Story Summary: When Melissa went up to the cliffs overlooking the Aegean Sea, she thought she was going to make the leap over the cliff's edge to meet her Sister Sirens. What she didn't expect was one to climb up the cliffs to meet her instead.

Invocation of the Muses: "Τάδε νῦν ἐταίραισ ταῖσ ἔμαισι τέρπνα κάλωσ ἀείσω" Sappho, 11: "Now I will sing skilfully to please my friends." Although, humbly, this authoress can pretty much guarantee this piece displeasing her friends, surprising them and angering them, and the skillfulness of her song? Well, I sing pretty well in the shower, but then, doesn't everybody?

Setting: Eresos, Lesvos, Greece. August 2, 2010.

Point: Breaking Dawn by boozemoose. Counterpoint: this story, so please read boozemoose's story first, or this story will only make "'phfina-sense," which for most people is no sense at all.

WARNING: Another 'phfina piece ... you know, kinda like Rosalie and Me? So there's some bandying of the eff-word, explicit images, and more than a very strong longing for it all to end. Yes: this piece has the ess-words: sex and suicide. Like I said: it's a 'phfina piece.

"It's a long story," I had said, and having said that, I looked away, not being able to look into the eyes of the girl at the lie I had just spoken. I couldn't stand looking at the liar looking at me in the reflection of her eyes. I got up and walked away.


I looked at the report Florimel had just handed me and swallowed. All the details faded away because one number leapt out at me: 75,000€. It was red. I repeated the number slowly in my head: seventy-five thousand euros.

That was the loss my little bookstore had collected in the last six months of its existence. That is, in its first six months of its existence.

These last six months had been harder than I had thought they would be. I had come here about a year ago, because I was starting to climb the walls, and so I just had to get out, get away.

I was a good little runaway. I had run away to Washington D.C. from a relationship, well, two of them, actually, before they even got off the ground back home, then D.C. I had what? Nothing going, really, except my relationship with myself, and I found out I really couldn't stand myself, so I ran away from her, too, to this vacation spot of Eresos, Lesbos (or Lesvos as it is now called), Greece.

But what I had found in my running away? I couldn't run away from myself. She, that little whiny angry bitch-demon that was me, was always there, looking back at me in the mirror, or looking back at me from the eyes of others.

How I got to be a bookseller and café owner was beyond me if I refused to look at myself, unfortunately, I'm an excellent critical thinker, and so the trail to this financial report was simple and straightforward. I had come into this shop because I was simply pulled into it. The façade screamed 'quaint!' and when I got inside I felt I was a pirate finding the buried treasure or a leprechaun at the end of the rainbow with her pot of gold. I had never seen so many books that I had coveted in one place. I had to have them all. I got to talking with the owner, a kind, crusty old man who was looking to retire. I bought the shop from him in that conversation.

Well, that conversation, then a conversation, long-distance, with Dear Old Dad about him bankrolling and backing his daughter in her own, impetuous, care-free business venture.

You should have heard how happy he was to throw away his money on me, how delighted he was that I was stepping out into the world, out of my shell, finally, and that I was now doing something for herself, like all his other children had, and what had I ever done except hide or run to hide some more, but now? His own daughter, a business owner, in Greece, the seat of wisdom, no less.

Now he had something to brag about me at the family gatherings, not something to hide about me. ... Yes, I'm not out to my family, thanks for asking. When you uncle tells his grandchildren that a super heroine in a comic is, and I quote, 'a fucking dyke!' ... well, coming out wasn't something I was going to do with my extended family. My dad knew, my siblings knew, my mom knew, that was enough.

So I think my dad was more excited about me, giving me the money, than I was, starting my new business of selling old books.

But the thing about businesses? They have to make money. And to make money, you have to appeal to the masses.

Do you see my problem? Me, proud little critical Melissa A_, appealing to the base, the common, the mean? I mean, I bought this book store because it was so different. It wasn't Amazon-dot-com nor was it Borders or Barnes & Noble nor, God help me, Books-a-Million, it was more like the Library of Alexandria, a repository and storehouse of the wisdom across the world.

But the thing about tourists ... and locals ... they weren't looking for wisdom. The tourists were looking for a good read, something intellectually titillating, not something intellectually stimulating and definitely not something intellectually challenging, and the locals? Modern-day Greeks had given up on their place of intellectual pride that they had held so long ago. They were as fascinated and enthralled in the latest John Grisham, Tom Clancy or Twilight knock-off as the next person.

My poor little bookstore? It had the classics, from England, and America, and Germany, and Rome and Greece and India and China and Japan. Appealing to the masses? Yeah, right!

I mean: the classics had a certain New Age appeal, which catered to the tourist crowd, but when a pair of obviously attached girls came in to browse, and they found out my Sapphic poetry wasn't the "Sappho's Favorite Erotic Position" twelve-month calendar — with pictures! — then browsing didn't turn to buying.

Seriously! I nearly had an orgasm the last time I sold a book here. That was nearly two months ago.

When Florimel handed the report, she let me look it over (or not look it over as the tears I refused to let fall obscured my vision) then she asked, "What are you going to do?"

The Greeks are so direct.

"I dunno," I said. "I guess I'll think of something."

Florimel had learned my code-speak. And 'I'll think of something' up to now meant I'd call my Dad for another bail-out, another hand-out, to keep the business afloat. People complain back in the States that the Big Guys like Walmart and Borders are sinking the little guys like me (I'm not a guy, my little voice whispered to me. She never lets me get away with anything, even when I'm just thinking to myself). But looking at this report, I knew the real story, that is, the story for me: there were no Big Guys sinking me; I had done a great job of that all my own.

But 75,000€? That was one-hundred thousand dollars of Dad's money. In six months.

Call him for another bail-out? After promising every month that business would pick up?

And we were coming to the end of tourist season. Business wasn't going to pick up any more than it had the preceding months; no, it was 'hunkering down' time now, but I had nothing to hunker down to.

I knew what 'I'll think of something' now meant.

I gave Florimel the bravest smile I could. She patted me affectionately on the shoulder, got up and made to leave. She turned back from the door, looking at me.

"You know, Melissa," she said encouragingly, "it takes a year or two for a business to find its feet. Just hang in there, sweetie, and I'm sure you'll do fine."

She left. She didn't tell me the one thing she may not have known that I knew: in the first year, most businesses fold.

I went to my apartment, which was actually the bookstore's attic. I went to bed. I stared up at the ceiling. It was a long time before Morpheus took me away from myself and my bleak thoughts.


I woke early. Predawn. I had a plan, and I was excited to execute it. I had come to the Greek islands to see its beauty and to breathe the same air the sages and muses had breathed. Well, it was time I got out of my musty old bookstore and breathed some of that air. I hopped into my little old beater, my Suzuki Samurai, and drove up to the cliffs overlooking the Aegean. There was a little ruin there that I knew of and it gave a glorious view, especially when the Dawn broke.

That's when I was going to do it.

I wouldn't be a drain on Daddy any more, financially or otherwise. I wouldn't be a drain on anybody anymore. I smiled, happily, as I looked forward to it, but was confused when tears leaked out of my eyes. Why should I be sad, when I was blotting out a sadness in the world?

I parked my little red beater a ways from my final destination, got out and walked to the temple, or what remained of it. I wonder if it was a temple to Aphrodite? That would please Sappho mightily, as she wrote many verses to that goddess. I wonder if it was a little temple to Melissa — and I smiled, to me — little Melissa, the goddess of honey. She was the matron goddess of Crete, but the Greeks also revered her, why couldn't it be her house?

I got to the temple, and the crisp saltiness of the sea in the air invigorated me. I looked out over the cliffs, and listened for them.

I listened for my sisters, the mermaids. Some say they were the cries of the seagulls, but I knew better. My sisters were out in the sea, and they were singing to each other, and playing and laughing. And their singing was a call for me to rejoin them, as I had when I was a little girl in the public pool. I was a little mermaid, and when I went under the water, I was home, and I never wanted to come up for air. I never wanted to leave the pool.

Well, today, I wouldn't leave that pool. I was coming home today. Finally. And I would sing with my sisters, and laugh and play, and be so, so happy.

I couldn't wait. But I had to wait, for them and their singing, for their song, their siren's call, to me. And when I heard their call, that's when I would leap, and I, as a little human, would be smashed against the rocks at the base of the sheer cliffs, but in that leap I would be transformed, wouldn't I, into my true self as a mermaid, and I would cast aside the world that was not mine and return to the one that was mine, and swim away from all this sadness to be happy with my sisters of the sea.

I waited for their song, and for the sunrise.

But the sound I heard was not coming from the sea, and it was not my sisters' songs, it was the sound of the labored breathing of an early morning hiker climbing the hill path toward my spot.

I looked toward the interloper, and my thoughts flashed with hate: fucking tourists. Aren't they all supposed to be recovering from their hangovers and midnight fuckings? Can't a girl get a moment's peace to throw herself to her death off a cliff onto the rocks below, as Sappho had tried to do?

But no. I looked down at what turned out to be a woman, athletic looking, fit and trim, but laboring along because she was carrying a backpack much too big for an early morning climb. She probably packed a fold-out lounge chair and a picnic breakfast to steal my morning sunrise.

Fucking bitch!

Now I couldn't throw myself off the edge to kill myself — I mean, to join my sisters — decently. No, now I was going to be Esmé being rescued by this Carlisle, because I just knew it, she would see me jump, and she would be on her cell, and I couldn't die an agonizingly slow death — that is, swim away to Atlantis — in peace, now it would be ambulances and shouting paramedics and heroic efforts leading to huge hospital bills that would further kill Dad's retirement savings.

I am such a failure that not only did I sink my own business, but I couldn't even kill myself with any grace.

Fortunately for me the woman was too absorbed in her hiking effort to notice me. I hid myself in the temple behind one of the columns, peeking out at her.

It turns out the load she was carrying was something that I hadn't thought it would be. It was a camera, and the accompanying accessories, and the way they were neatly packed? The setup looked like, you know, those high powered rifles assassins carry with them in those thrillers so popular in the movies since Bourne SuperRipplePenUltimatums have been out. She wasn't a tourist snapping one-offs with her iPhone: this was a professional photographer.

I grimaced. Like Sushma. I had a history with photographers. I hated how they thought themselves o-so-wise, thinking so proudly of themselves that they saw things in ways nobody else could, and so they had to show themselves off through their photography, and then once they displayed their little trophies, didn't they just so have the change the world! All of them: fixers. Modern day crusaders, armed with their cameras costing more than my monthly business expenses.

Yeah, Sushma took a lot of photographs of me. Then she started in on trying to fix me. That worked well.

You ever notice something funny about photographers? They never took pictures of themselves. Or if they did, it had to be not of them straight on, but at an unique angle, or they had to so heavily manipulate the picture you couldn't tell it was them. And they were all so beautiful people, like Sushma, and like this one here. But have them be in front of the camera? No. That's why they're photographers, so they had an excuse to bow out of the picture other than 'I'm shy.' They see everything uniquely, except themselves. They fix everything around them, but they don't fix themselves.

I hate photographers, vehemently.

And the whole 'picture is worth a thousand words' crap they throw about? GOD! Yes, I am on a tear, but that whole philosophy is why we have brain-dead kids these days, being force-fed 'thousand-word' pictures at 15 or 30 frames per second, all day, every day, on the tube. When do people read, and when reading, ponder as they pause between the words?

This slim little photographer expertly put together her camera and pondered the entire world about her, measuring, setting up her shots in her mind.

I grudgingly admitted I liked watching her work. She had an air of ease born of confidence. She knew what she was doing and knew what she like to see and what she didn't, and the pictures she framed were the ones I would have, if I were a photographer, because she was capturing Beauty and placing it into her camera's frame, as I captured Beauty and framed it in my mind's eye.

And when she turned the camera to me, that is, to the column I was hiding behind, that's what I said to her, I said, "όμορφος, σωστός?"

Now, I was being a sly thing. Firstly, I loved watching her jump out of her skin when she found out she wasn't alone her supposed solitude, and secondly, I said this in Greek.

I never got to practice Greek. The natives, when they saw me, spoke to me exclusively in English, and were very patronizing when I tried to speak the Greek I knew. I even got pat on the head.

I do not fucking like being pat on my head.

But me, speaking in Greek? A mistake. I spoke Aeolic Greek. That language hadn't been spoken in over two thousand years. It was all Greek to them anyway, what I spoke.

This made me very frustrated. I was trying to blend in, to find a home, but even here, I was a foreigner, a stranger, unwelcome, as I had always been, even back in the States, even in my own family.

'phfina, the fucking dyke. Yup, that's me.

So I took it out on this tourist, this obviously-non-Greek person.

And you do so love to show off, don't you, 'phfina? My little voice chided.

Oh, yes, and do I ever. I'm smart — whip-smart — and I love it. I love talking about ... smart things, and I love it more when people talk back smartly. I have a prejudice, and it's a huge one, I hate stupid people, who are stupid because they are shallow, and shallow because they are, at base, not scared, but lazy. I hate looking into the dull eyes of shallow, self-absorbed people.

Yes, I hated living in the States.

I do so love smart, complicated people, and I thought I would find that here. I thought I would meet the great muse Sappho, and we would have lovely conversations about Beauty and Truth, and we would be sweet, tender lovers, and she would take care of me as she nurtured her daughter Cleïs.

You know: True Love and all that.

But wherever I went in the world, I found out that people are all the same, across cultures, across everything. But I found the 'same-est' person in the world whenever I looked into the cold, critical lifeless eyes of the girl in the mirror. So I knew my condemnation of other people to be unjust.

Perhaps people are superficial, but that's only because I always refused to open myself up past my judging exterior to know them as anything other than their superficial façades. I never looked into their hearts.

The superficial world-renowned photojournalist, or whoever the hell she was, attempted a quick recovery and stammered out her confusion in the world's lingua fraca: English.

Obviously not her native tongue, and, little me, having just spent time in Washington D.C. (the World's Capital, because if you ask any American, the United States is the world, or if they are feeling charitable, they will admit to other parts of the world exist, but they are obviously not important nor worth bothering over: they are just plots of land to invade if they have oil or to ignore if they don't) and now a World Traveller (note the caps), it was easy to tease out of her one phrase where she was from.

She was German. Great. Now the neatness of how she stowed her camera made sense. It couldn't not be neat. She was probably on time for every single one of her appointments, too. Slept for exactly seven hours fifteen minutes, and that because she reserved exactly forty-five minutes for love-making. And her love-making was missionary all the way, too, I'm betting, or if not, then she owned the illustrated Kama Sutra and checked off the positions as she did them in order.


Another reason to dismiss this person. Germans are just so rigid, so precise. Where is the Expressionism that they were so proud to claim that they originated? Little writer-artist me would die under the controlling routine these Germans breathed every day.

But if I were looking for reasons to dismiss her, then one thing I couldn't dismiss was her looks. She had her hair cropped short, a businesslike hair style, but it was feathered back, it just looked 'short' at a glance but it was really very elegantly done, subtly stylish without being ostentatious, but I had to revise her age down, then down again. She carried herself with a maturity of a much older, wiser woman, but on close inspection, she looked to be about my age or just a few years older. Although her aura was 'old,' her body was young: there was a spring in her step and, well, she took care of herself. She had good muscle tone, and, like me, she had a little mermaid of a figure.

I wonder if she came here, following, unconsciously, the call of her sisters, too.

I shook my head, scolding myself for my wandering thoughts. If the Germans were too rigid, then I was too loose.

Yeah, in that way, too.

I bore down. Time for teasing and superior intellect was over, she had stuttered a "Uh, h-hi, I'm sorry, but I don't understand?" and it was my job to reach out to her now, or shut her out, like I had shut the rest of the world out, and be the superior bitch that I always am so pleased to be.

Funny how reveling in my own superiority never made me feel happy, it just made me feel cheap for some reason.

So I said, "It's beautiful, isn't it?" translating for her.

And then I realized, when I had translated my phrase, that it was true: if I had been the photographer, and taken a picture with her in it, she would have fit right in. Her natural beauty blended with the beauty of the nature around her.

I think my epiphany touched her, because she was suddenly shy and at a loss for words: "Oh, yes. Yes, very beautiful."

This was mildly amusing for me to watch her struggling. She appeared so confident and self-possessed — determined, even — climbing the hill path, but now she was shy around me.

As everybody is. I scare everybody. People say I don't blink. That's not true, it's just that when I look at you, I look at you. I try to hear exactly what you are saying, by saying to my little voice, 'Shh! Somebody is talking now; let's listen to her without all these chatty judgments!' When I listen, I look, and I look right into your eyes, because I'm trying to see you. I am trying to discern your soul.

Funny how many people can't handle that. When they talk, people are always looking away, glancing off to my left, as if they are talking to the person beside me, who is nobody, instead of being able to talk to me. When I talk to you, I talk to you. And when I listen to you, I listen to you.

This so unnerves people.

Yes, I don't have many friends.

'Many' friends? Name one, 'phfina! My little voice dares me.

Shh! I say, there's a girl talking ... or stuttering.

See? Even when I shush my snippy little judgmental voice, I'm still judging you. And I wonder why I don't have friends.

She wasn't helping herself here, though, either, calling herself a 'blind squirrel' when I asked what brought her up here. People hide their own greatness in smallness. 'Oh, I found this beautiful spot by pure luck, not because I have eyes that can see real beauty.'

But this girl couldn't hide her greatness. She took care of herself, and she took care of her equipment. She cared for things. And she had a foundation built on the strength of world-weary wisdom, but this did not hide a spritely joy of discovery and being in the present. I had seen her drinking in the beauty around her, and truly appreciating it.

So we sparred a bit, as I tried to tease out of her who she actually was, mentioning my guess of her being a German, but then, after her shock, she took my dart and hit her own bullseye by guess that not only I was American, but from the East Coast, no less.

Hm, so she obviously had led more than a sheltered life. Was she an exchange student? How come she didn't come to my high school?

Down, 'phfina, down! I scolded myself.

I couldn't help checking out her lithe form, and I caught her checking me out, too. I didn't let on that I saw her giving me the look. A panther knows when she's on the prowl, and when she's being hunted.

We exchanged names.

"My name's phfv..." I almost did it. I almost gave my name as 'Violet' as I always do. That's my cover name, for when I'm hiding, which is always. But the Greek air gave my lips pride of place, and I quickly corrected myself: "'Honey' ... Μέλισσα ..." Melissa, goddess of honey and — An ouch! for me ... fertility and painless child delivery — I translated one more time, to make sure she got it: "'Honey.'" I said and said it was 'nice' to meet her, being polite.

Then I got scared. How come 'being polite' felt like it was more than just 'being polite'?

And now I realized why I hated her when she gave me her name, spelling it out for me, because I didn't hear it right the first time.

She was Julia, or Jules, as I affectionally called her.

She didn't look anything like Julia. Julia was a little red-haired freckled thing, and when I say 'little' I mean little. She was a shorty, Julia was. Short and sweet. And loving. And caring. And my best friend.

And everything. She was my world. She was the only one I gave my heart to, but then ... circumstances ...

I didn't know how hard my heart could hurt, until I gave it to another, and then when she very politely gave it back to me ... I thought she was my best friend forever, and when I found out that was all she wanted to be, a let's-be-friends friend, after months of us ... well, you know ...

And I looked at the snippy little comments that I had been making about this girl because I held up my own camera lens. I had been looking at her through my Julia filter, and one thing that filter gave me was this: I'm all alone in the world, because that way nobody can come close enough to hurt me.

But when she clarified the pronunciation for me, I learned that this girl, so much taller than Julia, so, so different in comportment and confidence wasn't Julia at all: this girl was Jule, 'YOU-le,' not my Jules.

Jule. YOU-le. Sound kinda hot. Like she looked. Like I was starting to feel ... under the collar.

I recovered quickly and asked where she was staying ...

Why not give me your number, too? Or why don't we just skip the preliminaries and go back to my place so I can fuck your brains out?

God! I did not just think that!

Forgive me, girls, but it has been a while, a long while, since Jules, and the affairs I had had weren't one-night stands, 'because I'm not that kinda girl!' as I tell myself, so they were two-weekend-long affairs: just long enough for some very serious fucking-the-brains-out-of sex ... just long enough to get all emotionally entangled in each other's shit.

Yeah, the trail of bodies I left back in the States? There was a long line of pretty girls, so fucking attached to me as I tried to detach myself from the hurt from my Jules.

Which was totally unfair to her! I mean, she was the smart girl! After all, she left me. I just couldn't handle the fact that I had my controlling passive-aggressive codependent fingers all over every little breath she took. She had to get away from that. I admired her courage to move on.

When I couldn't.

So, now this hot-to-trot little number right here in front of me ...

Okay, 'phfina, think ice water! Cool off, and just do the coffee thing with this girl. Be nice and let her go back to her girlfriend she's vacationing with.

That sounded safe. I could dismiss her from my life that was supposed to have ended a few moments ago and be polite about it with coffee, tea ...

Or me.

God! The warmth that suffused me! And was that drool? Calm yourself, 'phfina!

But if a girl's gotta go, then she may as well go with a bang ... or a few bangings between the sheets!

It really had been a while.

But she foiled me again by not liking coffee. I nearly went through the whole Young Frankenstein list: tea, even warm milk. I was going to say, 'Ovaltine!' just like Frau Blücher. But I judged that would be too far over the top, she wasn't getting the Young Frankenstein references, even at warm milk, so I decided just to drop it and accept her counter offer of hot cocoa.

We headed back to my bookstore.


I liked watching her fingers as she browsed the books. They caressed the books. It looked so sensual. I couldn't help but feeling who those fingers would feel when she laid her hands on me...

I shook my head.

She was, like everybody else, a browser, not a buyer. But her buying one book wouldn't save me nor my little shop: I was already beyond redemption. But I saw she was also a discerning browser. She lingered, unlike the other browsers who came in, looking for the familiar — that is the popular novels — and then simply leaving when they didn't see anything they knew. This one, her 'familiar' was the classics. Particularly the Latin texts. She actually pulled out Ovid's Heroides.

I shrugged to myself. Everybody who studied the Classics went to the Romans. I'm definitely not everybody, I concentrated on the Greeks, and not just any old (famous) Greek, no, I had to pick a little poetess who wrote in a language that guaranteed her obscurity. I mean, why couldn't Sappho just compromise her principles and settle for what the masses of people wanted?

I mean, don't people ever learn? Look at Janáček, for goodness sake! Writing his operas in Czech, and demanding they be performed in that language? And he wondered why nobody, not even his own people, came to his performances, or even listens to his music any more? I mean, at least Kundera wised up to that, allowing his works to be translated, and so everybody knows Unbearable Lightness of Being and through that have been introduced to his other works, like Immortality.

But Janáček? I mean, who's even heard, or even just heard of, Jenůfa? The praise of Janáček's works is their condemnation: they are "purely Czech in subject and treatment."

And who wants that? Sappho should have learned Janáček's lesson! Yes, I am aware of the anachronism.

Oh, 'phfina? And who's accusing whom of elitism, Miss Can't-Sell-A-Book-Bookseller?

Yeah, yeah. I got up to make the Latin Browser girl her hot cocoa.

I gave her the chocolate, and I watched her drink it.

She savored it, and sighed in her moment of joy: "Mmm… Oh my God… MmmMelissa, that's SO good!"

The way she said that ... the way she hummed in pleasure ... her lips moistened with the chocolate, I ...

My imagination kicked into overdrive, not wondering, no: knowing — exactly how sweet her lips would taste! And then, imagining her humming with pleasure like that, feeling the vibrations between my legs of those sweet, so kissable lips, and my own lips between her legs caused her to hum that way?

Dear me! The day was going to be a scorcher, wasn't it? I could just feel the heat already.

And then, right then, I pulled back — hard — and I really looked at her, past my own silly lust, past her own self-dismissive and self-effacing statements and saw her for what she truly is.

I was right, up on the cliffs of Eresos above the Aegean: she is my sister. She had weaved the spell of her siren's song and called me away from my purpose to ensnare me in her web.

I didn't need this. I didn't need another person in my life. I didn't need a too hot girl to fuck the brains out of while she fucked me silly (actually, I really could use a good, hard fuck and right about now, too, even given that it's a half hour before I opened my doors for (no) business), and I didn't need a sister to open my heart to.

Because I had done that all before, and every single time I had done that I had destroyed the girl who reached out to me in pity or in care or in love or in lust (Brenda, any one? 'Take off your clothes, Melissa, I want to see all of beautiful you'? And then, as soon as the last stitch was gone over my (very faint) protests, what did she say? 'Come to me,' and I did, girls, a lot, when she showed me what 'spooning' means. She was probably older than my mother and I thanked God for every second she fucked me like a wise, knowing, experienced, and wild and sex-crazed older woman. I do so love older women, and they do so love me, when they can catch me; prowling panthers don't stay in one place lounging, girls!). This girl was no different from all the other girls, all so different from each other, but all the same at base: girls with hearts, hearts I had crushed, simply because I was broken little unfixable me, so damaging to all the fixers trying to fix me.

She had used her siren song to pull me from the cliff's edge, to rescue me. So I had to return the favor and rescue her, by getting her back to her little lesbian lover that every girl came with when they shacked up on the Isle Lesvos and get her the hell away from me.

Besides, I didn't want to be rescued. Not any more. I just wanted it to stop. All of it. And after I got rid of this girl, I would go right back up to those cliffs, then I would jump, and then it would. It would all stop. Forever.

She asked me why a sweet little American girl would find herself on Eresos selling books. You know, making polite conversation. You know: what people do to make a connection.

So I answered with a dismissive lie, breaking that offered connection: "It's a long story," and got up to help an imaginary customer, just to get away from her, just to hint to her to get away from me.

It's not a long story, because the story will end today.

Story End Notes:

[1] Oh, the irony for fit little Aikido-practitioner Melissa, Samurai wanna-be, owning her own little jeep called a Samurai in this story!

[2] You can kind of get a feel of Eresos from a little photo diary at www . walkingwomen . com / 2SeptLesvos . htm

[3] You do know what a "let's-be-friends" friend is, don't you? Do me a favor, okay, when you break up with me, please don't say, 'let's be friends,' knowing full well that you're never going to call me again, nor accept my calls, nor ever go out with me again to the movies or lunch or to the museum. "Let's be friends" has got to be the most hurtful phrase I know. I'm not sure, but I think I'd rather you spit in my face, that might actually hurt less, and it'd be way more honest.

[4] Oh, and this is entirely a work of fiction. Entirely! Like, for example, my 'prior' 'lovers'? Not one of those people exist! Really! ... or, well, um: I did change their names, anyway. Um, yeah. Um.