Marilla Hali Conway
I hear it calling. I can hear its voice in my head. It’s a song in my heart.
It’s enchanting to even look at its crashing waves. The ocean... the water seems to be inside me. Something I can’t ignore. By just seeing it everything else just fades away. I don’t know how it does it but it does.
No one seems to understand it. Except for Sereia because I know she feels it too. She feels the same things I do. We could be magical creatures living human lives.
I love my parents. I love my brother but I can’t talk to them about this. I love them too much to break their hearts and I know me being a supernatural will do so. But Sereia doesn’t have that burden. She can get us our answers.
She is oblivious to the fact our parents fear our desire to be magical beings. She’s never noticed their uneasiness with the subject. She believes the lies they’ve told us. She hasn’t questioned them not even once.
I know we’re supernatural. We’re far from human. Humans don’t make water tremble. Water doesn’t bend for them. It does for us, but she hasn’t noticed. She hasn’t noticed the little details that separate us from both the humans and the rest of the magical beings.
Just as well she hasn’t noticed our parents’ secrets. Shared secrets. But what gets to me is that Seaton knows but refuses to tell me. I know it. I just don’t know how to get her to see it.
We need answers but I don’t have the courage to face them head-on. I just don’t. But she does.
She’s my best friend. No, she’s my sister. I’m ready to receive our answers but she needs to ask the questions. She has to be the voice for both of us. It’s time to let our parents in what we feel before it’s too late. Because something tells me we are way more different than we want to be.
I see her sigh and confront her head-on.
“You’re feeling it again aren’t you?”
She looks at me debating whether to lie to me or not. But I know she can’t lie to me. We don’t lie to each other because we can’t. It’s not possible.
“I just... I can’t explain it... I just.” she’s struggling to even find the words. Yet she doesn’t need to because I feel it too. I know it just by seeing her.
“Feel like you don’t belong? As maybe perhaps you are drowning despite having oxygen fill your lungs.”
“Something like that,” I smile as I look at her. She can place it all so well, although she struggles to find the words to explain it. But we’re so close that she doesn’t need to. We’ve known each other since we were just babes in a cradle.
“Do you feel it grow stronger just as I do?” I ask although we both know the answer.
“I sometimes still think this is all in my head. I just don’t know why I feel like this.”
“I almost drowned myself in my cousin’s kiddie pool yesterday.” I can’t help but confess. It’s the only way we can get answers.
“To tell you the truth I don’t know. It just felt as if the water was calling me.”
“Water does not have a voice yet I know what you mean. I did the same thing just last week in my bathtub. I want to know why.”
“I think it’s time to talk to our parents about this. It’s becoming dangerous.”
“You think so?”
“I almost drowned myself in a damn kiddie pool. Yeah, I think it’s time we spoke to our parents about this.” They need to know maybe they can help. We could kill ourselves unintentionally if we aren’t careful about it. Maybe they can help by giving us the answers we need.
“And just how do you suppose we do that? Go up to them and say what? Hey, guess what, I think the water is calling to me and almost drowned? Yeah because that will go really well with them.” Here we go. I knew she would pull this. She’s like my sister after all.
“Cut the sarcasm. It isn’t just us longing to be just like the others but rather something else. Otherwise, we would daydream about them like all these other fanatics do. But we don’t. With us it always involves water.”
“You think they have answers to this?” Now she’s seeing it.
“Well, then I hope you’re right or we are going to end up in a damn nuthouse.” Finally, we’ll get our answers.
“Our parents love us too much to do that so, come on,” I assure her as I laugh at the thought. Our parents place us in a nuthouse? Hilarious. They couldn’t.
“You better be right.”
“I am now let’s go to my house. Thursday remember?”
“How could I forget? Both our mothers cooking endless amounts of seafood we never quite finish.”
“Hey, who are we to complain of seafood Thursday?”
“Why would we? Race ya,” Sereia challenges before taking a head start. She always does this.
“Cheater!” I yell before I begin running after her. She will not win. I race with all my might but she somehow beats me.
“You should join track,” is the first thing I say when I arrive at my house.
“I like racing you, but you know I hate being competitive,” she excuses. Lies.
“Whatever,” I answer because I hate her excusing herself with lies when we both know why.
“I love you... them not so much. Sorry, I don’t know what to tell you,” There we go the truth. She can’t be around others without wishing for more. At least she’s admitting it in some way. Her eyes shift from me to the ocean behind me.
She begins taking steps forward. It’s as if she’s in a trance and can’t control herself. One after another one. My gaze follows her as I catch on to her intentions. I immediately start moving toward her and block her from going further.
“Sereia, stop what are you doing?” I say grabbing her by the arm when she’s inches away from stepping on the sand.
Our parents will throw a fit if they see her. We’re not allowed anywhere near the beach despite living feet away from the ocean. Weird rules of theirs.
“You felt it again, didn’t you?” I ask as I see her glossy eyes and her confused stare.
“I swear I felt it call to me, I don’t even know when I started walking,” She rushes to explain as if I don’t already get it. There we go she realized it now.
“Let’s go find our parents before we declare ourselves insane,” I suggest. We need answers and we need them now. Before it’s too late.
“What are you two doing so close to the sand? You know you’re not allowed so close to the water!”
Seaton. Shit. How much did he hear? I hope he heard nothing. I don’t need him going to our parents first when he won’t tell me anything. We grew up together all of us and he still keeps secrets. Making him an older brother to Sereia too. Our parents are downright inseparable
“We are just admiring the view, what else would we be doing?” She blurts defensive, She’s getting nervous. He’s going to notice. I can’t have that. No way.
“Move away,” he warned us. Umm no. I actually like being this close to the water. How about you leave me the hell alone? Just turn around and walk away while I run to the water and go beneath the waves. It’s what I want to do. It’s also what Sereia wants to do and I know right now we both are thinking the same thing.
Sereia immediately retreats into her thoughts debating whether to answer the call or stay here. She loves Seaton too much. She’s more fearful of disappointing him. I need to intervene. Before something gets revealed before I get answers from my parents.
“Moving on, do you know where mom and dad are at?”
“Where else would they be on a Thursday night?” I stare at him confused only to be greeted with an identical stare from him. I should know but I need Sereia to not run off into the water and drown. Can’t remember at the moment...
“And where is that?” I ask.
“Our fathers are in the study drinking some strong alcohol before dinner which our moms will scold them for it later. While talking about business and world news. Mom and Venilia are in the kitchen cooking dinner and drinking wine while catching up although they talk at least twice every day.” The sarcasm in his voice is evident. I take offense to that. I am trying to make sure Sereia doesn’t go off running.
Also, I’m trying to not do the same. I don’t have the energy to remember right now. He’s acting like it’s the most surprising thing in the world.
“Thank you, Seaton,” I yell as I pull Sereia inside the house. Otherwise, I know she will go dive into the ocean. I can tell she’s mad about it too but it’s for the best. She’ll get over it. I drag her to the kitchen and she seems so lost. Damn it’s getting stronger,
“Alright, it’s now or never,” I whisper. No, Sereia don’t go getting doubts now. Nu-uh. We agreed. Now she wants to run out, I can read it in her eyes. Not happening, we need answers.
“Girls dinner’s almost ready, we know you’re more than likely hungry but it isn’t out yet,” my mom speaks startling me. Ok, now you can’t back out we’ve been seen.
“Mom we have something to talk about,” I announce as Venilia sips her wine.
“Come, my dear, I am waiting for you. Come join me, it’s time. Be one with me.”
There it is again. It’s calling to me. And I want to listen to it so bad. No wait, I need answers first. I turn to Sereia in an attempt to ignore it only to see she’s about to run through the window. No, not now. I kick her to break her trance. I have to.
“We’ll talk about it later, right now go leave your bags and get ready for dinner it should be done about twenty minutes.” Mom listens to the urgency in my voice, come on help me out. Come on before Sereia backs out.
“It can’t wait,” I add while nudging Sereia to help me before I can’t ignore it anymore. Come on Sereia. I will kill you if you don’t help me. Come on, speak up! Tell them, you know I can’t do so. Come on.
“Mom I need to talk to you about something,” she whispers. Excuse me? Speak up Sereia, I need answers and I can’t keep it at bay much longer. I can’t suppress the call. Just tell them. I need you.
“Sereia, I didn’t catch that,” Venilia says with a sweet smile. I glare at Sereia. One way or another you’re talking. I would do so but I can’t do so right now. I’m struggling to ignore the voice. To ignore the water.
“I need to tell you something and it can’t wait, it’s super important,” she adds with a smile directed at me. Your backing out I know it. Damn you Sereia. I can’t keep the voice out much longer. It’s getting stronger. Come on.
“What’s wrong my child,” she frowns as my mother takes a sip of her wine.
“Nothing, nevermind it can wait till after dinner,” she better take it back. Take it back and tell them. I won’t forgive you if you don’t Sereia. I hope you know that. Now take it back.
“You certain?” Venilia asks her. Now here is your chance.
“One hundred percent,” she says and I stare at her with shock. I’m going to kill her. i can promise you that Sereia.
“Don’t fight me my child and come join me. Just touch water and it will all stop. No more pain and we’ll be together. Stop fighting me. Please just join me.”
I really want to. But I need answers first. i need to know the voice is real. But I can’t help it.
“Alright go get ready for dinner then,” her mom says nodding her head in our direction before engaging conversation with my mom.
“We agreed,” I mutter desperate but Sereia doesn’t seem to capture my anxiety. Thank you Selene for that.
“I don’t want to,” she whispers back. Excuse you? We agreed! I need this. I can’t ignore it anymore. I just want to listen to it and stop fighting. Help me out.
“They can answer our questions and you agreed,” I urge her at the edge of losing it completely
“Fine,” thank you. She seems to have caught my plea seeing as she’s getting Venilia’s attention again. Okay we will get the answers to the voice.
Both of them ignore us. I don’t think they’ve realized we’re still here. That we haven’t left the kitchen. Mom now is not the time to engage conversation with Venilia. This is serious. I can’t... any longer. Sereia keep trying, I’m losing. The voice is winning.
“Mom,” Sereia speaks uncertainty in a loud voice but they’re too immersed in their conversation.
“Come on,” I nudge her gently. It’s getting louder,
“Mom I lied it can’t wait,” she says but her eyes go to the kitchen window and I can tell I lost her. I can’t do this without her. I can’t keep it at bay if she gives in. It’s getting louder almost impossible to keep ignoring me.
“Come to me my child. Be one with me. I will protect you. I’ll keep you safe. Come, I have been waiting for you.”
It sounds so nice. It’s calling for me. I know it is. And I’m tired of battling it. Of hushing it when all I want to do is follow what it says.
“Just touch water and we’ll be together.”
Just touch water. Water. I need it. I can’t stop myself. Not anymore.
My eyes connect with the fish tank beside us that leads to the living room. Water. Just touch it and be one with the ocean.
“Sereia,” I whispers trying to stop myself. I want to be one with the ocean. I can’t fight it anymore. It’s so loud now.
“Water,” she whispers back.
“Mom I tried to drown myself! I can feel the water call to me!” I scream desperately in an attempt to prevent myself from doing something I’ll regret. Before I actually succeed in drowning myself. But by then it’s too late my arm is already submerged into the fishtank.
The voice quiets down as I feel a sense of relief invade me. I feel at ease and know something’s changed. I feel different. The water from the fish tank jumps at me soaking me from head to toe. I can feel it.
Something changed the moment I no longer fought the pull. Sereia turns to me and our eyes connect for a second before she looks above us and I follow her gaze.
Huge water balls are hovering above us connected to each other. What is this? Is it real? I have to know. I reach out to touch it. It has to be a figment of my imagination. Ours because I’m pretty sure Sereia sees it too. the second my hand pierces through it, the balls burst and fall on us.
My body feels different. It feels as if my matter were changing as if I weren’t human. Like I were water. My legs seem to not work because in an instant I crash to the ground. When I turn to see why I fell, I’m full of surprise. I have a tail! A tail!
What’s going on. I look over to my mom for answers but I can only hear her screams and sobs. I can’t see her anymore, but no surprise there seeing she’s on the other side of the kitchen island. Seconds later Seaton and our dads come running in.
They look at us both surprised and horrified. What’s going on? Why are they looking at us that way? What are we? I look over at Sereia to gain comfort. As expected she’s on the floor with a tail just like me. What are we?
What’s going on? Why do we have a tail? We need answers.
What creature has a tail? None that I know of! Well at least not a tail like this.
“Leomaris she’s a mermaid! My daughter is a mermaid and they’ll take her away from me!” Venilia screams completely destroyed. Wait, what?
Mermaids? We’re mermaids? They don’t exist. They’re a myth that everyone hates. They’re horrendous creatures that went extinct years ago because they threatened everyone. Now she’s saying we’re mermaids?
I think I want to be human now. I don’t want to be like them. I’m okay with being human. Let’s go back to being human. Yep let’s do that. And just like that I feel my tail disappears and legs pop out with me completely drenched with Sereia by my side.