Marilla Hali Conway
Today has been terrible so far. We missed a meeting that was set up last minute. We were late and the water song demanded to be heard. Of course, Sereia got away from it all-around noon. We took turns when it came to our clients.
One would remain at the office while the other one would go out to meet them. Rarely together. It was for the best. For our safety. For the safety of our people.
I’ve done everything to avoid our new CEO who was insistent on meeting up with us. Apparently having a life is a crime. Twelve o’five in the morning. Puh, please. What were we meant to do stay up all night because he wasn’t a decent enough person to place the meeting at reasonable hours.
The mermaid within me was stirring. She ached to be one with the water. I ache to be in the water but with our recent workload, I haven’t been in well over two weeks. Keeping up with work, social life and my family has exhausted me. I do my best to be there for everyone but I have been beginning to unwind. For the first time in years, I’m falling apart.
Sereia was an only child. Her sister died at the hands of hunters. Her mother as well. The only person she had to be there for was her father. She lost herself after her mom and my dad died along with my little brother. She had no one she needed to be strong for. I did.
Seaton and my mother needed me to carry this family on. I had to be strong so they could fall apart without worries. She just became undone.
Leomaris did his best to remain strong for her. He grieved while letting her mourn her mother without worry. He was her rock and I was theirs.
No one can understand it. Only her and the water. Sereia shut everyone out but only allowed me in because we resonated pain. We were united by the water since the day we were born. Destined for something unimaginable that required a hefty price.
I have to believe that my father and my baby brother died for a reason because if they didn’t then why did they? We are a family. We are water. Merfolk. Why couldn’t Selene or Atargatis save them? Why take them from us. There has to be a reason. Because if there wasn’t I would become undone. There just has to be a reason.
But only Sereia and the water know me truly. I’m one of the few people she will speak to nicely without her morning cup of coffee. Everyone else has to wait or she will lose it. The water song hums loudly inside me seeing as I’ve neglected to answer it for two weeks giving me a massive headache.
I shouldn’t go this long without a swim but balancing our current workload, social life and family has been exhausting. I try to be there for others as they’ve been there for me. I refused to neglect them just because I lost two loved ones. I was still needed. Sereia let it slip because she couldn’t see past her pain to other things.
She let herself fall apart but she doesn’t have the pressure of it all. Only the wedding. Our wedding. The wedding that will be taking place on our twenty-fifth birthday for the sake of our people. It’s the only way. For us to live free and happy. Without the worry of being killed by hunters. Only Sereia and I can offer that if we marry the heirs of the sea.
Which we are. Sereia sees it as a sacrifice from our parents’ love story but I don’t. I care for him and it could be much worse. It’s for the greater good and there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for the water or Sereia. The Ocean Blue needs us.
She doubts if this is the right choice. Her mother wouldn’t have it. My father neither. They were once meant to wed each other. They were best friends before meeting our parents. My mom’s parents were human but she was born a mermaid. She lost them at a young age and Leomaris family took her in having been friends with her parents. They contemplated dating but their friendship wouldn’t allow them and well her father was tasked to guard my dad where they became friends.
When he met her mother they both fell in love and knew they were meant to be. So did my mom and dad. They called off their wedding and fought for their love. Leomaris struggled because well duty was his greatest love. Her mom convinced him otherwise. They succeeded seeing as they had us.
Our grandparents love us but it took them a bit to accept everything. Her mother and my dad always told the story saying they wanted that type of love for us. But they both died and my mom began to think of our people and not just us. She changed and noticeable too. To the point, she is now engaged to a man of nobility as she holds my father’s title.
the marriage is necessary and shall be done for the better of everyone. For the merfolk. The Ocean Blue needs it’s people back to revitalize and nurse it back to health to its original power. Great of it has diminished but it can be reignited.
Our kind is what keeps it alive. We grant it life and care for its creatures. The fairies just protect it and use its power for their own selfish needs. For years merfolk have been letting them take credit for our take in it out of fear. And that’s infuriating. Mostly because it’s now dying because of our persecution. Had they not spent time hunting us.
No one knows the true power of the deep blue. The true power of our kind. No one but a true mermaid can summon it and having been forced to breed with humans for survival has washed away our power.
“Only you, my child, only you can unearth me and demonstrate what I the water am capable of us, only you hold the power,” the water sang in my ear. Making the water in my office rumble and intensifying the water song I have been ignoring for two weeks.
“Conway!” Shirley Templeton enters my office with a pout of irritation and with a shrill of a scream. Today is not the day to test me. I hate that voice. Her fake voice. I hate that she dumbs herself towards men and appears stupid when she’s not.
Always letting men walk over her just to keep them and later pine over them when they leave. She is a beautiful she-wolf who’s gotten to where she is through hard work and dedication, not sex. Yet she lets everyone believe the latter and lets men overpower her in anything.
I’ve caught her before at vulnerable moments of her in tears. Sereia dislikes her terribly but I dislike who she attempts to be. If only she would realize that’s what drives men away.
“First of all lose that horrendous voice you play for everyone else, I have a massive headache, and that only aggravates it, so either lose it or leave my office,” I snap at her as I place my fingers onto my temples to massage it seeing if that will alleviate the pain.
“Excuse me?” She looks at me in shock unable to hide the surprise. She’s never seen me like this. Sereia, yes. Me, I just hold my tongue better. With my dad coming of nobility and my mom being free-spirited till the day of his passing. While Sereia’s dad is a great warrior, a knight in shining armor if you will while her mother a high-ranking duchess. She holds my parent’s soul as I hold hers.
“I hate that voice, I can’t even begin to understand why you use it. I hate the show you place and how ridiculous you appear to appease others. How you place women down because you are so insecure. We have enough with men doing so to have women do so as well. We should empower other women for success not put them down for temporary release.”
“How dare you...” I lift my hand cutting her off as she refuses to abandon that terrible sound.
“State what you need and leave, I have a lot of work to do,” I say gesturing to my desk and she’s left offended waiting to pound on me.
“Where’s Hanon, The CEO wants to speak to you both about your absence in the meeting this morning.”
So, that’s what this is all about. A new contender for her and she’s trying to impress. Quick is she. Wrong day. Best tomorrow. And where is Sereia? What kind of stupid question is that seeing it’s her day out of the office and mine to stay. And what does he want? Scold us for missing a meeting poorly set. Doing it at high hours in the morning when I was sleeping I have a life. Pfft
“What do you mean where is Sereia? It’s her turn out of the office to meet up with clients and if you actually bothered to pay attention you would know,” I snap as my gaze fixed upon the glass of water resting next to me.
“Come to me my child, come be one with me, unearth the secrets beneath the surface. Come and be one with me,” the voice in my head grew. The song growing my headache. Two weeks ignoring it is wearing me out and I’m tired of fighting it. I need it.
“Don’t you ever speak to me like that again, I am still your superior,” she shrills breaking me of my trance to do so? I’m done fighting the watersong, I need the ocean. I need to go to it. I reach for my phone and purse and get off the chair.
“I’m sorry but I have to get going, Tell the CEO we can discuss this later that I am busy at the moment,” I inform her making my way to the door.
“You’re going to leave our CEO waiting?” She asks in awe just as I’m walking the threshold. I hold onto it and turn to face her.
“He’s waited this long, what’s a few more hours. Have him schedule something with my secretary for tomorrow so our clients aren’t being neglected. Now if you excuse me, I have to go,” I say turning on my heels without waiting for a response. Unable to wait any longer to be one with the ocean blue I take the stairs all the way down. Running as if I were once again a child
I curse beneath my tongue when I get to the parking lot and remember Sereia has the car. I order a car on my phone and last about ten minutes in there before paying the driver and bolting out. I lose balance stumbling out refusing to wait till the driver stops the car before running my way to the beach.
The moment its smell hits my nose and my eyes reach sight of it the anxiety washes away and peace settles in me. But I crave more. No, I need more. I need to be one with it. Be in it. Be it. I toss my purse and phone into a hiding spot nearby along with my shoes. The feel of the sand between my toes relieves some of my built-up tension.
I look left and right to assure myself that there is no one there before taking another step. It’s dangerous for mermaids to be out in the open especially out near the sea. Sereia and I are few of the ones that can control their form. Once I know no one is in sight I run towards the waves and dive into them losing myself in them. With a thought, my legs are now a tail and I am able to feel release.
Mermaids tend to swim at night in the ocean blue if needed but even then it’s dangerous. Hunters can smell us pretty quickly and are under the impression we can’t stay away from the ocean blue. But they’re wrong, we can. Most mermaids have a pool to evade the danger but me being so special and powerful, I need the ocean blue.
I begin to swim at my home. I become one with water as no one else can. Surely I could have summoned it to me but witches could be alerted to it and I can’t risk that. The safety of the merfolk. I dive deeper every time unable to get enough of the water. It’s my home. I am it.
At some point as if pulled by a magnetic force I bob my head out of the water to catch a glimpse of the sun. Shining brighter than ever and beaming with more magic than I have ever seen. Never in all my years has the sun shone as much as it is now. It’s heat is unbearable almost but yet so captivating. It burns my skin despite the trickling drops of water. Not a cloud in sight all the sky revving in his glory.
Unable to sustain it’s gaze even further, I slip beneath the waves once again without rising my tail to the surface. A sun so bright could glimmer my tail and expose me. I can’t have that. I shouldn’t even be doing this but the pull of the water is something I can’t fight off for long without hurting myself in the process.
I swim carefree. Peacefully without a single worry. I missed the water these last two weeks. Every time I submerge beneath it I feel the power of the ocean blue course through me making me water. By the time I dignify myself to rise up to the surface again, it is nightfall. The moon dominating the sky impeding one to focus on anything but it. The stars although bright pale to it.
It is beaming brighter than ever. Almost as if Selene were calling out to me or if not me, the water. I am allured into its beauty inching further away from the shore each time as if called to touch it. A gentle yet rippling wave breaks me free from my trance. Almost as if awakening me.
Night? Moon? Oh, my goddess. I’ve spent all afternoon in the ocean. Sereia should be on her way to the office by now if she isn’t already there. I can’t believe I did that! What time is it? I have to get back. I slide beneath the waves again and return to the same place I entered.
Summoning my legs with a thought while still submerged beneath the water. They appear a second later allowing me to run onto shore and retrieve my phone and purse. I check the time only to discover how late it is.
Sereia will kill me. She’s been insisting me every day to go out for a late swim with her but I kept declining and now here I am. Running off to take a quick dip risking the life of the merfolk by risking my own. She will kill me.
A cold air blows alerting me of something. I feel eyes on me. Did someone see my tail? Discretely while having my face looking down I use my eyes to dart to my surroundings. Unable to see anything, I turn and am met with glowing eyes. Fierce and intense glowing eyes in the dark. A hiss breaks through the night. Hunters.
My feet without invitation dart. Moving at the quickest speed they know and soon footsteps recede behind me. How could I have been so careless and stupid? Risking a peek, I turn backwards to see a man running at incredible speed and I catch sight of fangs. Vampire.
I resist the urge of running into the deep blue to protect my kind. My people. I could summon its power and be rid of it but it’s too dangerous.
“Summon the power of the ocean blue, summon my power, let it take over,” the water lulls to me and I listen. I place the ocean in my mind as he catches up to me. I feel one with the ocean and a flash before my eyes passes quicker than lightning. My eyes close momentarily and when they do, I’m in my office soaking wet from my afternoon dip.
What the hell happened and how did I get here? I lift my eyes to meet Sereia who mirrors my same fearful heart. Danger looms on the horizon or great changes are coming but tonight something changed within us. I could tell just by the tense air.
She looked just as lost as I did. Worse yet she quivered while I was the one that was drenched. Have our powers evolved?
“Your destiny lies ahead and tonight is just the beginning, the storm is coming,” the water hummed and all water shattered glass vases startling us. Storm? What storm? We’re months away from our wedding and it has to take place.