It was 11 o’clock and already pushing 90 degrees when Trudy arrived at the Whitehaven Estates Aquatics Center, dropped her three-year-old son into the shallow end of the pool and settled into a recliner that was within chatting distance of her favorite lifeguard.
“Good morning, Todd,” she said when she caught his eye.
“Good morning, Mrs. Connor.”
Trudy winced. After everything she and Todd had been through together, she had hoped he would finally drop this courtesy title shit. It made her feel every single one of her 36 years whenever he said it.
“Looks like it’s gonna to be another scorcher,” Todd said, his eyes fixed on the gaggle of kids, parents and teenagers that populated the Olympic-sized Whitehaven pool.
“Tell me about it,” Trudy said, shedding her cover-up to reveal the bikini she recently purchased from JCrew.com. “I don’t know how much longer I can take this heat.”
She pulled sunblock from her beach bag and began slowly applying it, working her hands all the way from her upper thighs to her ankles until she noticed the lifeguard stealing a glance.
“What SPF is that?” Todd asked.
“With your light skin, you really should go with 30 or higher, Mrs. Connor. You can never have too much protection.”
She laughed. “Oh, Todd. You are so right about that!”
This was Todd Baylor’s first summer working the pool, and already the housewives of Whitehaven had taken to calling him, “Todd the Bod.” He was a little old for a lifeguard, probably in his late 20s, which didn’t say much for his ambition or career prospects. But, physically, he was more than all there. His sun-bleached hair, his bronzed, chiseled frame, the way he pressed a whistle between his full lips and let out a quick, confident little tweet. He was a man who was in firm control of his pool.
“Hey!” As if on cue, Todd leaned out of his chair and pointed at some urchin who was scrambling around the water slide. “STOP RUNNING!”
Then he blew his whistle. Trudy sighed.
The two of them had struck up a friendship over the summer. And last Saturday, Trudy decided to take things to the next level. Not saddled with watching her three-year-old for the day, she headed down to the pool and waited for Todd to call an adult swim. A few minutes later, she wandered out to the parking lot where she found the lifeguard sitting in his weathered Ford Explorer, playing Angry Birds and smoking a cigarette. He seemed startled to see her.
“Please don’t tell anyone, Mrs. Connor.”
“I would never do such a thing, Todd,” she said as she climbed into the passenger seat. “And you can call me Trudy from now on.”
“Where is Mr. Connor?”
“An insurance seminar in Sarasota,” she said, pressing her body against his and moving in for a kiss, “and he’s going to be gone all week.”
They hadn’t talked since that brief, groping encounter, which didn’t last as long as Trudy had hoped due to the 10-minute restriction on adult swims at Whitehaven. But now here she was, a mere five feet away from Todd the Bod, and she intended to learn why he hadn’t called the cell phone number she had carefully tucked in the pocket of his swimming trunks.
“Mrs. Conner?” Todd maintained his eagle-eyed stare over the pool, but he had moved his chair a little closer to Trudy’s recliner.
“I, uhm, wanna apologize – Hey! NO EATING IN THE POOL! – I wanna apologize about what happened the other day.”
Trudy squirted more sunblock into her hand and rubbed it under her shoulder straps. “It’s really no big deal, Todd.”
The lifeguard leaned in close enough to whisper.
“It’s just that, well, Mrs. Connor. You’re so damn pretty. And we’ve only got three weeks left this summer.”
Trudy lowered her sunglasses so that she could get a good look at the bronze, aquatic god sitting next to her. She heard her three-year-old from the pool, screaming about getting a snack or something.
“You still have the phone number I gave you?”
“Call me when the pool closes tonight,” Trudy said, “and I’ll meet you in the pump house.”
Image courtesy of http://www.shape.com.