Despite her original worry, Allie quickly got to grips with the Water Legs. After a cautious few moments testing them, always with Sandra nearby for moral support and advice, she soon began to get more daring and was soon racing her friend up and down the length of the pool, arms pumping furiously and hips writhing like a snake as the huge fins sent her surging through the water.
The sheer freedom of the Water Legs was incredible, never before had Allie ever realised how fast she could move. After years in a chair, the feeling of being able to stretch out and feel the freedom of her body moving like this was truly incredible. Having Sandra there only added to her euphoria, for what was the use of discovering such a wonderful feeling if there was no-one to share it with?
Allie was soon so lost in her fun that she scarcely noticed when her classmates walked into the spectator stands, eyes popping out of their faces and and mouths hanging open in shock at the sight of the two girls racing up and down the length of the pool. Shaking her dripping wet hair out of her face, Allie waved to them before diving beneath the surface and surging up again amidst a flurry of bubbles. Sandra cackled and tried to duck her, but Allie merely twisted around and shot off across the pool, Sandra in hot pursuit as her classmates looked on in amazement.
By the end of the session, both girls were red-faced and panting with exhaustion but not even their tiredness could wipe the grins from their faces. As they wriggled out of their Water Legs and back into their clothes, they swapped phone numbers and vowed to keep in touch and meet up at the Sports Centre whenever they could.
Back on the bus, Allie waved to Sandra through the window as the bus turned out of the Centre's parking area and back down the road towards the school. Leaning back in her seat, hair still damp from the water and still smiling despite her aching cheeks, Allie gazed out of the window and thought back over the day. What had started out as just another dull day had turned into the most wonderful experience Allie could ever remember. Not only had she discovered a new skill and made a new best friend, but Sandra and her Water Legs had given Allie something else. Never again would she have to hide her face when she made her way to school in her chair every morning. Neither would school Field Trips seem like the monstrous stretches of boredom and loneliness they had always been.
Allie now saw the world in a whole new way. She had realised that she had much more potential than she realised and that life no longer had to be such a misery. It really was full of opportunities and wonders. And Allie planned to make the most of all of them.
From where she was sitting, the future looked very bright indeed.