Mermaids and Loss

Josie G, Columnist

The soft summer breeze played with my hair as I made my way towards the pristine sands. I found a secluded area, hidden by palm trees and colorful flowers, and settled down for the day. I sunk into my beach chair with a contented sigh and closed my eyes. I wanted to be unbelievably tan by the end of the day. The birds sang their sweet melody above me, and I could hear the crashing waves in the distance. This was the only place I wanted to be. Ever since my best and only friend moved away to Oregon, I had been spending more and more time at the beach. The water calmed me, and the animals seemed to come alive in my presence. I was more than happy here. 

“Olivia? Is that you?” I opened my eyes at the sound of the chirpy voice. I looked across the beach and along the shoreline, but nobody was even glancing in my direction. Huh. I settled back into my chair, dismissing the voice as my own daydreaming mind. “Olivia! Over here!” This time, I sprung out of my chair, sending my towel and suntan lotion flying, startled by the return of the voice. I searched the beach once more, but again, I saw nobody. However, past the shoreline amid the undulating waves, I spotted a head bobbing in the water. Oh!

“Hello? Do I know you? Who is it?” I called out into the distance as I squinted against the sun. 

“No, not yet!” the shrill voice sang out, and the next thing I knew, she was swimming up towards the shore. I gawked at her golden skin and flowing blonde hair. I hadn’t seen anyone like this. She was gorgeous, but in a unique sort of way. As she drew nearer, I saw a pink swimsuit top. The top was a sparkly pink with pearls for straps, but as the girl slid up onto the shore I realized she wasn’t a girl at all. Instead of legs, she had a long, pink mermaid tail. The tail glistened in sunlight and shimmered like a diamond. I stared at the mermaid, unable to comprehend what was in front of me. She smiled and tossed her long hair over her shoulder, very happy that I was staring at her like I was. “Surprised?”

I nodded with wide eyes. She patted the spot in the sand next to her. 

“Come sit with me please. I’m lonely.” I fumbled my way across the beach, plopping myself down next to the girl. Sure, it was odd to be with a mermaid, but I needed a bit more adventure in life. And a friend. We talked as the afternoon came closer and the scorching sun started to burn me. We giggled and laughed for hours and played in the water. She showed me her tricks and told me about the mermaid world. I hadn’t ever had a friend like this, and I wanted to stay in this moment forever. Too soon though, night came and the mermaid became troubled. 

“What’s wrong?” I asked her. She looked at me with a sad, mournful look. 

“I have to go back now. I’m afraid I’ll never see you again,” she just barely whispered. I looked out on the water, the moon reflecting off the beach’s glassy surface. “My father is very sick, and I’m not sure a trip to the shore again would be sensible.”

“I understand…if we are meant to be friends, we will see each other again,” I said as I locked eyes with hers to let her know I wasn’t lying. I truly believed we would find each other again soon. The mermaid heaved a great sigh and silently slipped into the dark waters. 

I put my head in my hands letting out a small groan. I had lost another friend, and I had nobody yet again. Was I always going to be alone? I brushed away that thought and reminded myself that I would see my best friend again even if she had moved, and that I could still possibly see the mermaid. However, in that moment and the days that followed, I still felt so alone. I had no one to talk with, laugh with, tell my problems to. Losing the mermaid seemed to highlight that more, and I almost regretted the whole day. 

Almost.

I recollected memories of moments spent with my best friend and even the mermaid today. Even though both people left, I still had some of the best memories with them. I could look back on those times when I was feeling sad or alone. That was something. They were there with me in the memories, so I wasn’t ever really alone. I had them –  my friends. Even though they weren’t with me right then, I would always carry them with me. .

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