We started hanging out with Cindy when her family got the in-ground pool. We weren’t friends with her before the pool, but after the pool came, we hung out at her house almost every day. I practiced and practiced until I could dive off the diving board and swim under water to touch the far end, make a turn and swim under water back to where I began.
We made up all kinds of games and practiced different dives. And when we weren’t swimming, we were in her screened-in garage that was set up like a living room (people did that in our neighborhood) and played all kinds of games.
One of our games involved playing “library” when we were forced to take a break from swimming. This game involved borrowing books from Cindy and reading them in her garage while we all hung out. We would have to check them out (but couldn’t take them home) with some type of system she devised.
I usually chose her Nancy Drew books. I was an avid reader and loved how Nancy was always finding some mystery to solve. But those who know these books, know that the mystery is usually solved in the last couple of pages.
Because of how each story ended, I would try not to let Cindy see where I was in the book. I didn’t want her to know that I was almost to the part where the case would be solved, because I knew (great detective that I was) that she would come over and grab the book from me and RIPPPPPP the last page out of the book. Each time I’d read one of her books, I’d attempt to keep my place in the book a secret from her so I could attempt to finish whatever mystery I was reading about.
I’d always go home disappointed that I didn’t get to finish the story because the last page was always torn out before I could finish the page. I think the only way I ever finished any Nancy Drew book was when I was older and reread my younger sister’s collection (in secret.)
I guess we put up with Cindy’s bad behavior because even though she was a bully, she was a bully with the only in-ground pool in the neighborhood.