It was the summer after I turned nine years old and I had been invited as the guest of my school friend's to a pool/birthday party. I was, of course mucho excited as most nine year olds without a pool would be. Pools were totally for rich people. The closest thing I had ever had to a pool in our poor ass apartment building was a crocodile mile. My mom would (against building rules) run a hose from the bathroom sink down two stories into the back yard to make that thing work. Since it was set up on flat grass with no hill, all the kids that used it typically got belly flop injuries. My point here being- when I got the chance to swim in a real pool, I jumped on that shit.
So on party day, I packed my day bag and put on my super cute neon one piece swimsuit and headed out with my friend's parents to the pool of rich people dreams.
After we arrived, we spent the day playing in the pool, eating chips containing that new hip stuff called Olestra, shitting, then playing more. This wasn't just some cheap ass above ground round pool. This was a legit in-ground lap pool with chlorine, a diving board, nets on sticks and maybe even a pool boy.
As the party was coming to a close the kids in attendance decided to have a dive contest. Some of the other nine year olds did fancy little spins and dance moves before jumping into the pool. The adults around kept telling us all to be careful but since no one had gotten hurt yet and we were having fun, they chilled out a bit.
When my turn to show off my fancy dive came along, I decided to use my tap and jazz class skills to my advantage. I was going to do a little jazz square, then take my dive into the deep end.
I took a moment to focus before my approach to the diving board edge, where I was surely going to put all of the other kids to shame with my fabulousness.
As I quickly rushed forward, I moved my legs in jazz square motion, but the unthinkable happened. My left leg slipped completely off the diving board, while my right leg was still on top of it. I quickly fell into an upside down L shape, with my left leg dangling in the pool and the right stuck on the diving board. I felt a ripping sensation move through my hips and heard a crack as I freed my right leg from the diving board, sinking into the deep end of the pool. It was all so unexpected that I got pool water straight up my nose and felt like I couldn't breathe.
When I resurfaced I felt a burning sensation in the parts I could best describe as "down there". I looked around fully expecting someone to be rushing to my aid who had seen that fall, but all of the adults were still chatting and preoccupied. Some of the kids asked if I was ok as I grabbed a towel and limped off to the bathroom. After I peeled off my swimsuit to pee, I noticed a blood spot inside of my swimsuit. When I wiped myself there was even more blood! I almost had a heart attack. I called to my friend to get his mother. She came in and I explained that I had fallen off the diving board and had blood coming out of "down there!"
She got a seriously awkward look on her face, and asked my mom had told me about periods yet. She also asked if anyone had touched me. I told her no one had, and explained to her how I had slipped and got caught and hurt from the diving board. I then got dressed back into my swimsuit and got an early ride home from her. When we arrived at our shitty apartment complex, I got out of the car and thanked them for the ride before heading inside. I looked back and saw her heading inside with me. She said "Well you didn't think I was going to let you go in alone did you?!"
We headed inside where I was confronted with my mother to explain to her why I probably had to go to the pediatrician because my nine year old whoo-ha was bleeding.
My Mother had a typical meltdown shouting "Why no one was watching her!?" and "She is way too young to have a period!". She quickly called the pediatrician from the bedroom and made an appointment in a hushed manner. I was pretty sure I was dying. Once I got to the doctor they made her leave the room so I could tell them what happened in private. I told the doctor my diving board story, and then to my horror they decided to check my whoo-ha out. Afterward they told us that they hadn't found any cuts or tears, but if anymore bleeding continued to come back for a follow-up.
To this day my mother is convinced that I was molested at that pool party, but I know the truth and I'm pretty sure that diving board popped my cherry.