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...
Letters : 14849 Words : 2599
Everyone at the North View Aquatic center knew that because of the economy, times were rough, but most had been slow to catch on. Swimming lessons registration was down 50%. Free swimming sessions attendance was down at least 25% despite a reduction in the prices.
Stephen had noticed it first. Of all of the lifeguards, he was the only one who used a tracking method actively. His technique was to basically track in his mind where everyone was, so he would notice if a client was missing, and thus possibly drowning.
He had learned it by first being a lifeguard on the city public beach, but it was rather overkill for a four foot deep internal pool.
But it meant he was the first outside management to realize that there was less clients as the weeks went on.
When management called a meeting of all of the employees on a Monday afternoon, Stephen knew something was wrong.
Heather, who was usually teamed with Stephen, also had doubts about the financial stability of the Aquatic center, but her reasons were completely different.
Unlike Stephen, who became a lifeguard to save lives, Heather mostly wanted to give swimming lessons. She loved first taking kids into the water when they were young, and hoped to follow them until they were expert swimmers years later.
Of course, this being only her third year as a lifeguard meant little progression, but still, some of her students from the first year still attended her lessons three year later.
Her worries were the fact that the number of students not returning was a lot higher this year than the previous, and that the number of students per class was also reduced.
Compared to the other students, her number of classes had not significantly dropped, but she still lost her Thursday late afternoon 8 to 9 years old group, which merged with her 8 to 9 years old Tuesday evening group.
Richard, the Aquatic center manager had thought most of other employees would have noticed the reduction in hours, but he also over-estimated them.
Apart from Stephen and Heather, who really had a calling for being lifeguards/swim coach, all of his other employees showed up for work every day solely because they were being paid for it. Most, like Shirley, became a lifeguard simply because her parents paid for swimming lessons until she was certified, and she took a lifeguard job because it was easier and better paid than working at a fast food store.
Hey, Matt even admitted he only took the job because it was so easy. Nobody every drowned in the pool, and he never talked with the clients. It's only when his pay checks no longer paid for beer on top of his usual expenses that he began realizing there was a problem.
So, when Richard, announced on that fateful Monday afternoon that he was looking to cut two of the eight employees, but without being able to really increase the hours of the others, Matt was the first to volunteer for a "retirement package" like he called it. Jenna was the second to volunteer.
Once they left, Richard explained a few changes to the operation.
Notably, instead of only starting lessons at the beginning of a trimester, swimming lessons would also start exactly in the middle of the trimesters, allowing late comers to start sooner their lessons.
The cost for the center would be slightly higher, since the half-trimester sessions would have less students in them, but this would be done with more consolidation of groups. The hope was to bring in more students in the long term.
The free swimming schedule would also be re-organized to capitalize on the most popular hours, and offer specialized periods, such as a "Kids-Free" Friday evening, after 8, and a "Kid friendly" Saturday afternoon, where the only adults accepted would be those accompanying a child.
Also, he mentioned that from now on, Saturday evenings would be only for private events.
It had been years since he had been able to make Saturday evenings popular, with people preferring renting a movie to a swim in a pool.
Richard explained he had signed a contract for renting the pool the first Saturday of every month to a local naturist association, and that they had an option for the third Saturday if attendance was high enough. The swimming time was a total of 3 hours, which meant 4 hours of paid time for the 2 lifeguards on duty.
The pool was rented for a fixed fee, so the lifeguards didn't have to handle any payments, the association would bill it's own members.
Richard made it clear that the contract stipulated that the same two lifeguards would need to be assigned during every session, baring illnesses, so it meant that the two employees selected today would need to always be available one and perhaps two Saturday per month.
"Let me make this clear folks", added Richard, "every single person in the pool will be naked, but you will keep your bathing suits. You don't have to remove it."
The selection was easy. Only three of the employees volunteered, Heather, Stephen and Jake, but everyone knew that Jake mostly became a lifeguard to looks at pretty girls in a bathing suit. He was definitely not suitable for an event where the girls didn't even wear one.
Shirley didn't want to waste her Saturday evenings at work, while Tom and Gina simply felt uncomfortable with nudity.
While Heather didn't really think about her new assignment until the first fateful Saturday, Stephen thought about it almost constantly.
He was worried he would lose track of where everyone was if there was too many attractive nude woman. He was worried his bathing suit would show an erection. He was worried about, well, almost everything, including meeting people he knew.
It seems Stephen had the right attitude, since at 6h25, when arrived at the center to prepare the evening, he found Heather locked into the management office, shaking.
"What's going on ?", he inquired.
"I can't go out to the pool. They're going to be naked. I can't."
She was almost in a panic state. Stephen slowly calmed her down and suggested she put her bathing suit and wait by the pool. He volunteered to handle the admission, the opening, the management, to let her time to cool down.
After a little reassuring, Stephen changed into his own bathing suit, but kept his t-shirt for the moment, like he usually did to welcome clients.
At 6h35, there was a knock on the front-door from a man in his fifties, carrying a folding table and a metal box.
He presented himself as Mike, the coordinator of the event. He explained he would be the one handling the money, and he gave two tickets for Stephen and Heather. "We do a fifty-fifty to help finance our activities. To thank you for the night, here is a ticket each".
Stephen thanked him and left him install himself in the hallway. He went by the side of the pool to see how Heather was doing.
At the moment, she was sitting by the side of the pool, with her feet in the water. She looked calm and reassured Stephen that she was better now, that she just had an anxiety attack, but in reality, she was still trying to calm herself as her heart was still beating fast.
When Stephen came back into the Lobby, he saw that a few people had already arrived. He nodded at them, realizing that most of the clients were single man. Several were in the fifties and in the forties, with a few in the thirties, and one or two in the twenties.
There was also a family with two kids, a 6 year old girl and a 5 year old boy. The mother looked rather attractive to Stephen who realized he would see her completely naked in a few minutes.
When he saw the entire family go into the women's changing room, his first reaction was to explain it was only for the woman, but he then thought it was possible that since they were just undressing, it didn't really matter.
Meanwhile, Heather had her first swimmers. She was worried since all of them were older man, soon enough, the family Stephen had spotted arrived, reached a few minutes later by another family with an 8 year old daughter.
A few older couples completed the list, and by 7h30, Mike had locked the front door, undressed, and joined his friends in the pool. Overall, there was 34 clients present, which made the night a financial success for the association.
Heather made a friend in the 8 year old girl, Cassandra, who initially contacted her to ask permission to use the various toys on the side of the pool. The lifeguard found it odd to talk to a nude little girl, but got used to it and slowly bonded with her and her parents.
Stephen on the other hand, did have a lot of problems with his active tracking method, which his eyes surveying the two mothers a lot more often than the middle-aged man playing water-polo on the other side of the pool.
After a few minutes of feeling inadequate both as a lifeguard and as a decent human being, he walked to the other side of the pool as to only see the water-polo match. He knew Heather was covering the children already, and thus, the two attractive woman of the night.
With only three kids, the pool was rather quiet. Sure, the water-polo made a lot of noise, but both Heather and Richard noticed that they could hear a lot of the conversations, which they normally were unable to do even with less clients present.
What neither really realized until much later in the evening, is that after only a few minutes, they were used to the settings and no longer affected by the public nudity of the clients.
Around 8h30, both families left, roughly at the same time, and at 9h30, only a few of the clients were left in the pool, most of which were just relaxing in it.
One of the thirty year old man decided to start a conversation with Heather as to what her reaction to the evening was, but she felt like he was only trying to flirt with her and kept her answers as short as possible to indicate her lack of interest in having a conversation.
At 9h55, Mike signaled to the remaining 3 single man and two middle-age couples it was time to leave, and without any complaining, the pool was emptied in less than a minute.
While they got dressed back up, Stephen and Heather cleaned the side of the pool, but since only three kids had been present, few toys were taken out of their storage.
A few minutes past 10h, Stephen and Heather were left alone in the pool center, both lost in their thoughts as to what had just happened to their respective lives.
Richard was wondering how he would react if hotter woman showed up the next time, but Heather was mostly wondering how the various clients reacted to the fact that unlike them, she wore a bathing suit.
Lost in her thoughts, Heather realized that neither Cassandra or her parents had seemed preoccupied by it. Perhaps they were simply used to it.
During the next week, almost all of their co-workers harassed them with questions, even Richard, but their questions varied severely from one another.
Richard, the manager, was more preoccupied by the profitability of the event. If the association didn't have enough visitors, it would reduce the chances of renewal. Jake was of course obsessed with the woman and how it felt to see them naked. He even questioned Heather who sighed in lieu of actual answers.
Gina wanted confirmation from both Stephen and Heather that the event was a cover for sexual activities or at least, severely gross. Shirley was mildly curious, but mostly wanted to know how Heather felt in front of all of the nude clients.
To her own surprise, she had to admit it wasn't that bad and that most of her problems were caused by fear before the events, and not by their actual nudity.
Tom on the other hand, went on with his life, pretending like last Saturday didn't happen.
Oddly enough, by the time the month ended, no one was thinking about that first Saturday evening. Sure, it was on the schedule, but it was only marked as a private event.
Still, when the second event occurred, both Stephen and Heather had a clear idea of how the night would proceed. This time however, they were a lot better prepared.
Heather didn't have cold feet and instead, waited by the pool patiently for clients to come in. Stephen coordinated with Mike, and guided people to the two changing rooms.
He had understood from the previous time that during a naturist event, the two rooms would be used interchangeably, so he decided to keep track of which of the changing room was the least occupied and direct people to it. He managed to improve the flow of clients during the first few minutes.
Once the line had been mostly processed, he joined Heather by the pool where there was already over 15 clients, most of which were still installing the water-polo net.
Heather saluted Stephen, who took the gesture as a sign that everything was fine. Heather however, had gestured him mostly to convince herself that everything was fine.
She was definitely feeling better than the first week, but it's only when Cassandra talked to her that Heather actually manage to relax.
Not only did the two families from the first week return, but two additional families were present, including a young couple with a 2 year old son and a 6 month pregnant mother.
Once again, Heather focused on the familial side of the pool while Stephen focused on the water-polo match.
At first, Stephen wanted to make sure he wouldn't get an erection seeing the various younger woman present in the familial side of the pool, but after a little while he managed to bond with a few of the man playing water-polo.
When two woman joined the match, he was afraid, especially since one was in her twenties, but he still didn't find anything overly erotic about her action, despite the twenty year old woman very attractive appearance.
On the third event, attendance was once again rising dramatically, with 4 additional families, a few more couples and even two single woman.
At first, he found it odd that there was so little new single man visitors, but Mike explained that they simply were generally early adopters. It's on that night that Mike announced their intention of activating their option for the 3rd Saturday of the month.
That week, Heather received a new student at her mid-season Wednesday early evening class: Cassandra joined her group, this time wearing a nice pink bikini.
For the classes, parents have to accompany the kids, and Stephen found it odd to see Cassandra's mother, Susan, in a one piece bathing suit after having seen her 3 times without any clothes on.
But he certainly didn't complain when Richard confirmed to the entire staff that thanks to the mid-season classes filling up nicely and the private events occurring 2 nights per month, the pool was once more in the black financially.
[To be continued ?]
Friday, 21-01-11 17:00
I thought the story had merit. I can almost see where this story "can" go, but I am unsure what to say at this point, as I am new to this sort of fiction.
Wednesday, 18-11-09 06:12
Thank you for the comment on the mix-up in the names ! I had re-read it to make sure it was fine, but in doing so, broke it. I have put it back to it's proper version. This is a case of a proof-read gone bad...
Wednesday, 18-11-09 04:41
A little mixup of the names in the story, especially Richard and Stephen, but also one place Heather and another female person.