The Mermaid and The Boy

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Chapter five

The situation was weird. First I was going to the maize fields. Why? Because my enemy who suddenly decided to be my friend had said so.
Did I have to follow her though? I had no choice right.

We arrived at the maize fields and we looked around. It looked like the maize was not growing well but that happens a lot right.

"You see now why I brought you here?" Arianna says.

"Yes, to kill me with thirst and hunger whilst looking at withering maize stalks."

"Are you telling me that you don't understand how bad the situation is?"

" Honestly, no. But I understand enough to know that Mr. Ndlovu won't spare me and I will be punished for leaving school early to go and admire fields."

"No wonder you are dyslexic. I'm sure they took all your intelligence. Here is the thing Maxwell, This is the beginning of a great famine. Not only that but the lake will dry up and trust me you don't want that happening."

"And I'm here because I'm a rain god right? I can stop all that from happening?" I had to ask again because only a rain god can bring water to the land. What was with me and the rain God issue?

"Yes and no. You are not a rain god but your parents made a promise that they must keep. It's almost time up now."

"What is that promise, Arianna?"

"You will find out soon enough. I also noticed that they are giving you some of your intelligence back."

"I would waste my breath by asking who but I know you won't tell me. I have a question that you must answer honestly though."

"What is it?"

"What happened to the Amandla girl?"

"The mermaids took her. She will be back once she receives her gift and if your parents fulfill their end of the bargain."

"I'm getting a headache right now. Can we just go and I'm hungry I don't think I have secret powers to conjure food and healing properties now do I?" I said annoyed and she laughed.

"Food no but the healing I'm not so sure."

"Yeah," I said and started going back.

"Max?"

"Yeah?"

"I'm sorry I took you out of the class but your eyes were starting to change color. If I hadn't you wouldn't have just blown up a simple beaker but the whole building. I had to get you out of there."

"So something is going on with me? Am I some sort of a freak?"

"No. I wish I can tell you everything but my time is up. I can barely hold on right now. I have to go back where I came from and once again I'm so sorry that I can't tell you anything."

I had a lot of questions but I knew I wouldn't get any answers. When did my eye color change? Where did Arianna come from and why did she have to go back now? I was getting a headache but we walked in silence. We didn't go back to school, instead, we went to the cafe to get some food which Arianna paid for.

I ate in silence and when I looked at Arianna I saw something that I had never seen, sadness. She wasn't touching her meal which consisted of fresh toast and a boiled egg. She wasn't even drinking her orange juice. I hated her guts and I barely knew her but something in me felt her pain.

"What's wrong?" I asked her. Her skin was even getting paler.

"Are you worried about me now Maxwell?" She tried to joke but failed dismally.

"Is it something that is connected to whatever is wrong with me again?"

"There is nothing wrong with you Max."

"Then what is happening to me? Weird things are happening around me and somewhere, somehow I'm connected to that I can feel it." I wanted to break down and cry. Ever since my sixteenth birthday got closer everything started getting strange.

"This is not your fault trust me. I have just been away from home for a long time and I just miss it. There is no place like home right?" She said giving me a thin smile.

I decided to ask something again.

"So mermaids do exist and they are there in the lake right?"

"Yes, they do."

"And are all those stories true?"

"Max, for a story to exist something must happen. And I know it seems like a lot to take in but the world is a strange place and you will be shocked to know what other things exist besides mermaids. Once you truly learn this then mermaids will seem like a joke to you."

To be honest I didn't understand what Arianna was saying to me but I was only glad I wasn't losing my marbles. The lake was a source of livelihood for the residents of Kariba. Not only did it attract tourists but it also provided hydroelectric power. It also provided the fish which was supplied all over the country. If it dried up then......oh my God

"I'm so sorry, " I blurted and she nodded in understanding.

"I'm sorry too for the way I behaved towards you when I first came to school. I was just mad and hopefully someday soon you will understand me." Arianna said.

"Ok."

"Just like that? Don't you have a quirky response to that?" She smiled and I rolled my eyes.

"Just eat your food ok? Don't tempt me."

"Yes, boss!"

" So uh-uh you won't be coming back to school?" I asked and she laughed.

"You gon miss me?"

"Argh forget I asked."

"Yes but only when I have regained my strength. I have been here for too long."

"You don't say," I mumbled.

"Heard that."

After our meal, I realized it was nearly lunchtime. Today was Friday and that meant school will knock off early. Wayne would be looking for me. I bid goodbye to Arianna and ran towards the school. Wayne found me at the gate and started bombarding me with questions.

"What's going on with you these days? Why did you leave with Arianna? Where did you go?" He said in one breath and I felt my headache coming back.

"Can you relax and ask one question at a time?" I said.

"No man. What's going on?".

"Wish I knew that too."

As we left the school I gave Wayne a fake story of where I had been. I suddenly felt like Arianna. I was starting to keep secrets.



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