Mark and Marina the mermaid - Part 4 (Story so far: Recently widowed Mark has found a Mermaid on a deserted beach that needs help. In fact they both need the other for different reasons).
It rained that evening and the wind blew in the trees. I relived the day events and imagined being with Marina always but in the cold light of dawn after a sleepless night I realised how impossible a relationship I was imagining would be and the implications it would have on both of us. She couldn’t live in the bathtub on land and the sea would be a hostile place for me especially with no lights to switch on at night when the predators were looking for a snack.
The rain had eased by morning but it was much cooler and still cloudy; so I donned some warmer clothes and packed some food to share and a container of water to take with me. There was nobody on the main beach and even the gulls were absent as I made my way round the foot of the cliff rather than wade through the rocky pools which because of the surface ripples on the water were difficult to judge for depth and footing. It was hard going, the wind was behind me but there was still a lot of clambering over fallen rocks and loose shingle. I sat under the rock where I had first seen Marina and shifted twice to avoid the wind yet still be able to look over the water for her.
I waited a good two hours and the tide had well and truly gone out by then. I kept checking the air for bird messengers and occasionally went down to the shore to see if the crabs were waving semaphore messages to me…they weren’t.
I didn’t leave the beach at all but propped myself up facing out to sea and tried to keep my eyes open. I couldn’t. This caused me to doze off and only woke when I was poked in the ribs. I opened my eyes and found that the sun had finally come out and the wind had dropped. The sea was already on its way back in and Marina had flopped down by my side and was examining my bag.
“Did you have to crawl up the beach?”
She nodded and she began unwrapping the various edibles and to sniff them. Then she got me to open the container of water and asked if she could try it. I nodded. She tried to poke her tongue in but when that didn’t work tipped it up and spilled it over her and laughed.
“It doesn’t taste like anything.”
“It’s fresh water.” I said and she nodded in reply and pointed to the sky.
I had also packed some fresh fish I had bought at the local shop and had been going to cook in the shack but brought it here for her instead. When she unwrapped this she stuck her nose close to it and nodded approval and licked it then bit a chunk out of it, chewed and swallowed it. I wanted to lick her.
She turned to me and asked “Shark?”
“Yes, it is called Flake when you buy it in a shop.”
“You did not catch it? What to you exchange for it?”
I then had to explain all the complex human ways of living, working for money and paying for everything. When I had finished my lecture on being a human, she was shaking her head. “The sea is much better and easier.” By this time she had eaten the whole fillet of fish. I could have eaten her up too.
Every now and then I glanced at her tummy to see if it was rosy again. It wasn’t. She was alert as ever scanning the beach, looking into the sky and cocking her head and listening for signs of danger. After we had been there a little while she went back to the sea to get wet stayed a few minutes then made her way back with surprising agility on her hands and tail, back up to me. She then made me take my top off and wrapped her cold wet body close to me.
“That’s better,” she murmured.
“You were going to tell me about your life.” I said.
“Tell me yours first.” She said first stretching then relaxing in my arms.
So I did. I told her about being a boy, growing up, playing with my brothers, going to school, having girl friends, getting a job, falling in love, getting married, living in a house, having children and being happy and being sad too. I told her how my wife and I had discovered this beach many years ago and we were so happy here. I also told that she had died a few months back and of coming back here to our special place and then of finding her, Marina, my beautiful mermaid who was like a present to me from my wife to comfort me.
I was stroking her hand as I talked and when I looked up at her she was crying, so I leaned over and kissed away her tears. As I kissed and stroked her I noticed that her tummy was still not rosy so I bent down and kissed it gently and hugged her.
“You can have me again.” She said simply.
“But you are not feeling sexy.”
“Of course I am.” She paused then continued. “I am so sorry Mark, I lied to you before. The rosy mark meant that I was ovulating,” she paused, “So you see I have confession to make. But before I do, can we go and sit in the water?”
Luckily the wind had dropped and the water was not that cold so we sat in our little rock pool and this time she leaned back against me with her head underneath my chin and was just about completely immersed in the water. So I wrapped my arms around her and she began her story.
This time it was my turn to cry.