“But I am going to sit by the side with Fergus and Sami. If one of you falls in then I’ll jump in and get you, okay?” Julian explained to Bonnie, Mitchell, Eleanor and Jimmy, out-loud and sign language. They all nodded and jumped into the freezing crystal water.
“Oh, its cold!” Eleanor squealed, shivering already.
“Want to come out, Ellie?” Julian asked from the side as she bobbed in the shallow water.
“No.” Her teeth chattered. Julian raised his eyebrows at her and leant back in the chair, the hot sun beating down on his face.
“Remember to stay up the shallow end.” Julian said to them as he rocked Sami in the carrier on the ground. He had covered the carrier with the plastic sheet, stopping them from getting wet.
She was still asleep and Julian preferred it that way. Who knows what her temperament would be?
He was thinking of this for a few minutes, imagining life in the future with her in the house. He imagined her angry, then private, then joyous. He was about to think of her as optimistic when he heard a loud yell.
“Julian!” Bonnie called, watching as Eleanor splashed in the deep end, her head coming up, then going down and up again, her arms were flailing everywhere.
“Oh, Ellie.” He sighed and dived in. He got to her quickly after his graceful dive.
“Why were you in the deep end?” He asked her as they got out, Julian was still fully clothed but now soaked.
“Mitch dared me!” She gasped for breath dramatically. Julian knew she hadn’t been under that long but she wanted to make sure Mitchell got into trouble.
“Mitch. You know you shouldn’t dare people to do dangerous things.” Julian said as Mitchell walked solemnly out the cold water. Eleanor didn’t look best pleased with this punishment as she could see no pain or angriness in Mitchells eyes. She sighed loudly.
“It’s cold out here.” Bonnie stated as she got out.
“Wrap these towels around you.” He said, handing them each a towel. He himself did not have a towel, so to keep warm, took off his soaking shirt and sat back down as the warm sun dried his back.
Mitchell asked Julian if he could play in the garden behind him, Julian said yes, of course. So off Mitchell went with Bonnie, both dropped their towels along the way and ran in their swimming things.
Suddenly Julian heard a loud gasp from behind him. He turned around on the see-through deck chair and faced Mitchell and Bonnie who were behind him, staring at his back. At the second they saw him move, they turned away and carried on like normal.
“Everything okay guys?” Julian called.
“Yep.” They shouted back.
Shit. Julian thought. They must have seen the scars. He thought that Mitchell would try to look where his father used to beat him, he’s a smart boy. Julian got up subtly making sure no one was looking at his back. He edged towards the open gate to the garden and picked up the towel that Mitchell had dropped. He then wrapped it quickly around his shoulders, grabbed Sami and ran inside with Fergus at his heels.