“Ariel,” Philip thought to himself as he sat, staring at the screen of his laptop. The words on the screen kept jumbling up, making no sense and losing all sharpness, as the guy kept repeating the name of the young girl he regularly met now. He was awe-struck by her beauty, soft skin that begged to be touched and eyes holding a treasure chest of secrets with a hint of mischief. She left him mesmerized every time he met her by the shores.
Ariel was unlike the ordinary girls that saw beauty in material things, which piqued Philip’s interest in her. He would watch her dumb-founded, as she chatted the mornings away, in sync with the sun’s brightening rays. It was as though the sun powered her energy but as the evening night would take even a solo step toward the horizon, Ariel would lose all her energy and deflate with a feeling of hopelessness shadowing her perfect features.
Philip always wondered why she had to bid him goodbye, as the sun started losing all its golden glory. He had seen her swim the shores before too when the glittering dusk fell the very first day he thought he had seen her. But to no avail, Ariel had her excuses and reasons. She would say she would have to swim a long way to home, some miles to the other part of the shore that Philip did not know of. Whatever she said came out as a white lie, something that Philip could see with the way Ariel’s left eye would lightly twitch when she would be afraid of something or saw that she had to lie about some other thing.
Something else worried Philip too. It often crossed Philip’s mind in pangs of suspicion. For one, there was no shore that Philip did not know of except for the one on the Eastern end of the city, one that was sealed because it was contaminated with some sort of seaweeds that were lesser known by science.
But most important of all, Philip knew that it was not possible for Ariel to be swimming all the time. She would never once come out of the water no matter how much he tried to pull her out of the waves, it was as though the waves protected and held her steady, serving as protective guards. Even though the reality was the exact opposite. Waves are never motherly by nature, they are always the angry ones that greedily leap onto a soul that accidentally dropped in them or dared to go any closer.
This Philip knew by heart, he had been on several sea journeys and he knew that the tides had no mercy for anyone who fell in them. Only the water’s surface was calm but it was a superficial peace, one that lasted only a few days.