A bolt of lightning flashed so bright I could see the fear in Gabby’s eyes. I could see my reaction startled her. “What’s the matter, what do you see?” she said. I assured her it was nothing and we continued on with our scavenger hunt in the sweltering heat. The brewing storm unnerved me.
Gabby and I were one of four teams playing that evening. Ruby and Fiona, our rival team, was hot on our tails so we had to keep moving. The thunder that followed the lightning shook us to our core. I felt it rumble through me and down to the tips of my toes. We had been out for two hours and a little on edge from the intense heat.
In the distance, Gabby saw Fiona’s hot pink baseball cap hovering over Ruby. She looked like she was helping her up from a fall as Ruby was rubbing her ankle. Gabby secretly smiled to herself and knew this would give them an advantage. “Come on Miranda, let’s move it out. We’ve got the lead and we need to keep it that way.” I toweled the sweat from my neck and quickened my pace. “When we’re done I want to have a swim at the pool to cool off. A perfect way to celebrate our victory,” she said.
The next leg of the treasure hunt required us to separate as we worked to gather our final clue. We checked in with each other by cell to see if either of us needed anything. Gabby mentioned that she saw Ruby and Fiona and it looked like they were arguing. We laughed as we were familiar with their incessant bickering. We knew Ruby wouldn’t stand a chance, Fiona always won.
When we finally met back up with each other Gabby sprinted past me. She yelled as she raced by, “I checked us in at the finish already, hurry up and let’s go take that swim.” Her voice trailed off as she flew by me. I spun around and followed in her dust.
We both arrived breathlessly at the pool only to discover the gate was locked. “Oh well, so much for our dip in the pool, got any other ideas?” She shot me that familiar look and I knew she had something in mind. “Give me five minutes, stay here and don’t move I’ll be right back.” I had just enough time to reach down and pull my phone from my pocket and she was opening the gate from the other side. “Unreal, how in the world did you get in?” I said. “Well, let’s just say there are advantages to dating the lifeguard.”
We raced to the edge of the pool, kicked off our sneakers and dove into the lapis colored water. We earned this private piece of heaven. I was the first one in and Gabby followed. We splashed around and laughed as we re-lived the events of the day.
We were dying to know if we beat Ruby and Fiona. Suddenly, and at exactly the same moment we saw it and gasped. We could hardly speak. There it was, the hot pink cap floating on the surface, and that wasn’t the only thing floating in the pool on that hot humid evening.