You’re in the air, swirling, when a face gazes from the tiles below.
Hitting the water, your perfect half-twist dive is knotted and you’re drowning, choking on chlorine and misspent air and panic. Keep away from the neighbour’s pool, Dad warned; but the heat, the heat…
You open your eyes. The desolate face still stares, arms floating like a cartoon ghost’s. Get out! You flap at the water, a sinking rat. Then you remember that face at school, the weak boy up the back, the bullied. The missing.
Save him? Save yourself?
Dad’ll kill you.
You crawl out, and run.