I had just turned around when I saw that woman walking off with my red-and-white bag.
There was not much in that bag worth saving, but still...
I swam to the edge of the pool, pushed myself up, came to my feet and raced after the woman. The stones were slippery, and I had a hard time keeping my feet. "Excuse me, Madam, but you have got my bag."
She turned around and stared at me as if I was an insect that had done something interesting. "No, I have not."
"Yes, you do." I was smiling and trying really hard to sound friendly.
She shook her head. I might have guessed she was about forty, hair spun to gold by an expert, face covered in natural wrinkles caused by artificial sunlight. "This is definitely my bag. I came with it. I have had it all my life!"
"Maybe we have got the same model", I suggested. "I put mine down on that chair over there about half an hour ago."
"No, you did not." She did not react to my smile. Her cheeks were changing color, as if someone had opened a bottle of red color inside her head and turned it upside down. People were starting to look in our direction.
The pool attendant, too, had noticed something was not going as it should. Two women arguing by the side of the pool, one dripping wet - not a sight he was enjoying, obviously. "Can I help you, ladies?" He flashed us a smile.
"We've got our bags mixed up", I explained, feeling my cheeks change color now. Damn, he was cute.
"No, we do not", the other woman exclaimed, louder than before. "This girl says I took her bag, and it is not true!"
"Can I see it, please?" The guy held his hand out, and reluctantly the other woman handed him the bag - my bag.
He turned to me, "So, you say this is your bag?"
I smiled. "Just a mix-up, I suppose." But when I reached out to take the bag, he pulled it out of my reach.
"So you can tell me what's inside, I am sure." He opened it and looked inside.
Of course I could. But I'd rather drop dead. A trashy romance novel, a half-molten chocolate bar and my worn-out granny undies.
"Uhm... a bottle of water, a cereal bar and a brush", I improvised.
"Sorry, you must be mistaken." He smiled and handed my bag to the other woman.
My face was glowing by now. I turned around to the other woman who was trying to kill me with her righteous gaze. "I am so sorry! I must have put my bag in the locker with my purse and car keys", and I held up the key dangling from my wrist. At least I had also put my skimpy summer dress in the locker.
Instead of a reply, she just huffed and left.
The pool attendant smiled at me. "Don't worry, it happens."
I didn't know what to say, so I said, "I don't know what to say."
He winked at me, "Next time remember where you put your things."
I would. If there was a next time. With my luck, I'd be run over by a bus on my way back home.