Black Pearl

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A Fishy Date

After Freddy and Ally had finished shoveling the snow out of their house (which took approximately three hours) Freddy took Ally along to finish his last chore of the day. Ally and Freddy drove their motor boat to the port nearest to their next destination: Danny’s Seafood Plaza.

“Nice job, Freddy! Plentiful fish as always!” When Danny spoke, his cheeks would become rosy and the wrinkles around his eyes would deepen. Danny was the owner of the restaurant Freddy would sell his fish to. Danny was one of the most jolliest, nicest guys you would ever meet. He was known for his great hospitality and for his delicious seafood restaurant. He himself was part of the reason why the restaurant was always packed, despite the time of year it was.

“Thank you sir,” Freddy said humbly.

“Hello Ally! A pleasure seeing you here!” Danny greeted Ally.

“Hi!” Ally waved.

The three of them had a brief casual conversation about work and how wonder the weather was for mid-summer and how their day was going. Everything was peaceful as usual until Ally stared into the glass window. Her eyes widened and she tugged on Freddy’s shirt.

“Freddy! Freddy! It’s Alima!” Ally pressed her nose against the glass so that her face looked like a squished up pig. “And she’s got one smokin’ date!” Ally’s voice was muffled from her lips being pressed up against the glass but Freddy understood what she had said. Freddy glanced through the glass window and saw Alima sitting across a man dressed in an outfit suitable for a date. He was wearing a khaki suit with a white shirt and a red tie. The man basically looked like he could've walked straight out of a fashion magazine.

“He’s so....dreamy!” Ally sighed. The man looked like some guy from a Bollywood film. He had a nice square face (something Freddy lacked), dazzling teeth that may or may not have been bleached, bronzed brown skin that basically glowed under any light, and the most intriguing brown eyes that you could easily get lost into which was accompanied by curled eyelashes, not to mention that he had the body of a Calvin Klein model.

“ don’t see that kind of guy everyday,” Danny said and rubbed his chin, clearly impressed. Freddy rolled his eyes. At any moment, he expected the guy to jump out of his chair and burst into a song.

“Freddy!” Ally nudged him with an elbow. “You have no chance against that guy!”

“Why should I care?” Freddy said. He really was telling the truth. Why should he care? He didn’t even feel anything for Alima. He watched closer and saw how happy Alima was. Although he couldn’t hear anything through the glass, he was still able to closely observe them, with or without the speech. Alima giggled at everything he said. He smiled charmingly. Another pang of annoyance went through him. Watching them reminded him of those cheesy date scenes from the movies, how boring. What’s next, they’ll get married the next day and live happily ever after with seven kids and live in a mansion? But still, Freddy wondered what they were talking about…

“No way! You’re telling me that you spent seven years of your life educating the children of the slums?” Alima scoffed in disbelief. “That’s amazing.” The man dropped his eyes to the ground meekly and smiled mysteriously, revealing none of his brilliant teeth, lips closed. He spoke in a heavy Indian accent and his voice was very smooth and rich.

“Oh yes. I miss them so much,” Alima noticed the curve of his lips, his voice was alluring. He pulled out a picture from his wallet that portrayed him surrounded by at least forty children. They were all very young and wore bright t-shirts and shorts. “I started a fundraiser to supply them with necessities.” he smiled and pointed at one particular boy with a crooked smile. “That’s Rajid. I love all the children, but he’s my favorite.” He smiled nostalgically.

“He’s cute.” Alima gently touched the photo with her fingertips. She smiled at the little boy in the picture holding tightly onto his cricket bat.

“On my first week there, he would chase me down and whack me on the back whenever I wasn't looking.” Alima burst out laughing. When she found the strength in her to stop, she apologized.

“I’m sorry,” she said and wiped a tear from her eye. “So, why did you leave?” she asked. The man turned serious and he rested his elbows on the table.

“I know you may think of me as selfish but...on my last year there at the slums, more and more people have came to help out. And I’ve had this dream, ever since I was a boy.”

“What dream?” Alima said and gave him a sideways look, listening attentively.

“I’ve always loved science,” his face beamed with passion.

“Science?” Alima tried her best not to sound nervous. Being a creature of magic, she and science did not mix together, especially with the things that had happened when she first arrived on land. She found particular people watching her, observing her like a wild animal. Although they haven’t done anything too suspicious (besides that one tranquilizer dart that missed her) it made her nervous.

“Yes,” he said. “I just love how science can explain things that are hard or impossible to explain, like the unknown, especially the ocean!”

“The ocean? Yes, the ocean!” Alima laughed nervously.

“I would do anything, absolutely anything, to discover all the unknown creatures lurking in the deep! And there’s one particular creature I would love to discover,” the man stared at her intensely.

“What is it?” Alima said, trying to seem fearless when really, her heart was killing her. The man pulled out his smartphone and searched began to type. His fingers hit the keyboard quick and but he seemed unaware of his speed because he was muttering impatiently under his breath.

“Got it!” he showed the phone to her and the image that came up caused her anxiety. “Mermaids,” he said. The image was of a painted mermaid with long, perfect, blonde hair with voluminous waves. Her arms covered her breasts, and her tail was split into two (the two-tail trait was more common with the ancient mermaids) , and her face was delicate. She had full pink lips and pale skin. Alima’s eyes went down further and saw that her tail was the traditional sea-green. It was most likely she was from the Aegis sea.

“How beautiful,” Alima said and sipped her drink. “But you do realize that they aren’t real, right?” Alima said and felt slightly guilty. But it was for the best, she didn’t want to arouse any suspicions. There was a reason why mermaids sightings were becoming less and less frequent than centuries before. The curiosity of humans has always driven them to extreme limits. Alima knew that throughout history, humans were prone to become curious to the point of opening up an animal’s insides to know more about the anatomy. They even went as far as to digging up corpses and cutting them open also. Alima couldn’t imagine what they’d do to her if she was ever captured. Alima shuttered. That was why she needed to find the princess so badly.

“Believe whatever you want.” The man did not seem to be deterred by Alima’s false skepticism. “But I will find myself a mermaid.” He cleared his throat and said, “Enough about that. Let’s talk about more romantic stuff. After all, we are on a date.”

“Sure,” Alima shrugged and said, “What do you want to talk about?”

“I want to get to know you more,” he said and nudged his foot to rub Alima’s leg. Alima smiled at his flirtatious move.

“What do you want to know?” Alima said and licked her straw.

“Where are you from?” he asked. Alima racked her mind for a quick and easy answer.

“Saudi Arabia.”

“Where in Arabia? What city?” He laughed charmingly. He thought she was playing dumb. Alima needed another lie.

“I don’t know,” she said and sighed. “I’m adopted. I don’t know who my biological parents were or what city or town I came from.”

“I’m sorry,” he apologized and slid his hand over to her’s and squeezed it. “I must’ve offended you.”

“It’s fine.” Alima brushed it off. “It’s no big deal!” The man’s eyes went down to her food plate and noticed that she hadn’t touched a morsel.

“You haven’t ate,” he said. Alima cursed mentally. How could she have been so careless. She couldn’t eat human food without getting sick! Why did she order a salad? Her body wouldn’t digest it at all.

“I’m not hungry.” Alima said quickly.

“Are you sick?” he said, and gave her a concerned look. He batted his brown eyes. “Let me feel your forehead.” He reached over the table to feel her forehead but his wrist knocked over his glass of water and it poured all over her, soaking her lap and legs completely wet.

“I’m so sorry!” He said and searched the table for a napkin but failed. Alima screeched. Normally, she wouldn’t be panicking since freshwater did not cause her to transform, but Alima could tell the difference. This was salt-water, specifically, seawater. She had less than a minute to hide.

“I’ve got to go,” she said and made her way to the bathroom.

“What? Where are you going?” he said and followed her.

“I’m going to get cleaned up,” Alima ran as quick as she could to the exit door.

“Where are you going? The bathroom is that way!” he pointed to the direction of the restroom behind them but Alima continued to speedwalk out the door.

“I’m leaving, bye! Sorry about the bill!” Alima opened the exit door and ran to the dock and dived head first into the water and swam away, hoping that no one had seen her dive or her tail as she escaped to the safety of her under sea cave in which built herself that was near the Freddy’s sea port. There, she entered the chamber which was sealed air-tight, decorated with furniture and had a personal library. She rested dragged herself onto the her personal searock (which was her version of a bed) and waited to dry off.

“Nice place,” said a voice. Alima turned her head to see that it was the woman who had frosted Freddy and Ally’s house just earlier. She stood next to the frozen bookcase. In fact, half of chamber was frozen. “By the way, I'm ready for that deal.”

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