“Believe me, it is. The Amazon women were formidable warriors as well as being great beauties.”
“And you would know this because?”
“It’s from having a totally useless degree in liberal arts. About the only thing it’s good for is winning at Trivial Pursuit.”
“Mm hm. And annoying your housekeeper when she’s trying to tan.”
“Here I am trying to compliment you and you’re shooting me down.”
“I’m an Amazon Queen, after all. That’s my job.” She giggled, closing her eyes against the sun.
“Daddy! Daddy! Look at me!” Mindy called from the pool.
Cindy held her hand and together they jumped into the six foot deep water. With very little help, Mindy swam to the side with her sister right behind her. Laughing and dripping, they did it again and again, the little one never tiring of it.
“Dad!” It was Randy this time. He did a perfect dive off the board, barely splashing as he went in.
“Good one, son!” He called when Randy’s head came above the water. “Excellent form!” He turned to Carmelita. “Kid’s gonna make swim team his freshman year.”
“Takin’ after his daddy for sure,” she grinned. “I haven’t seen them this happy in ages.” She wiped a tear.
“I didn’t realize how bad it was until now. We’re like a normal family again.”
“Oh, what’s that on your face?” She reached over, wiping her thumb on his cheek. “Dear God, boy, you’re smiling! I might fall out!”
He chuckled, hopping up. “Want to see the perfect dive?”
“You gonna get that sexy Olympic swimmer out here? I’d pay to see that!”
“Brat.” He chuckled, walking quickly to the diving board.
Taking a deep breath, he did a perfect swan dive into the pool. Feeling the water slip past him, he scissored his legs, rising rapidly to the top. He spent the next hour swimming with his children, teaching Mindy how to jump off the board, and correcting Randy’s swan dive. Carmelita joined Cindy in the shallow end where they examined every attractive man who went by, evaluating them on some esoteric scale they seemed to be making up as they went along.
After showers and naps, it was nearly dinner time. They dressed for dinner and went to the dining room in a quiet, solemn procession. The large, circular tables were laid with fine linen table cloths and beautiful centerpieces of tropical flowers. They were seated with an elderly couple from Minot, North Dakota and a honeymoon couple from Great Falls, Montana. One place was empty. The name on the card gave them nothing, bearing the name, ‘E. Geraci.”
The first course had already been served by the time a solitary person entered. Dressed rather like a gypsy in brightly colored, flowing skirts, blouse and shawl, she walked slowly to the table taking the empty seat next to Kyle. The waiter brought her food as well as a glass of iced tea with mint without even asking her. She accepted each with a stately inclination of her head.
She wore a multicolored scarf tied tightly over her head. No hair escaped and her scalp looked smooth beneath it. Her eyebrows were just growing in, her complexion pale, almost pallid. Kyle knew that look well. This was a woman who had been through chemo.
She was much taller than she looked walking in. Kyle guessed her to be around five nine. What had once been a strong, athletic body was ravaged by her disease and treatments. However, she was still broad shouldered with the build of a swimmer. Her eyes held a spark of determination as she smiled at him, extending her hand.
“Emily Geraci,” she said quietly, her voice slightly hoarse.
“Kyle Scott.” He took her hand gingerly. “This is Carmelita Porter, my housekeeper.
And my three children, biggest to smallest; Cindy, Randy and Mindy. Kids, Ms. Geraci.”
© Dellani Oakes