The Rest

Two women, in salwar kameez, sit glistening under a white incandescent, hazy light. A pool of light in calm blue water next to them is disturbed only by the shrieking laughter of the two small girls in cute green and brown striped swimsuits.

The two girls, in green and brown striped swimsuits, swim excitedly under the white incandescent, hazy light, lit also from below by those eerie pools of light that make pools surreal at night. Their shrieking laughs are complemented perfectly by the soft ripples in the water that a young lady in a black bikini is making on the other end of the pool.

The young woman, in a black bikini, swims calmly alone on the surface of the water, free in every move she makes with her muscles. The water doesn’t stop her: instead, it makes way for her, enjoying the soft waves she makes as she paddles across it, length after length. Her soft motion would be meditative but for the rude slaps on the squash ball being made by the sweaty man in red shorts and orange vest in the squash court.

The sweaty man, in shorts and a vest, is lunging fiercely at the squash ball, his body tense but loose from exhaustion. The room’s light is unflattering; every bead of sweat dripping off his forehead is obvious against the crude white backdrop of the walls that surround him.

He stops. He comes out. He calls loudly across the pool to the other side to the two women in salwar kameez. He asks them to pack up. They oblige, without response. The young woman is still wading through the pool, unnerved by the shouting man, but not done yet.

The two women shout loudly at the two little girls making merry in the water. The two girls laugh and continue, until one of the women issues a threat. They come out, still giggling, dripping.

They leave.

The young woman finishes a length, looks around and sees no one around. She stands at the edge of the pool and looks around. She looks up at the upper floor where I stand. Our eyes meet for a few seconds. She quickly gets out of the pool, wraps a towel around herself, and leaves from the walkway furthest from where I stood watching.

There is silence, as the white incandescent lights begin to make their presence felt. The pools of light have disappeared with the ripples: they are just bulbs under the water. Nothing moves for several long moments.

With nothing to distract me, I suddenly have to pee. I go back in.


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