101 Way to Ruin a Mermaid's Life
Story 59: Rikki
Only Human (Rikki's POV)
The water was rushing over my tail as I sped through the water, trying to get as far away from the main land as possible. It was a task not hard to accomplish, but it sometimes felt if I continued to swim, I would never want to come back, which I knew I would half to, eventually. But for now, far, far away sound pretty good to me.
I might have been out of it, or seeing things, but after swimming a little past Mako Island, I caught sight of orange. It couldn't have been my friends, Cleo wouldn't swim this long if we payed her and Bella didn't like to stray too far from land. Curious, I followed the little bit of orange, feeling a little like an idiot. But I was no idiot, because as I got closer I could make out a tail, then a figure, then a head of nice long blond hair. It was someone I had never met, and I believe she was just as frightened to see me as I was her.
I followed her to the surface. Above water, I could tell her hair was about the same shade as mine, but much, much longer. Her eyes were a shinning shade of blue, a blue that stuck out and almost looked unnatural. Her skin was tanned in such a light way that it looked too good to be real. She was beautiful, in that natural mermaid way neither Cleo or I were.
"Who are you?" She asked in this soft voice that sound as if she barley ever used it.
"Who are you?" I asked in response, not truthfully wanted to give away who I was to this stranger.
"Melissa," she answered quickly, as if she said it fast I wouldn't catch it.
"Rikki," I said just as fast, keeping my eyes on her as I spoke.
"I've been here two days, and I've never seen you," Melissa started. "Does your coven live around her or are you a runaway as well."
"Coven?" I questioned. Who was this girl?
"Yeah, I guess a coven wouldn't want to live around here," Melissa said with a laugh, loosening up. "Too close to a human settlement, right? I've been dodging boats for two days."
She was a full time mermaid! Ok, it wasn't like I hadn't wondered about them, but, I don't know, it felt weird to think about it for too long. All I knew about mermaids is what my friends and I learned after becoming them. That did not include anything about full time mermaids. This was too weird. And she thought I was a full time mermaid too. Just like humans believed I was nothing but human. Wow, this was getting more and more confusing by the minute. And I had been too caught up in my thoughts that I did not realize Melissa was still talking.
"Yeah, I ran away from my coven two days ago because Daddy wanted me to marry a total shark-face. I never knew how hard it would be to live on my own. I also didn't know how human busy it could be this close to land. So how long have you lived here?" Melissa was looking at me to answer. Truth was, I didn't know how to answer.
"Three years," I ended up saying, I guess that was the truth, not that I am anywhere above lying or stretching the truth.
"Nice, and your coven?" she asked as if we were suddenly best friends.
"I was annoyed and just started to swim, found this place, close by and away from humans, haven't left," I said, amazed at how quickly the lie came out that I just kept going with it. "I haven't met anyone else out here, guess no one is as risky as us. That's cool with me. I like it out here, wouldn't want to many people to ruin that with rules and customs."
Melissa smiled, I think she agreed with my lie. She seemed upbeat and not like someone who had been swimming around lost for two days. Still, I could tell behind her mask, she was hurting and scared.
I sighed as I said, "Follow me." I knew I would regret doing this, but, I guess it was the Cleo in me, I couldn't leave her out here alone. So I guided her back to the moon pool, hoping Will decided that it was no place for him or Zane anymore.
After giving her some odd reason to finding this place, with some odd story about living here for three years, I gave her an odd excuse for leaving her for the night. It felt weird, a whole new group to lie to, a whole new lie. I was so use to pretending to be fully human, but now fully mermaid. It got me thinking, what was I?
My mind was wondering so much that night. I couldn't think straight, let alone sleep. I let my mind wonder to thoughts about Melissa, then thoughts about me and my friends. Lots of questions, like what were we? Learning about a full time mermaid, that meant we weren't even normal in the mermaid world.
My alarm clock shook me from my thoughts and alerted me to the time, and the fact that I had not slept. I rubbed my eyes as I made my way from my bed to get dressed, eat a quick breakfast, and make my way out the door and towards the Café. Yeah, Zane won me over. I was back as the co-mangier, but that was it, and he was slowly figuring that out.
Still I took a deep breath, preparing myself for the long day before walking into the café to be caught off guard in a hug. I pulled myself free to find the culprit was Cleo, Bella and Will close behind her, fear and relief written all over their faces.
"What is going on?" I asked, looking at them in a confused manner.
"Why weren't you answering your phone? We were so worried," Cleo cried, not exactly answering my question.
"A mermaid had been caught," Will explained. "By some fishermen late last night."
"The picture my father showed me was blurry, and all I could make out was the color of her hair," Cleo explained. "I called everyone, you were the only one not to answer."
"Caught?" I asked, my worry surly surprising my friends.
"Yeah, my dad told me," Cleo explained again. "She was taken to the Marine Park. I was going to see if I could get an in when I got to work." She looked at her watch. "Which I am late for." Cleo gave me another hug before waving good-bye and leaving.
Once she was gone, Will and Bella looked to me as I realized I had been staring at nothing. I shook off my thoughts as I said, "I have to do something. Bella, do you want to come with?"
Bella nodded and we started for the beach. Once we reached the beach, Bella asked, "What are we doing?"
"I'll explain when we get out there," I answered as we made our way into the ocean.
We swam out to Mako, were I explained to Bella how I had met Melissa and what I had learned about her.
"We have to help her," Bella said when I was finished explaining.
"I know, but how?" I asked, putting my head in my hands. Then it hit me. "I have a plan, but we will have to act fast."
Frightened by the idea, Bella followed slowly behind me as we swam to the Marin Park. The idea was to do exactly as Emma and I had two years before hand. We were going to free Melissa through an underwater gate. We were going to do this quick, and without Cleo's opinion, because we both knew she would be against it. Still we had to do this.
When we got to the underwater doors, it took us a while to find where they were keeping Melissa. We finally spotted a pool with a dash of orange, then blond hair. I looked to Bella before pulling down on the lever that would open the door. We watched as the door slowly came down, opening up a path into the pool. Melissa noticed as soon as the door was down, and swam out, following us to a safe place.
Once we were at Mako, we surfaced, and Melissa was staring at me.
"Who is this?" She asked, looking to Bella.
"Bella," I answered quickly.
"And who was that girl I was talking to at the park?" Melissa asked. "She mentioned you. You know humans?"
"Yes," I answered, looking to Bella then back to Melissa. She was looking at me, obviously wanting an explanation. "I live with humans." I started with my explanation, "because I am human… half-human." Melissa was staring at me now. I didn't think she believed me. "Like the girl you talk to at the park."
"That's crazy," Melissa said quickly. "You can't be both. Your either one or the other. Even those with human parents are either one or the other. You can't be both, can you?"
I nodded, because obviously even mermaids didn't know about magic and the full moon. Even mermaids didn't know about us.
Bella and I explained our situation to Melissa. It took awhile, but after showing her our powers, we convinced her without having to get out of the water. That night we allowed Melissa to stay in the moon pool, pervaded that she stay in the moon pool and not venture out until she was clear on the whole fishing boats concept.
That afternoon we found Cleo at the café. She was freaking out because everyone at the park had been questioned about Melissa's disappearance. Once we explained that it was us, and where she was, then she started to settle down, a bit. We also explained to Will what we did, and about Melissa.
Once they had gone home, I stayed back to close up for Zane had a dinner with his dad. I was stacking chairs with Sophie, who I couldn't seem to get rid of, while I was thinking of Melissa. Suddenly I dropped a chair, knocking over a stack. Sophie looked right to me. With a smiled she said, "It's ok. Your only human."
I gave a fake laugh before turning away from her. Because I wasn't only human, and I never would be only mermaid. So what was I?