Disclaimer: I do not own Aquamarine or any of the characters.

The Truth About Aquamarine

I took a breath, looked at Hailey and Claire, shook my head, and turning back to Raymond quickly said, "No, I'm tired of running from you. Raymond, can I trust you?"

Hailey and Claire were shocked and shaking their heads no, but I didn't care. I liked Raymond, really liked him and I hated lying to him. He looked confused now, but answered what I hoped.

"Yes, of course you can. What is it? What's wrong? Is there…"

I cut him off. I didn't have time. "No there isn't someone else, but I have to go. Come with me."

We didn't have an extra bike so Raymond ran beside us as we biked back to the water tower.

"What are you doing?" whispered Hailey to me.

"I'm tired of lying to him. I'm going to show him the real me." I answered her back, just as Raymond looked over at me.

"Aqua, where are we going? And why the rush?" he asked, out of breath.

"You'll see, I promise." I answered and just a few minutes later we were there; naturally Raymond was confused. He is so cute when he's trying to figure something out, but no, the sun is almost set. I have to get up there now.

"Aqua, what are we doing here? This is just the water tower. Where do you need to be?" Raymond asked flabbergasted.

I smiled. "This is where I need to be. Come on."

We all, except Claire, climbed up. I had maybe 5 minutes, at most, before the sun set completely. It was getting dark fast.

"Aqua, are you sure?!" Hailey asked me. I turned to her.

"Yes, I am positive. Now, please, trust me. Go back to Claire and enjoy the rest of the party. I'm sure. Don't worry," I told her as she was about to protest again. For one girl, she could be awfully persistent. It was really nice of her to be so concerned for me, but thankfully, she did nod okay, gave me a smile good luck, and climbed back down. Raymond's eyes followed her for a second but then his eyes turned back to me as I was opening the tower door. Before he could say anything, I looked up at him and kissed him once more. Just in case.

"I can trust you right? Promise me, no matter what. You won't tell anyone?" I begged him.

"Tell anyone what? It can't be that bad. But yes, of course. You have my word I won't tell anyone, whatever it is. Aqua, what's going on?" he promised.

I just smiled at him. I was out of time. Stupid sun just didn't wait, and then I slid into the water.

"Aqua! What are you doing?!" he yelled, surprised, "Aqua? This, we really shouldn't be here and you…"

I made sure to keep everything but my head below water, so that for a minute I could look like I was treading with my arms. I smiled, pleading, up at him. He was so cute!

"I'm showing you why I'm always running off at sunset. Why I have to be here. I don't have much else of a choice. No matter what, right?" I answered.

"Promise." He replied.

Then I swam over to him, diving down first so he could see my tail. I swam underwater to the door and then came up and quietly stated the obvious, "I'm a mermaid, Raymond. I, please, I hated lying to you and I was tired of it, especially tonight. It was, is, so perfect. I didn't want it to have to end just yet. Please, I'm sorry. Raymond?"

Raymond looked like he was in shock, mouth hanging open, silent, and just staring at me.

"Raymond?" I asked again, nervous. He snapped out of it. "I'm sorry. I should have told you."

"What? Oh, uh, no, well, I mean, no, it's okay. I understand why. But…but, you…Wow. You're…a mermaid. Okay. That's okay. Really. It's kind of cool, actually. Really cool. Very pretty too." He stuttered, slowly gaining composure again. I waited, letting him come to terms, "But, wow, I mean, you had legs. How?"

I blushed, "Thank you," and then answered his question slowly, carefully, but with a smile "We can have legs from time to time if we want. We just need to get out of the water first, and then we can only have them till…"

"Sunset." We answered together, he laughing. "Well, I guess that makes sense now. Also, why you freaked when I was going to clean that cut you got."

I laughed. "Yeah, we have to keep dry too or…instant tail." I smiled sheepishly. "So?" I took a deep breath. He knew now. What would he do? Say?

"So," he answered. "Well, what does this mean? Can I still be with you or…what was even the purpose? I won't tell anyone, though, I promise."

"Thank you, Raymond. I'm sorry; I should have told you sooner. I've never had legs before and I wanted to see what they were like and well also…I'm supposed to get married tomorrow, but to someone I don't love. Except, you see, where I come from, we don't have love. It's just a myth and my father thinks I'm crazy for believing it exists. I also wanted to prove to him that it did exist and he's wrong. I know it so, because I'd seen it once; Claire's parents, actually. So, my dad gave me three days to prove it or I was getting married. Again, sorry."

He laughed in disbelief, "Why are you apologizing so much? It explains a lot. And, if you hadn't brought me here, then I would probably just be sitting alone at The Last Splash watching the fireworks, but thinking about you, wishing you were with me to see them, but now you can be and no one will have to see me moping. But… you don't have love in your world? That's…"

I laughed too, "I know."

"So?" he asked.

"Well, I can't stay forever, but I really, really like you Raymond. I wish I could stay, really I do, but I have to go back tomorrow, one way or the other. So, we can be really good friends and I can visit often, but I have a home, in a different world, so nothing more than that. That's why I'm apologizing."