The water in the pool, no matter how gloriously warm the Florida weather was, was still frigid.
It wasn't the 'getting out of the pool coldness' I worried about, it was getting in that made my joints stiffen in shock.
The strong smell of chlorine laced with the shimmering water made my eyes water and nose tingle at first, the strength of the freshness shocking me. I had to wipe my eyes as tears blossomed in their corners
School was over, finally, for two months and a week. My family and I had packed our bags for the long awaited holiday to Orlando, Florida.
The villa was two storeys tall, with a garage (inside of which was used as a games room) and a pool in the back – it was shallow a one end and deep at the other, reaching just over six feet down. I got my own room, as did my sister on the top floor. Obviously our parents had their own room downstairs, the same for my grandparents.
Five days into our two-week vacation and we had decided to have a rest day as the day before we had been gallivanting about Gatorland; a park in Florida that housed crocodiles, alligators, poisonous snakes, small lizards and exotic birds. A proud, royal blue peacock with various shades of green feathers had paraded about the park with its long tail trailing behind it.
Surprisingly, I had been the first to wake up – a very rare happening that didn't occur very often. I had slipped on my swim suit (after I'd checked the time on my watch) and a pair of baggy red shorts over it, not bothering with the green flip flops at the bottom of my bed.
I slid the glass back door open and stepped out into the humid morning air, a bottle of blue Gatorade in one hand and a bowl of Lucky Charms in the other. I set both on the outdoor table and went to inspect the pool to see if their were any visitors in the water, the year before when we'd went to Florida, we found a snake slithering about in the water one morning.
There it was, so tiny I'd almost overlooked it, just a speck of dirt that had fallen off from the roof I'd thought. But no, it was definitely alive. The size of the nail on my pinkie finger, with the tiniest heart I had ever laid eyes on, beating away furiously within its little chest. A frog. So small, so fragile, so full of life.
I dropped gently to my knees at the edge of the pool and reached for the little creature, I missed the first time, a jet of water pushing the tiny frog away. It swam desperately towards the side and I grabbed for it again, and again I missed.
Deciding whether I wanted to save the little frog or not, I waddled into the pool until the water was up to my knees and used the tiled rim to stretch over and delicately scoop the tiny amphibian into the palm of my hand, being careful not to lose him as the water escaped through the gaps between my fingers.
I stepped back and sat on the edge of the pool with my prize, watching as he sat in the middle of my palm, his little ribcage expanding and contracting feverishly. Sliding my pinkie finger beneath him, I lifted him up so as to perform a closer inspection on him, I could feel his tiny heartbeat hammering away.
Setting him back onto my palm, he fell over onto his back, his torso and abdomen were translucent. I was captivated by the rushing blood circulating through his tiny body, I sat there and watched his heart beating away, I had never seen something so lively before...
I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams that something as small as the frog I had found floating in the chlorine-infected water could be alive with such a small heart.
For a few quiet, tranquil moments, nothing else mattered but the jackhammer beating of the little amphibian's heart. Small things like that widened a person's view on life, something as simple as a minuscule muscle pumping blood around the body of the little frog could make someone see the brighter side to life.
I was at peace...