When We Were Kids
Thirteen-year-old Jade’s sexual awakening gets interrupted during a day at the public pools with her best friend.
Jade has joined her best friend Michelle for a day at the pools. She is in the throws of puberty, and she desperately wants to be older than her young thirteen years. Jade talks to a reluctant Michelle about sex, revealing she has heard her neighbours “doing IT”, and fishing for Michelle’s thoughts on virginity. The girls then join two teenage boys at the diving board, where Jade lies about her age, and although scared of the height she wills herself to jump.
Back at the loungers the girls’ debate what to buy with their lunch money, when a man on the lounger next to them overhears their conversation and offers them a $2 coin. Michelle is suspicious but Jade takes the money, brushing all fears aside. After sharing their lunch with the Pool Man Jade plays in the water with him. When a sidelined Michelle leaves to use the toilet, the Pool Man pulls Jade’s body close to him, his hands crossing the boundaries of her changing body. Panicking, Jade breaks free from and runs into the changing rooms in search of Michelle. Jade’s fear turns into fury as she races back to the pool to find Michelle looking for her. Jade pushes Michelle into the pool.
The girls now wait out the front, not talking. Michelle’s mum arrives but Jade’s mum is late, leaving Jade alone and waiting for her mother.
Jade jumps in the car when she arrives, refusing to disclose to her mum what has happened. As they drive away Jade looks out the car window and sees the Pool Man, walking away from the pool complex. He looks at her. Jade gives him the fingers and mouths “Fuck you”. She sinks back into the seat of the car, simultaneously stunned and empowered by her actions.