like Claire, that won’t get confused with more common names like ‘Lisa’. No. Not me.
Only one person managed to do it. Two go’s later, I was pulled up, and I made my way to the edge of the board.
“Now,” The guy with the mic started, “What is your name?” I looked like I spoke English, fair enough. Although I think most of the people could speak a little English to understand the basics..
“Well, Alyssa, where are you from?”
“Ahh! Alyssa from England!” He raised his voice near the end, and held his arms out for a small applause. “Now, Alyssa.” He bent down a little to my eye-level, “You see everyone else, they pathetic, see, they walk, from here,” He pointed about 2 meters away, “to here.” He pointed to the board.
All the other girls before me, had, like he said, walked and stepped onto the board, and that was exactly what I planned to do.
“But,” he continued, “they go nowhere, see, it stays still. That’s not good. You have to ruun! Run and jump! Then you go. If you don’t run, then you defeat the object of this, you ruin it. Okay?”
“No!” I answered, laughing, my hand automatically reaching to my hair, and twirling it, a massive grin still fixed on my face.
“No?!” He laughed back, “c’mon, English girl!”
There were laughs around, whilst I nodded, looking down at the floor, still smiling. He waved his hand to move me backwards, but I had to do some sort of dance to keep me from having 15 degree burns on my feet.
“ONE! TWO! THREE..!” and I ran, pathetically, but still. I saw the guy who’d got me up to play darts was in the water holding the board, and at the last split second, I saw the board move away from the side.
No! I thought. I didn’t have enough time to prepare myself. I ran straight over the side of the pool, my brain worked the situation out for long enough to let me jump into the pool a little when I got there. I knew as much as everyone else how stupid I looked. As my head rose from underwater, I heard the remains of laughter, and saw a friendly face in front of me, grinning like mad, which infected my mouth to turn upwards. I splashed him twice while laughing, making my way back to the edge.
“Again, Again! Properly this time.” The guy with the microphone said, his expression the remains of his laughter. I didn’t go back as far, purely to save the undersides of my feet, with my arms crossed. I ‘ran’ a little slower and jumped pathetically onto the board, amazingly, still keeping my balance, although I barely made it to the rope before losing it and falling down.
Obviously, I didn’t win this game either, and I was starting to think I was being pretty dismal at most things that day.
After the last person splashed off the board, and there was still a long line of those of us who had already tried and failed, the staff in the pool quickly jumped out with all of the equipment as such, as the guy with the mic started speaking again.
“Everybody! Yes, all of you people over there. Up, come on.” At this point, I felt a hand on my shoulder, then trailing down my arm to reach my hand, and it pulled back as I looked behind me.. “Club dance!” The mic guy finished, as he was walking around the pool edge to the little island in the middle.
The hand that had reached for mine was no other than the one who moved the board from my feet. The one with insanely dark hair and gorgeous face. He had his shirt off from being in the pool, and oh my god. Following his second tug at my arm, I stood up, my hand still in his.
We walked a little further along the pool, until he stopped, his grip on my hand loosened, and it fell back down to my side. The side he didn’t stray a metre from.
The whole dance – which I learned in about 10 minutes flat due to simple repeated steps – was with some music that you know you’ve heard before, and you know the song, but you never hear it ever. It just seemed so typically beach music.
This was no complaint. It was fun. More so that I had someone to dance with besides my mum, or heaven forbid, my dad. Each time you had to jump to the side, he would tell me to jump in his direction when he was jumping to mine so we bumped into each other.
At the end, you had to jump in. Of course, that would have been too kind to let me jump, so he pushed me in. The second time he’d put me in the water against my own will that afternoon. I laughed when I re-surfaced, and he was right there looking down at me with a cheeky grin that practically made me melt.