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No Pruney Fingers Here

The Cullens and Bella decide to spend a day at the Forks Public Pool. Huzzah! Warning:THIS IS A CRACKFIC! If you don't like crackfics, don't read it. Post-Twilight, Pre-New Moon

My first fanfic... Rated Teen for some mild language and maybe some other stuff later = )

4. Chapter 4: Carlisle

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 715   Review this Chapter

I unlocked the front door, jangling my many keys in the process. I was just coming home from a particularly challenging shift at the hospital. Right then, I really just wanted to…well, not sleep, but relax. Recharge. Rejuvenate. Yes, rejuvenation sounded pretty darn good.

Of course, that was probably the last thing that was going to happen tonight. As much as I loved Bella, spending time with her usually resulted in blood or worse. But then again, if we could just keep her in the water-- there aren’t any sharp and/or dangerous objects there, right? I felt slightly more at peace.

I walked into the house and shut the door.

“I’m home!” I called softly into the silent house.

“Carlisle,” I heard Emmett say, “Is that you? Can you come help me with my water wings? I’ve got issues.”

I sighed and went upstairs to help him with his floaties. I kept trying to teach Emmett to swim, but each time I tried, I failed. He just didn’t seem to get it. I had finally decided to just let him terrorize the kiddy pool. Sure, it was embarrassing that my grown son couldn’t go into the water without aid, and it definitely attracted stares from the humans, but it was certainly easier this way.

I trudged into Emmett and Rosalie’s room.

“What is it, Emmett?” I asked patiently.

“Well, Carlisle,” he began, “I tried on my water wings, but they were too big. Do you think I’m losing muscle mass?”

I looked over to where he had discarded his wings on the chair. They were flat. Leave it to Emmett to ask a pointless question.

“No, you’re not, Emmett. You just forgot to blow them up. Here, let me do it for you.” I blew them up and then handed them back to him.

“Oh, that’s why. I thought they looked strange. Hey, thanks for doing that, Carlisle. I don’t think I have any more problems. You can go read now, or whatever.”

“It was my pleasure,” I lied as I left.

Once I was in my study, I stared at the trophies decorating a high shelf. There were dozens, maybe fifty in all. And each of them reminded me of my failure to teach Emmett to swim.

In one my many years of college, an acquaintance of mine had urged me to join the school swim team. I hesitantly took his advice and joined. At first it was difficult to control myself, but I got the hang of it quickly. Of course I was naturally stronger and faster than everyone else, but I managed to restrain myself sufficiently.

But that didn’t mean that I forced myself to be slow. No, I eventually ‘worked up’ to becoming the fastest butterfly stroke swimmer on the team. I won second place in the national championships in butterfly, with a time of 104.49 for the 100-meter swim.

It was bizarre, being thrust so suddenly into the mindset of humanity. They cared so much, worked so hard, just to become the strongest and fastest, to win recognition. It was hard for me to grasp anymore why that was important to anyone. It certainly wasn’t important to me. But their attitudes made me feel different…almost human. I could understand why they struggled for glory in their short existences.

I received a lot of pressure to continue swimming after I graduated from medical school, to go professional. I refused, of course, stating that my medical career was more important to me than maintaining my mini-celebrity status.

Now I look back on my days as a swimmer with a vague sense of guilt. It wasn’t totally fair, with my unnatural advantage over the other swimmers. There were so many who deserved these trophies so much more than I did. But I kept them, a selfish reminder of what it was like to feel human.

I sighed again. Reliving the glory days always made me slightly melancholy. And now I sounded like a cantankerous old geezer, constantly comparing the miserable present to the ‘good old days’. I decided that I must be getting old.

I went to Esme’s and my bedroom to get ready to go.

“Esme,” I said as I walked into the closet. “I think I’m getting old.”

She just chuckled.