Annie drifted silently through the turquoise water and rested her big green eyes just above the water’s edge like a crocodile.
Her mother Alice sat proudly poolside, her blonde hair and delicate features complimenting her shiny engagement ring. Across the terrace, Alice’s fiancé, Whim, sat under an umbrella with his friends, smoking cigars. He came from old, local money and drove a vintage sports car. He and Alice had dated for four months. No one on the terrace that afternoon would have guessed that Alice was a single mother of a nine-year-old and once lived off the change in the bottom of her purse.
Annie glared at Whim. He was tan, smug, and wore aviator sunglasses. She didn’t like him one bit. She believed her parents would get back together. She had hit a boy at recess for suggesting otherwise. Her mother had spanked her in the parking lot after school that day. Annie had apologized to the boy, but deep down she wasn’t sorry. Not really, anyway.
Annie had been an eager nuisance to her mother’s love life, ruining goodnight kisses with the porch light, pouting whenever they held hands, and drawing a monster on the side of the new house after the engagement announcement. Annie apologized to Whim, but deep down she wasn’t sorry. Not really, anyway.
A cool breeze drifted across the terrace. Annie climbed out of the pool and wrapped herself in a towel.
“Hey Annie,” a drunk friend of Whim’s called. “Do a cannonball and splash this pretty lady. I’ll give ya five bucks.”
“Oh stop it,” the man’s wife laughed.
Annie wandered over to Whim and his friends. She leaned against his legs for attention, and felt him scoot away from her. Annie pulled his leg hair.
“Ouch! Watch it now,” he laughed, shoving her a little too hard.
“I’m done with this round, boys,” he said and shook his empty beer can. “Anybody need a drink?” His friends declined his offer and resumed smoking their cigars.
“I’ll get it,” Annie offered.
“Thanks,” Whim said.
Annie bounced over to the cooler and fished out a beer. She waved at her mother across the pool. Alice gave her a cursory nod and continued to sun herself.
Fishing out a beer, Annie heard Whim talking about her to his friend.
“She’s a cute kid,” he said enthusiastically.
Annie smiled. Maybe Whim wasn’t so bad.
“Kind of chunky, though,” he added.
A couple of his friends snickered.
Annie frowned and peered down at her tiny belly.
“If anything, she’s gotta nix the attitude,” he continued. “Maybe that’ll be my job.”
Shocked, Annie dropped the can of beer.
“Hey, there’s always boarding school.” Whim clinked his empty can with a friend’s tumbler.
Annie picked up the beer, turned her back, and violently shook the can.
Under the umbrella, Annie handed Whim the beer and flashed a sweet smile.
“Here you go,” she said, and curtsied.
“Thanks, kiddo,” he said and cracked open the can.
A glorious geyser of foamy beer exploded in Whim’s face, on his linen shirt, and onto the crotch of his shorts. He jumped up, cursing.
“Whim wet his pants!” she taunted.
“Annie!” Alice screeched and dragged her away by the arm.
“Hey Whimbo,” someone shouted, “You’re supposed to piss in the pool, pal!”
“Please don’t encourage her,” Alice insisted.
Alice led Annie to the other side of the pool. The new ring hurt worse than the old one.
“Why must you make me do this?” Alice demanded between spanks. “Can’t you just be happy for me?”
Annie’s reptilian green eyes glanced across the pool. Whim blotted his crotch with a napkin. Her tear stained grimace turned into a sinister grin. After the party, Annie apologized to Whim. But deep down, she wasn’t sorry.
Not really, anyway.