The water rippled, tiny rings stretching against the surface as we stuck our toes in the pond. The water was murky, the bottom black and slimy. That didn’t stop Aaron from jumping straight in; he splashed around as I waited on the shore wiping gravely sand off my little pink swimsuit. My aunt sat on a bench a ways away with my mother talking about things children like my cousin and I didn’t understand. “Come on!” Aaron yelled as he bobbed up and down his bright yellow duck swimmies eyeing me. “It’s too cold.” I whined, but Aaron was insistent. “You’re a chicken. It’s just water!” he teased slapping the surface with his hands. “It’s dirty.” I replied still too stubborn to swim. “Fine.” Aaron stated as he dove under the water as far as his buoyant swimmies would allow and scooped up a handful of mud from the bottom of the pond. “What are you doing?” I asked as Aaron picked through his grime covered find. “Look at this!” he yelled holding up a small brown spiral shell. I got up craning my neck to see what he had found; it was a snail’s shell. “Where did you find that?” I asked curiously. “They’re all over the bottom of the pond.” He stated holding the shell up to the light.
“I want one.” I said as I got up from where I sat and huddled closer to the water’s edge. “Come in and get your own.” He called as he dropped the shell back into the water. It landed with a plop slowly sinking down into the blackness. “Fine, but only for a little bit.” I replied running into the brackish water. We would always swim in that little pond a few streets down from my aunt’s house. It was one of the only things to do in the little town of Steventown. And every summer day when my family would drive up to visit. Aaron and I would be at the pond skipping rocks, or swimming. It was a place that quelled our boredom, cooled us down, and reminded us of our childhood. Even today, although we don’t visit as frequently, but when we do, Aaron and I walk to the pond and stick our toes in the murky black water.
Notes: My cousin Aaron and I grew up extremely close. When we were little we were nearly inseparable. He was the more daring and energetic of the two of us, and I, the more cautious. Because of his persistent urging I would always end up being more active. I’d join in the game of Wiffle Ball, or play Man hunt in the neighbor’s corn field at night, and I would enjoy myself. He made me come out of my shell so to say. Whenever my family would drive up to Steventown to visit we would spend time together. There isn’t much to do in Steventown; it isn’t exactly a bustling Metropolis of fun. So our parents would often bring us to play at a nearby pond, we spent hours in that pond swimming, skipping rocks, trying to catch minnows. As we got older my family didn’t visit as often and we grew apart. Now we hardly ever see each other. When we do however, we always walk down to the pond; to both of us that pond is more than just a bunch of dirty water or a utopia for mosquitoes its part of our childhood and memories. No matter how different we grow up to be we can always re-connect at the pond.