Change is inevitable. The sea changes from cold in the winter to warm in the summer. The sun shines during the day, while the moon takes its shift during the night. You're a child at one point of your life - then Tada! You're all grown up.
I guess I should be dead. It was anatomically impossible for me to exist, to even breathing but here we were, something too weird and rare to subsist. It wasn't long before humans started invading our home. Poking their filthy hands into our treasures, treating our families as slaves. It was just a matter of time before we fled, finding currents to new homes, canals to lead us to some havens. I guess I could say we had changed since the big move. From being fair-skinned, we turned pale shade of blue. From having a lot to eat, our food source became scarce; hence, we developed an appetite as our descendants the Sirens had. We were cannibals, drowning them as we ate their brains out for their purity, life and memories.
A lifetime ago, our ancestors found a home in this fresh water lake. It wasn't any good but it was better than nothing. Well, beggars can't be choosers. We were careful about our diets as we didn't want to expose ourselves - strictly eating clams and seaweeds on daily basis. Once in a while, every month, during a full moon like today, we would slaughter if there were preys around and had a feast. My sisters were excited whilst I was nervous, on the edge of breaking down. Of course, it was our turn to hunt. To join the sisterhood, to become official grown ups. We'd have to go up to the skin - the barrier between the air and the water - and sing. To call someone home, to make them come off the edge and into our clutches. We'd then give the a special brew of seaweed. Something to make them tipsy and help them breathe underwater. Then, we'd slay.
I was clutching onto my makeshift knife, trying to breathe right. I was getting closer to the skin and it was already dark and the moon was shining so brightly that my jaw dropped. But I guess I couldn't blame the moon for being the cause of my unnecessary jaw dropping because a few metres away from the shore, sat a couple of kids around a campfire talking. Right in front of me was a boy with big bright blue eyes and a smile that could cure cancer and end wars.
He was singing and playing an instrument I had never seen before. And as he sang, his beautiful voice intertwining with the open air, amazing and light. I did something I swore I wouldn't do. I fell in love. It was something I had never experienced before, like lightning striking.
I was scared because when he looked out into the horizon, to where I was, I swore my heart flipped a couple of times before racing up to meet me. Soon after, I dived down and hid away, afraid of my feelings.
By midnight, my sisters had two of his friends already. They were a couple, I could tell. They had matching engravings on their hands. Tattoos, Faro told me. And the Mer was already getting anxious, waiting for me to find my prey. It wasn't long before I was forced into going up near the skin again.
We were like sharks when we hunted. It's like an instinct kicks in and you become someone else - some demons of the night you have never expected to find in yourself. As I gave myself away when I smelled human blood, I didn't know Luke was somewhere in the water. I didn't know that it would've been him.
As soon as I had gotten him, the older Mer had taken him away, feeding him seaweed, reliving him. I snapped out of the stupid trance I was in and I took a hold of one of his arms.
"I'll do it myself." I said, trying to sound confident.
The other Mer looked at me as if I was foolish and shook their heads. In their eyes, I could have sworn I saw what they were thinking . Profanities had bubbled on my lips and I knew my eyes were a bright shade of red because they seemed hesitant as they swam away. It was then I saw my mother swimming towards me. I tried to calm myself down. My mother attached a simple pearl necklace to my neck, kissed my cheek, whispered that she loved me and brought me to Luke. It seemed that my sisters had slaughtered the other two. They had no mercy - both of them. Luke was tied up, seemingly unconscious. His air obscured hie eyes and the shadow of a smile played on his lips. The others were cheering for my sisters and my mother, who pushed me towards Luke, then, pummeled away from me to congratulate my sisters.
'What' and 'if' are as non-threatening as words can be. But put them side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life. What if. Tick tock. It was a clock. Maybe I was controlled by my feelings that night or maybe it was just me, but I would never regret what I did then. I swam as fast as I could to Luke and my hands instinctively flew to caress his cheek. Warm and alive. Three minutes was all it took. Three minutes of me cutting his binds, dragging him to the one place I felt safe - a hidden place just between two jagged rocks. I laid Luke down on the moss, trying to revive him from his sleep. His eyes, bluer that I remembered, widened in shock as he took in his surroundings. I swear, on better days, with less casualties and more food to eat, I would have laughed at his face. But today, I knelt down beside him and wept.
Luke was scared and confused but he kept his bravado on. At first he was disgusted with us - with me. He cussed and cursed and eventually, he broke down into tears right in front of me. Blaming himself to be the cause of his friends' deaths. It was a long night. The Mer were on rampage, trying to find us. Luke was trying to decode me, trying to figure out what I was. There wasn't a near easy talk with him. Who was I kidding? We were both from literally different worlds. I didn't know what he did - I didn't know music, I had not seen love as he did, I hated the Air.
When dawn approached, we swam towards the surface. Luke's seaweed brew was wearing off anyway. In legends, they say that when we burst through the skin - it's like we're on fire. Our skin would fall off, our scales would scrape off and we'd vanish. I didn't think of that as we plummeted through the water to shore. I didn't think of the myths. To be honest, I was only thinking about him. Luke was in front of me, exhausted. The Mer had finally picked up our scent and was rioting behind us. One slip and we'd be gone forever, both of us. As we reached his territory, almost to shore, he stood upright and dragged me with him.
I don't think a bullet through the brain could have described what I felt at that time. The pain was intensifying with every step Luke took. My skin was burning and my scales were falling off as he dragged me over rocks and sand. And I was bleeding. All I could do was not scream. I must have blacked out because when I woke up, the first thing I had noticed was that I had not vanished into oblivion. The second thought that reoccurred was that someone was chuckling right beside me. He gestured to me, smiling. I looked down, expecting to see my tail and then I started screaming. His hands then hesitantly found mine. Blue on white, we didn't match. But he was holding me and he was trying to make it better.
And for a second there, it really was.