We landed with a thud.
"Woo hoo!" I yelled as I wrestled my way up the alligator.
"Isn't this awesome?" Billy yelled, who was vying for a better position on the alligator. He made it up to the top and we wrestled to see who the master of the alligator would be, but were torn from our place by all the other boys. Travis, who I could now see in the middle of the group, slid up onto the alligator and took over our spot. I began to swim around the alligator, looking for a place that I could grab hold when something else caught my attention.
It was the girls…the minnows in the shallow end. They were still talking like they were before, but they were doing something else I didn't notice before. They were watching the boys. Some stared. Others pointed and giggled with delight.
"They're watching us," I thought to myself. But then a light blinked on in my head. They weren't watching us. They were checking us out!
Suddenly a new thought occurred to me. This wasn't a game anymore. The addition of the admirers of the opposite sex had changed this from a game into a way for young boys to display their strength and power. This was the true alpha-male extravaganza and all the girls had front row seats to the competition. I needed to get back in there! I couldn't let the girls just see Billy and the others in their macho display of strength. They needed to see ME! It now no longer mattered if I had white legs, wore an old swimsuit or was one of the smallest boys at the party. I needed to show the girls that I was the man. The one. The only. Alligator Wrestler!
I quickly grabbed hold of someone's leg and got back up onto the alligator. But as soon as you would get back up on to it, someone would pull you down and the cycle would begin all over again. The war waged on for what seemed like an hour until it was suddenly interrupted.
"Cake and presents time!" yelled Billy's mom.
Everyone got out of the pool and walked over to the patio where Mrs. Anderson stood.
"Can't we keep playing?" I asked.
"After cake and presents," she replied.
Cake was served and we all gathered around Billy, who began unwrapping his gifts that sat next to him in a huge pile. First a transformer. A shirt. Some Legos. Some shorts. And tons more. I couldn't help but sit there, waiting anxiously to get back to the game. Even though the game had no end, I knew the party would, thus creating an end to this round of the game. In my mind, there was only going to be one alligator wrestler left standing (or floating, in our case), and that was going to be me.
As soon as Billy finished unwrapping his final gift, a Voltron robot that he had asked his mother for, we all tried to make our way back to the pool..."tried" being the key word here.
Billy's mom yelled after us. "You guys have to wait 15 minutes before you get back in. If you don't you'll cramp up from all that cake you guys ate."
15 minutes? We wanted to play NOW, but the one thing that you couldn't do was say no to Mrs. Anderson. Even if she may have said everything with a big smile plastered on her face, we all knew she meant business.
We sat back down and proceeded to stare at the clock. 15. 10. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1.
"Finally!" I yelled as I made my way quickly over to the diving board.