Three Swimming Pools



Gwenie sat at her desk staring at her monitor. It was her first overnight shift at Morton Security and she didn’t want to fall asleep. She’d made the strongest coffee she could and also drank an energy drink. She had been thrilled to get the job. She’d always loved celebrity reality shows and now she had an unedited version. The homes she was watching were those of three celebrities a news anchor, an aging movie star and a reality star. The monitor showed the grounds of each home in five minute increments, if she, noticed anything suspicious she simply pressed a button which connected her to dispatch security and then she was to call 911.

For the first couple of hours she sat and watched empty swimming pools, vacant front doors and budding gardens. She could see a glimpse of the old movie stars kitchen reflected in the sliding glass door that led to the pool. She kept wishing he’d walk into the kitchen for a snack.

At about midnight she saw a woman take off all of her clothes and jump into the pool at the reality stars house. As the woman swam she tried to get a good look at her face. She had been given photographs to memorize of the residence of each house. The woman was kicking and splashing around so much that it was hard to get a good look at her. The camera’s switched to the old movie stars house. She saw someone coming out to the pool area. It was him! She wished she could call her brother, he loved Dom Patterson, He’d seen every gangster movie ever made. The screen flashed again to the anchorman’s empty yard, then the pool, then the front. Gwenie waited anxiously for the reality stars pool to make another appearance.

The pool came back and the woman was just getting out. Gwenie looked her in the face. She was astonished to see that it was her grad school math teacher.

“Mrs. Adams,” she whispered.

She started to push the button, she was almost certain that Mrs. Adam’s hadn’t been on the authorized list. She hesitated; she wondered what the end result of all this would be. She had a vision of herself testifying against her former teacher. It would probably be on the news.

Gwenie breathed a sigh of relief as the screen went back to Dom’s house. He was walking around the pool. At first she thought he was exercising, then she realized he was sleepwalking. He kept getting dangerously close to the edge, waving his arms and legs over the edge and then not falling in. The screen flashed to the front door then the garden.

The anchorman’s house came around again. A possum was swimming in the pool. It appeared to be floating around and having a great time. She thought she heard it giggling. She wanted to stay on it but the camera cut back to the reality stars home where Mrs. Adams, still naked was sitting, with her feet dangling in the pool smoking a joint. She was gazing at her surroundings with disbelief.

Gwenie pushed the security button. A voice came over the intercom.

“Dispatch, how may I help you, a man’s voice said.

“Yes, I wanted to report a possible intruder at the Nestley home.”

“What’s going on?”

“My high school math teacher, Mrs. Adams is sitting on the edge of the pool getting high, I’m pretty sure she’s not supposed to be there.”

“Oh , no no she’s actually a good friend of Meredith Nestley,” the voice said.

“She is?”

“Oh yeah, what was your name?”

“Gwen Staff.”

Suddenly the same voice came in a loud speaker over the pool area. “Hey, Mrs. Adams do you remember a student named Gwen Staff?”

“Oh, yeah, yeah I do. God, who could forget she was such a little dweeb, all the other kids used to make fun of her. She had this watermelon nose you would think she would be smart, but no. Why what did she do?”

“She’s watching you right now and she thought you were an intruder.”

“Oh my God that’s too funny, I mean, God get a life,” Mrs. Adams said.

Gwenie wanted the screen to change, but weirdly, it did not.

“There was this one time in the fourth grade when she peed her pants right on the bus, every called her Gwenpee for like a year after that.”

“She lives in LA now.”

“Oh, my God, you’re shitting me,” Mrs. Adams laughed. “She’s got balls or she had plastic surgery; one or the other.”

“I’m watching her right now,” said the voice and I doubt she had surgery.”

Gwen looked around for a button that would take her to another client’s house, but there wasn’t one.

“She wasn’t really good at anything in school. She didn’t suck at history, but that was about it. We used to take bets on where kids would end up, I thought she’d still be living at home.”

The voice and Mrs. Adams discussed Gwen for an hour or so longer. Mrs. Adams got up and went in the house. The screen went back to Dom’s house, he was floating dead in his pool. All was quiet at the anchorman’s house.

Gwenie’s shift ended and she headed for home vowing to look for a new job when she got there.

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