Inspired by the athletes they had watched in the Olympic Games, Dominic Scalia Jr. and Chad Anderson went out for their middle school swim team. Both boys proved to be adept swimmers that specialized in the freestyle stroke. Of course there was friendly competition between the boys. Both families faithfully attended swim meets and the competitions were duly preserved for posterity on videotape.
"Dominic, look at this new camcorder I bought." Teresa Scalia said.
Dominic looked at the rather sophisticated equipment and shook his head in dismay. "Was it necessary to buy a professional quality camera?"
"I haven't been able to get a decent video of Dominic Junior's swimming. I'm always stuck on the opposite side of the pool from the lane he's swimming in. With this camera, I can get wonderful footage no matter where I'm at. The school is expecting a large turnout for this last meet and they may allow spectators on both sides of the pool."
"That's just a walkway along that side" said Dominic. "There's not much room if it gets crowded."
"The walkway will have to do. I have a Theater Guild board meeting tomorrow afternoon and I'll just get to the pool in time for DJ's event."
The final swim meet of the year was held at the middle school indoor 50 m pool. Grand stand seating was along one side of the pool with the walkway Dominic had mentioned was along the other. It was indeed a large turnout and the grand stands were filled to capacity. It was standing room only for the remaining space surrounding the pool. Barbara Anderson was standing near the starting blocks talking to her son, Dominic Jr., and their coach Kathy Benson. It should be noted here that one reason for the large number of boys on the swim team was their coach. Kathy was a 22-year-old first-year teacher, not even a physical education major. She had done some swimming in high school and was thrust into the coaching position by an unexpected vacancy. With light brown hair down to the middle of her back and a figure that most women dream of, Kathy was popular with her swimmers. Dressed in a snug white polo shirt and white shorts, she caught the eye of more than a few of the fathers.
"Now remember boys, concentrate on your turn. If you make a good turn you have a good chance to place well," advised Barbara.
"I'm sure the boys will do well," Kathy said. "They've both been working hard for this final meet."
As Kathy and Barbara gave the boys a few more last-minute instructions, Teresa swept into the pool area. Fresh from her board meeting, Teresa was wearing a russet colored dress. Short-sleeved with a button enclosure from the mid-calf hem of the flowing skirt to the neckline, the dress had a simple belt at the waist. Carrying her new camcorder, Teresa's high heels clicked on the concrete as she hurried to the starting blocks.
"Trying to gain some advantage for Chad?" sneered Teresa.
"Mrs. Scalia, Mrs. Anderson is here to help both boys succeed." countered Kathy.
"I know more about what Mrs. Anderson may be up to than you would ever know, honey. How about it Barbara?"
"Teresa, as usual you have no idea what you talking about." Barbara said.
The official starter made his call for swimmers to take their positions.
"You can toddle off now Barbie before you get your self into some real trouble. You wouldn't want to put on another one of your public exhibitions now would you?" Teresa taunted.
Barbara bristled at that. "I seem to recall a few "costume malfunctions" of your own Terri dear. So if I were you I wouldn't start something I couldn't finish."
With that, Barbara turned and walked to the grand stands to take her place for the race. Wearing a blue knit turtle neck with a pair of jeans that conformed well to the shape of her hips, Barbara held her head up, thrust her shoulders back, her chest out and strode across the concrete in her high heeled boots, those denim clad hips swaying.
Kathy wondered what that exchange was all about? She had only been in town since the beginning of the school year and had yet to learn about Teresa and Barbara's history.
The swimmers took their places on the starting blocks. Dominic Jr. was in the end lane next to the walkway. That area was filled with spectators shoulder to shoulder. Teresa pushed her way through the crowd and took a position 10 feet down the lane from the starting block. Chad Anderson was in the lane next Dominic Jr.
"Swimmers to your mark... Set... Bang" The starter's pistol went off. The race was a sprint. Down the pool once, turn and back to the beginning. Terri had a good vantage point for the start and was intent on operating her camera. Both Chad and Dominic were head to head at the turn and leading the other swimmers. At the turn Dominic gained a slight advantage. Cheers and shouts of encouragement filled the pool area. Barbara rose to her feet as the swimmers came down the final length of the race. Teresa was trying to improve her position for the video. She slowly inched forward to the edge of the pool. Feeling with her left foot, she leaned out over the water concentrating on her video composition. As the swimmers came closer, the excitement grew. Dominic was about five feet from Teresa when she reached forward with her foot trying to get closer to the edge. Unfortunately Teresa had been paying more attention to the image in her camcorder then to her location along the pool. Her left foot encountered nothing more than air. With her posture leaning her in that direction, Teresa unceremoniously tumbled into the pool nearly on top of Dominic Jr. The boy, intent on his race, pushed his mother below the surface of the water and out of the way. He touched the finish line just a few seconds behind Chad Anderson. Teresa surfaced floundering with her arms to stay afloat. She could swim but was hampered by her clothing and her strappy high heels. She managed to get a grip on the lane marker rope and steadied herself. Of course Teresa's impromptu dive was the source of great amusement to the spectators. Kathy Benson sprang into action to assist Teresa. Grabbing the long pole kept at poolside for a situation such as this, she extended the pole towards Teresa.
"Mrs. Scalia, Mrs. Scalia, grab this pole, let me help you" Kathy called out.
Unfortunately the boisterous spectators were creating too much noise for Teresa to hear. Sensing that Teresa could not hear her and could not see her as she was facing the opposite direction, Kathy thought the best action to take would be to try and nudge Teresa and get her attention. As she extended pole she aimed for Teresa's shoulder, however she hadn't considered the weight of the steel pole. The pole dipped low and went below the surface of the water. Kathy tried to compensate, raising the pole and catching its hooked end on the belt of Teresa's dress.
"Somebody help me out of here!" Teresa called out.
Her hair down over her face, her only point of reference was the lane rope. She felt something at the small of her back. Before she knew it a force was trying to pull her away from the security of the rope. Kathy took a firm grip on the pole and pulled. Teresa was stretched at arm's length when her belt gave way and broke. The sudden breakage of the belt caught Kathy by surprise. She stumbled backward, losing her footing on the wet concrete. Her back struck the building wall and she slid straight down to the floor on her fanny with her legs spread -eagle and straight out in front of her. This brought on more peals of laughter and catcalls from the crowd. Teresa kept her grip on the rope, but could feel the looseness around her waist caused by the loss of her belt. The fabric of her dress was rising to the surface of the pool. Kathy, game as ever, got to her feet and made another attempt with the pole. Trying once again to get Teresa's attention, Kathy touched her with the pole at the waist. Startled by the sensation at her back, Teresa flinched. As she flinched the hook snagged her dress. Kathy, sensing that she had connected somehow, pulled back on the pole. Once again Teresa felt herself being pulled away from the rope. As Kathy hauled on the pole, one by one the buttons of Teresa's dress popped off and joined the $1500 camcorder at the bottom of the pool. One lone button remained just below the waist. Teresa, of course, had no idea of the structural damage.
"Mrs. Scalia, grab the pole, let me help you!" pleaded Kathy.
Teresa finally heard Kathy's pleas and looked behind her.
"Grab the pole Mrs. Scalia." Kathy instructed.
Teresa turned in the water and took hold of the pole, the end of which was still entangled in the fabric of her dress. Slowly Kathy helped her to the side of the pool.
Barbara left her seat in the grand stands and had made her way to the finish line to congratulate Chad on his victory. And of course she was roaring with laughter at Teresa's predicament. Unable to resist the temptation, Barbara headed to the side of the pool for a closer view.
Kathy had gotten Teresa over to the side with Teresa gripping the edge for support.
"Help me out of here... NOW!!" Teresa demanded.
"Yes Mrs. Scalia yes Mrs. Scalia I'm trying."
.... There is more of this story ...