Sunday, June 12, 2016

Saving Siri

Halle Herman stared miserably out the window of her hotel room as the rain poured in buckets down the window. Her family was in Washington DC for a week, and they were supposed to be going to look at the monuments on and around the National Mall today. Halle's brother, Max was happily playing away on his portable gaming system, and the baby, 2 year old, Siri happily toddled around the room. Neither of them seemed as upset as Halle felt.

"I'm bored!" announced Max tossing his game on the bed. "Why didn't you let me bring more games?" he asked his mother accusingly.

"You don't need to spend all your time playing games while we are away. " replied his mother calmly. ""Besides, we are only going to be gone one week. You'll survive it. I promise."

Max looked doubtful. "But what are we going to do now?" he asked pointing out the window to the rain.

"Yes." agreed Halle. "What are we going to do?"

Siri chose just that moment to bump into something and start crying. Mommy sighed and scooped Siri gently up in her arms. "Why don't we go swimming?" she suggested. "I hear the hotel has a very nice indoor pool."

"Swimming!" shouted Max and Halle at the same time. They both loved swimming and they were both really good swimmers too. They had each started taking swim lessons when they were just a little older than Siri was now. They quickly hurried to find their bathing suits while Mommy struggled to put a cute little polka dotted two piece on a squirmy Siri.

When all three kids were ready, Mommy  handed Siri to Halle so she could put on her own suit. Siri smiled at her sister. She just adored Halle. Halle smiled back. Siri was so much less annoying than Max. She hoped that didn't change as Siri got older.

When Mommy was ready, they grabbed some towels and headed down to the pool. Mom took Siri and sat down by the side of the pool. Max jumped right into the water. Halle eased in from the steps. As soon as Halle got all the way into the pool, Max snuck up behind her and splashed her. "Hey!" she cried splashing him back. Soon they were in a full out splashing war.

The lifeguard blew his whistle and pointed to them. "No splashing!" he declared.

"Sorry." they said. They stopped splashing. For a while Max played by himself and Halle swam. When they both got tired of that, they started playing a game together, Ordinarily, Halle would not be caught dead playing a game with her little brother, but in the pool on vacation when nobody else was around she figured it was okay. Max wasn't too fond of playing with his sister either. However, they ended up having a surprisingly good time together.

Even Siri noticed what a good time they were having. She sat by the side of the pool with their mother jealously starring at her brother and sister laughing and playing and having fun in the pool. She wanted to be having fun too. She pouted and whined and tugged on her mother's arm and pointed to the pool. "I'm sorry, sweetie." replied Mommy sympathetically,  "I know you want to go in the pool with your big brother and sister, but you'll have to wait a little bit." Mommy was waiting for Dad to call.  He was at a business meeting. They were in Washington DC accompanying Dad on a business trip, Poor Dad! They spent their days seeing the sites and having a good time while Dad went to meetings. Once in a while, he was free to accompany them. Halle and Max loved those times best of all the time they spent on their vacation.

The phone rang loudly in Mommy's bag. She put her hand in to get it, but it wasn't where she thought it was. She took her eyes off Siri for a second to go rummaging in her bag for the phone. That was all Siri needed. She made a break for it and toddled off toward the pool. "Siri!" screamed Mommy when she looked up and saw Siri by the edge of the pool. Siri looked up startled by Mommy's voice and tumbled into the pool.

"Siri!" Mommy screamed even louder and more desperately. Max saw his little sister and nervously looked around for the lifeguard who was all the way on the other side of the pool flirting with a group of pretty girls.The lifeguard looked up at the sound of Mommy's terrified scream, but before he could even dive into the pool, Halle hurriedly swam over to her little sister. She quickly scooped Siri up in her arms. Then, she carried her out of the pool and into their mother's anxiously waiting arms. "Oh my baby." exclaimed Mommy clutching Siri tightly too her and looking gratefully at Halle. Siri coughed up a little water, and then started crying hysterically. Mom carefully looked her over.  She seemed to be okay though just frightened. Mom hugged her tightly in her arms then gave her a bottle to calm her down.

By the this time, Max had come out of the pool and joined them. "You're  a hero, Halle." he declared.
"You saved Siri's life." Halle shrugged. She hadn't really thought about it that way. She just did what she had to do.

"You are a hero." replied Mommy gratefully, "and I'm proud of you." The phone started ring again and Mommy answered it. This time Halle stayed with Siri. Siri looked up at Halle with big wide adoring eyes while continuing to sip on her bottle. Halle smiled at her. "I'm kind of fond of you too." she declared. "And I wouldn't want anything to happen to you."

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