(Mark and Marina the mermaid part 12, conclusion. Click on Mermaid in the labels bar for previous episodes.)
Some time ago my Mum suggested I write down things that happen in my life, something like a journal that I can look back on when I am older. I wasn’t too fussed back then and I must admit but I did. It was a bit piecemeal with long gaps where I appear to do and think nothing, which is far from the truth, but am I glad I did because there are some things I wrote down which were precious moments for me and hopefully I can pass them on to my children if I ever have any.
Soon after my Granddad died everything changed. My life turned around, I met a very special person and it wasn’t a boy but another girl…well woman really who had two young children and I loved her from the start. You won’t believe this but she was my Granddad’s girlfriend.
But let me take you back a year or two. I know now that I was not a poilite person to know and get on with in my teens. It is all about oestrogen and testosterone and coming of age, well not age, maturity in body, even if not common sense or understanding. That all changed when my Granddad died and Mum found out that he had had an affair with another woman after my Nan died. That’s OK though, as everyone wants and needs a little comfort and caring in their lives, young people, adults and even oldies. But in his case he had rescued a mermaid in distress and although he didn’t sweep her off her feet as she didn’t have any, he returned her to the sea where she belonged. After they each told the other their stories they fell in love.
When my Mum found out that she existed, she took me to try to find her and to let her know about Granddad’s death. Marina had given birth to two mer children by him and I was totally speechless when I saw her for the first time. She was so beautiful that even I fell in love with her.
After I knew where to find her; that is if she wanted to be found by me, we would talk and eat some the food I would take down and she would allow me to swim and play with Ocean and Serena her children. Then when I was tired out because they were such better swimmers than me I would go and lay on the beach with Marina and we would talk. I took a coarse toothed comb for her hair and would comb it for her and check her back for scratches and for freeloading sea creatures that would hide away on her back out of reach. Marina would sing to me with her children playing in the shallows and the words of her songs told me of the way of the sea and their love of it.
Sometimes she would be happy for Ocean and Serena to drag me out to sea and play their mer games of hide and seek where you closed your eyes and had to try and guess where they were, much like blind man’s bluff but there was no sound under water. Their chasey game was adapted so they were only allowed to swim with one arm but I was still hopeless as they used theirs tails so effectively and always caught me; but I loved it.
One day Marina said to me, “Coral, Don’t love us so much.” Then she looked into my eyes and continued, “Save that love for a man. You have become a woman and have helped my children know that humans can be kind. However I have decided that we must make a long journey to find other mer people. Ocean is growing up fast and I noticed he did something with you that showed me he is maturing.
“What did he do? I noticed nothing.” I asked.
“You probably thought it was quite innocent. But we were all swimming together when he caught a little fish in his mouth then came up to you and kissed you and transferred the fish to your mouth. Did you not notice?”
“Yes” I answered, “but I thought he as just playing a trick on me.”
Marina shook her head, smiling. “No, no. this is a typical mating ritual of a merman bragging that he can provide for his mate. He likes you so much he wants to look after you, even though he doesn’t realize that yet himself.” She paused then continued, “All those years ago when Mark your grandfather first met me he would bring me fresh fish to eat just like a merman. That is when I really began to love him as he showed he wanted to look after me.”
I began to cry and said, “I don’t want to lose you.”
Marina hugged me and kissed away my tears. “You are not losing me or the children but Ocean and Serena must learn more of life away from you and hopefully find other mer people to interact with. I will make a promise the same one I made your grandfather. Once a year I will return to this beach. This time perhaps it would be better if we met at the start of spring so the water is not so icy for you.”
So we discussed at length exactly when this would be with the high tides and the full moon coinciding. Then she called the children in sat them down and she then explained to them what was going to happen. Serena was plaiting my hair at the time and Ocean was counting my fingers as Marina spoke to them. They looked at me and then at Marina in disbelief. Serena cried and Ocean shook his head crossly and hugged me not wanting to let me go. We all cried as we said our farewells.
That was the last I saw of them. I still go to our meeting place each year, just in case, but they have never returned. I think now that Marina was stronger than all of us and had decided it must be the way and they had to go it alone. Each year I return and pray that one of them might appear but as the years pass even that little hope is fading and I must return to my normal life heartbroken, but I will never give up. Would you?