Ariel watched as fascination painted Philip’s features. Underneath, the shimmer in his eyes, she could see energy brewing in his mind; coloring his cheeks pearly pink. He seemed excited with a steady twinkle of accomplishment in his eyes. But most of all, he kept his lips sealed. He didn’t utter a word, as he watched Ariel reveal her tail just a tad bit. Unlike what she had heard from her elders, Philip was not like other humans, begging for a greater glimpse or one more peak. Instead, he accepted her. He only took a brief moment to look into his phone, as he always did when the dusk approached.
When she first spilled the beans, Ariel was afraid that Philip would not accept her but to her surprise, the enchantment in his face settled to form a permanent, accepting smile. He only used a few words to encourage Ariel to tell him why the mermaids kept hidden. Afraid that she might offend him, she told him that just broke rules of nearing the surface even when she was not allowed.
She did not say more. She kept mum about the horrors that humans had committed toward her kind. She sealed the dreading stories that she had only half-heartedly believed and started to enjoy the look on Philip’s face.
Eventually, they started to splash water onto each other, teasing and laughing like any other day; only this time with Ariel’s identity revealed. In a gentle hug from the back, Philip, who finally found his words, told her that he still felt for her deeply just as he felt for when he first lay his sight on her. Ariel was in true bliss, she had never been loved and a part of her was glad to have proven her elders’ pessimism and bitter words wrong.
She finally felt at peace, after last moon’s indecisive sentiments, she felt that she had made the right decision. She could have told about herself earlier to Philip but time had played a significant role in bringing the two love bird’s together, weaving threads of trust to strengthen their relationship and understanding.
Just as the last golden fingers of the sun kissed the sky goodbye and Ariel sat in the arms of her beloved, partly on land and partly immersed in water, screams of sirens started to blare out of nowhere. It wasn’t typical for other humans or such sounds to be in that part of the rocky shore. For a moment, Ariel remained affix, as horror and panic started to claw their way up Ariel’s lightly shivering body.
She made a move to hide back to the waters but Philip’s embrace locked her tight. She turned to explain to him that she had to leave now. Sirens covered more distance and neared closer, as Philip slightly shook his head, his hair falling into his eyes. A small smirk inching its ways up his lips. The same look of victory coated his features but he didn’t move even slightly.
Only then did Ariel realize that the peace she felt was the last she was to ever feel again. She tried squirming from his grip, which was a trap in the mask of a hug. She tried, restlessly. Never giving up until darkness started to stain her vision and she realized that she was fainting as more and more panic engulfed her heart. Alas, humans were never worth trusting, they were right, everyone was right. It was only she who was wrong.
On an eve of the sinking sun, a fragile little girl made the mistake of becoming curious. She did not do anything wrong for all she wanted was a little peak to the other side of the world, across the blue seas on the lands that stretched wide to infinity. Little did she know that curiosity kills the cat.