That morning, Sylvia woke up bright and early on Aylin’s instructions. She went upstairs to find an elegant bar set up in the study.
“Good morning, Aylin. You said yesterday that we were going swimming?”
“Yep! Drink this.”
“Powerful stuff, isn’t it? It’ll protect you from the sun for four hours, but we’ll want to start home before that just in case.”
“You had one of these too?”
Aylin winked. “Suffice it to say I have my own methods.”
“Okay, let’s go!”
As soon as she stepped out of the door, Sylvia was awestruck. Sun! Real sun, not burning her skin! The combination of the tangy drink and the warmth on her skin made her feel energized, alive even. With a spring in her step, she followed Aylin down the forest road to her house and through the tourist-filled square of Forgotten Hollow to the rail line.
After a quick train ride, they found themselves at the steps of the Bathe de Rill, Windenburg’s famous public swimming pool. Aylin headed straight up the stairs to the changing rooms.
Sylvia was a little nervous. She’d never really gotten the chance to go swimming before.
Aylin sat calmly by the poolside. “Go on ahead! I’ll join you in a moment.”
Sylvia screwed up her courage, climbed the stairs, and jumped!
As she swam away from the diving stairs, Sylvia rejoiced. Sun! Water! New feelings flooded her mind. Could life really be this fun?
Aylin bubbled up to the surface. Sylvia hadn’t even seen her get in.
Suddenly, Sylvia got an idea.
The ensuing splash fight was a battle to be remembered, but it had to be cut short by the timer running low on Sylvia’s sun protection. Aylin called things to a halt at two and a half hours, to make sure they had time to shower and get back home before Sylvia started sizzling.
As she followed Aylin back to the train station, Sylvia promised that she’d find a way to go swimming again.