The woman perched atop a cement picnic table and watched three people on a dock. There was an older lady, seemingly the mother, and two young girls, years apart, that shared the sort of affinity that only sisters can have. The young girls splashed about in the cool water of the lake, and their delighted screams carried all the way down the shore to the lone observer. The younger of the two girls shrieked in outrage as the older pulled the bright pink float out from underneath her, and a splash war ensued. The older emerged victorious, and the younger sister, sputtering in frustration, climbed up the wooden ladder to tattle to her mother. The older sister climbed onto her prize, and floated about blissfully as the enraged younger sister watched her from above.
"I'm going to jump on you if you don't move," the younger called down to her sister. The older sister laughed, a sound that was certain of her victory, full of the beauty of youth and innocence. She splashed around more, infuriating her sister enough to leap off the dock onto the end on the float. She slipped right off the edge of it, and the older sister laughed harder. The other resurfaced, sputtering, her face indignant. Their tug of war over the float resumed, with the younger screaming shrilly (but in good nature), towards the older. The mother finally wandered over, drawn by her youngest daughter's shrieks, and told the two that it was time to go home. After much protesting, the two climbed back onto the dock, and gathered their things. The older daughter began to complain about her sister going through her purse. She was apparently of the age where she was just beginning to carry a purse, and it was of the utmost importance to her. The observer laughed to herself as the two girl's voices faded, their argument continuing.
Long after the three people were gone, the observer remained, watching the ducks swim about, and thinking of similiar afternoons in her own youth. Her mother would find an hour or two in the late afternoon to take them to the river to swim. Being a rather poor family, there was always just one float. She and her younger sister would argue, and splash, and turn one another over to gain possession of the sacred float. The observer sat and thought about the special bond between her and her sister. A single tear rolled down her cheek, as she longed for better days, the days of youth, and beauty, and complete innocence. The days when being poor didn't seem that big a deal, and the troubles of adulthood were still something in the distant future. She wanted nothing more at that moment than to go back to the afternoons of swimming with her baby sister, her mother keeping a watch over them and occasionally venturing in to play along. These were the afternoons when she had learned to dive, and to stand on her hands underwater. She sat and thought about the past, as the light faded, and the first star of the night made it's triumphant appearance.