The pool is saved, but Heather and Stephen still work

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Published on 16.05.22 08:41 Age: 48 days

Letters : 14058 Words : 2536

 

In this sequel to the 2009 short story "SAVING THE POOL: CAN NATURIST FIND A PLACE TO SWIM, AND SAVE IT FROM CLOSING ?", Heather meets Cassandra and Susan at the mall, giving her some courage.

This first new story since 2019 was co-written with the administrator's daughter!

Heather was at the shopping mall, just to hang out. The recession was still hitting hard and several of the stores were closed, including her favorite one.

It wasn't from a big chain. Instead, it was from a local woman who imported clothing from Europe and selling it in her store.

It was so different from Target and other big brand stores.

Sure, it was more expensive, but Heather didn't buy clothing there for one party. She would buy, in effect, personality aspects.

Like that hat. It's technically a beret, but it's not typical. The fabric isn't the same, the shape isn't the same, and the light blue color is just perfect for her.

She never thought she would wear a hat, but this one, suited her perfectly. The price was steep, but the owner admitted that it was unique. It's the only one of that color she ever imported.

Heather would have an exclusivity.

She got compliments. The store wasn't well known or even well presented. You would walk in the hall, and would have to take on of the exit corridors to even get to it.

It was small, between the locksmith and the ATM machines, a name she hated. The M from ATM stands for machine! When you say ATM Machine you say automatic teller machine machine.

But despite her pleas, her friends still called it ATM Machine.

Usually, she was with them, avoiding that store as to not spoil any secrets, but today, she was alone.

Not really by choice, but also a little voluntarily.

The recession hit everyone differently. Two of her friends moved to a different state (not the same), since too many jobs in town were lost.

One of her friends ended up working for her parent's farm because they couldn't afford hiring people. She now spends her weekends trying to sell her parent's cucumbers at the farmer's market, with "trying" behind the operative word.

Her parents only survive because they have a vat to make pickles, and those, actually sell well, but there isn't a batch ready right now.

You'd think that since pickles are made to preserve cucumbers, it would last but they always sell out quickly.

Heather hates pickles and loves cucumbers so she doesn't see their point, but her friend always had both to give at school or when with her friends. Excess stuff, mainly for the cucumbers, which Heather appreciated.

She could have hung out with Karla, but she just got dumped by Jake and Heather didn't feel like cheering her up. Plus, she did warn her that Jake, whom she worked with, was mostly a pervert and Karla didn't listen to her.

Lost in her thoughts, she suddenly was grabbed from behind by little arms as her name was being yelled.

"Cassandra, what are you doing?" Heather hers and laughs.

The little girl lets go and Heather lowers herself. "Hi Cassandra"

"I am so happy to see you.", says the 8-year-old girl.

Susan, her mother, gets closer. "I tried to keep her close, but she was just too excited"

"You don't have your bathing suit on", says Cassandra with the honesty of a child.

"I am not at the pool", Heather replies.

"You always have the same bathing suit", she says.

"I actually have several"

"I only saw one", says Cassandra confused

"They are all the same. It's my lifeguard one. Plus, you only seem to have one"

But Cassandra laughs. "I am a nudist. I only have one for the lessons, and for school"

Susan explains that they usually only swim with the non-landed club.

"We live in an apartment for now, so no regular access to a pool", she says, a little sad.

"We had a house, but the factory closed and we lost it", says Cassandra

Susan laughs.

"What, she is our friend. You said not to tell strangers", says the girl.

"Will we see you tonight?", asks Susan, changing the subject

"Hey, I am not judging. Most of my friend's parents lost a job or even two. My father explained that there used to be over 70 factories when we moved in, and only six remain"

"Five", says Susan. "The aluminum mill closed this week"

"Oh no. The husband of one of my teacher is a foreman there", Heather replied, thinking of poor Ms Rogers.

"This town is going to hell", says Susan

"Mommy, that's a bad word"

"You are right, Cassandra. So, tonight?"

"Wouldn't miss it!", replied Heather. Cassandra wanted a hug, so Heather gave her one and they each went on their way.

But a thought crosses Heather's mind. In what way was this encounter any different from on those Saturday evenings when they were both nude?

Walking, a crazy thought crossed her mind but she soon went to the bus stop, only to discover that the frequency was lowered again.

This town really is going to hell, she says, smiling, thinking about Susan and Cassandra. What was Cassandra's father's name again? Why didn't Heather recall it?

Right, he wasn't at the swim lessons and that's where most of the bonding with Susan was. At the naturist events, Susan and her husband mostly spoke to other parents, allowing Heather to socialize with their daughter.

She made a note to ask his name.

Sitting on the bench, she waited for the next bus, wondering if she would make it on time for work, when a car stopped.

"Waiting for the bus?", says Susan

"Yeah"

"Need a lift?"

Heather looks around, but doesn't see any busses. "I wasn't going to the pool, I have to go home first"

"Are you far from here? I could drop you off."

"By car, about five minutes?", Heather replied. The problem was the highway. It's not far in miles, but to go on foot you need to go around and it's over an hour of walking.

"Hop on.", she says, so Heather sits on the passenger seat.

Heather give her directions, and Cassandra soon begins to tell her all about her friends at school.

Oddly enough, Cassandra talks so much about them, that Heather feels like she knows them.

"Do you have a lift for the pool?"' asks Susan.

"Well, I was going to take the bus, if they didn't cut my stop

"Paul is working this afternoon. I'll pick him up at five and it's nearby. I could pick you up, drop you at the pool, and we would go eat somewhere. Would that help you?"

Paul, thinks Heather. Of course, she knew that.

"Nonsense, you are really good to us. Cassandra talks about you all the time"

To which Cassandra adds. "All the time"

"Sure. Thank you so much"

And so, Heather quickly grabbed her stuff for the pool, ate a baloney sandwich on the kitchen counter, much to her mother's dismay, and ran up to the curb with a book to wait for Susan.

But it's Paul to ended up driving, with Susan by her side, meaning that Heather just sat next to Cassandra.

"It was easier to pick up Paul first, after looking at a map", explained Susan

"I had a good book anyway, and I will be at work earlier", Heather replied.

"Do you have the keys?", asks Paul

"I do. I won't be stranded outside", says Heather

"Good, the town is becoming violent. Two shootings this week", says Paul

"Paul, not in front of the kids"

Heather blushed. She was just called a kid, but Cassandra was too busy with a game boy, showing Heather the game she was playing to follow up the conversation.

Of course, Stephen wasn't here yet. He wouldn't be for another half an hour at least, and probably an hour.

The evening began at 6h30 and Stephen tended to arrive at 6h20 at the earliest. He lives really close and walks to the pool, leaving around 6h00.

The afternoon crew had left, most likely at 5h00 PM sharp or soon after, so at 5h16, the pool center was empty.

Heather did her inspection tour, tested the water, and went to the lifeguard office to change.

Undressing, she was about to put her bathing suit on, when she looked in the mirror on the wall.

She wasn't any uglier than the other naturists. There was nothing inherently wrong with her. Sure, she found herself to be a little too fat, but not much. She didn't like the sort of groove in her hips which meant they weren't well-rounded. Looking at her butt, she felt it was too flat, too saggy.

But overall, she wasn't bad.

Grabbing her suit and her towel, she went, still naked, to the pool area. Leaving both on the side, she went into the pool to do a few laps.

It felt nice. Calm. Peaceful.

Heather became a lifeguard because she loved swimming. However then, she stopped. Why? Because a lifeguard doesn't swim, they watch over those who do.

But now, in the pool, she has plenty of time to just swim and have fun. Naked. It's odd at first, but totally natural by the time 6h15 arrives.

She gets out, dries herself, and puts her bathing suit on, walking over to the lobby to find Stephen unlocking the door.

"Hey", she tells him.

He salutes and looks half awake.

"Did you just wake up?", Heather asks

"I had a date last night, and, well, I barely slept. I took a nap and my grandma woke me up to get to work"

"Your grandma?", asks Heather, as Stephan passed by her to get to the lifeguard station to change. But then, he comes back.

"Holy shit, you swam naked. How was it?", he says, all excited

"What?", says Heather, confused.

"Hair wet, chlorine smell, dry bathing suit"

Heather laughs nervously. "You are saying crazy shit"

"Hey, I am not judging. You don't have to wear a bathing suit tonight, you know? I am afraid of erections, especially with the new girls from two weeks ago, but go ahead. I don't mind. I won't even check you out"

But Heather blushes, as he goes to change.

It doesn't take long for Mike to arrive to set up his payment booth. He once again gave two fifty-fitfy tickets to Stephen and Heather.

Once, Heather won and was rather excited! She didn't know what they were at first. In short, each ticket (except for them), costs $2. $1 goes in the pool for the winner, and the other dollar goes to the organization of the event.

The idea is that this way, the cost per person is lower, and those who want to participate do, while those who don't, just skip it.

Stephen had seen some member buy 3 or even 5 tickets, and these tend to win more often, so perhaps it's worth it.

The clients soon began arriving, including an as just as excited Cassandra, pulling both her parents forward.

Heather got a hug at the entrance, and another by the pool, after Cassandra was nude.

"She's been waiting all day for the poll", says Paul, by the pool. Heather didn't mind it now that people were nude.

She still recalls the fear she had on the first night, and contrasts it with the calm she felt, earlier.

They were roughly the same crowd as two weeks ago. No newcomers this week. It seems to have tapered down. Sure, not everyone went each time, but the full roster of participant appeared to be known by the two lifeguards.

After roughly thirty minutes, Heather went to see Stephen. "I have to use the restroom"

"Sure. I'll cover the whole pool", he said, increasing his active tracking. He had become used too, so, that he was no longer focusing only on the ladies.

He was still busy when he noticed, in the corner of his eye, that Heather was back. It's odd that she didn't tell him, so he looked over and saw that she was no longer wearing her bathing suit.

Wow. He didn't see that coming.

Heather had gathered her nerves, and decided tonight was the night.

Did she mind? Sure. At first. But when no one panicked, no one yelled anything, she felt more calm.

She did notice Susan and Cassandra talking to each other, looking at her, but both stayed in the pool, continuing their activities.

It's only 15 minutes later than she went in the pool to play with the kids.

IT didn't take long for Cassandra to hug her in the pool, but then stayed silent.

"What's wrong Kiddo"

"My mom made me promise not to say anything so to not spook you"

"Well, that's a good suggestion. Want to play with disks?", she says, and all of the kids became excited.

Heather grabbed weighted loops that she would throw in random places, and the kids would need to grab as many as they can, without resurfacing.

Of course, she would vary the difficulty based on the age of the players, but it was always a blast because the kids would compete in a friendly environment.

Some even pushed disks with their feet to help their friends.

The evening continued, and it soon went to the water aerobics portion of the evening, which Heather wasn't fully ready for.

In short, for 15 minutes, she would stand by the pool and propose exercised that the clients would mirror.

Unlike earlier, she would be the focus of all of the eyes in the pool. Well, those that participate, that is.

To her surprise, there weren't guys who never participate who suddenly decided it was their calling. Those who were playing water polo kept playing water polo.

She didn't feel awkward glances, she didn't feel like she was being watched. She just, did her presentation and it went well.

Heather didn't even get dressed when it was time to clean up at the end, staying alone with Stephen.

"So, how did it feel?"

"Great. I might do it again. I felt free. Like I was myself, not a fake projection of myself"

"Like that ridiculous hat?", Stephen says, laughing

"It's not ridiculous. It's a beret, and it's in style"

"In France maybe, not here"

But Heather just pulled her tongue out.

"I won't tell the others", says Stephen

"You better not"

"Do you mind if I close?"

"Why?"

"Because", says Stephen.

"Oh, you want to try it too?"

"Maybe"

"Not in front of you"

"Fine", says Heather, who leaves, but outside, she finds Paul, Susan and Cassandra, waiting for her. Well, Cassandra is actually sleeping in the car.

"Do you have a lift home?", says Paul

"There is a bus stop around the corner"

"No, get in. ", he says,

So Heather gets in, and Cassandra doesn't even wake up. She is hugging a sort of makeshift pillow made with the wet towels, and almost snoring.

"She is always exhausted like that after swimming", says Susan

"Thank you for not saying anything, at the pool", Heather told them.

"Our pleasure. It took a lot of courage. I hope you'll do it again"

"Maybe. It was nice"

And after being dropped home. Heather realized that yeah, it was nice indeed.

 

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