Trinyx stayed just under the surface of the waves, watching the beautiful creature with the bouncing hair react to the lecherous older one. She worried when she saw the angry expression cross the young human’s face, wondering what had angered him so, as she watched him shove the other man out of the way. Trinyx felt as though her very self was being pulled toward the handsome boy as he stomped angrily away from the ship’s rail, until she noticed a splash in the waves next to her. She moved away in disgust when she realized what it was- one of the other less-attractive humans was leaning over the side of the ship, retching into the sea. She was filled with fury that he was polluting her ocean in such a way, and wanted to jump up and grab the man, pull him into the water, and swim down to the deepest depths with him where she knew he would perish. Instead, she swam close to the body of the ship, and indignantly banged her tail against the wood several times.
As she swam away toward her home, she looked back, and saw several of the men looking confused and leaning over the ship’s rail, peering into the water, wondering what sort of fish had rammed their boat. Trinyx glimpsed the dark-haired man too, who seemed to be looking directly at her, though she knew it was too dark for him to see that far. She lifted her pale hand in a useless gesture, and thought she imagined the man raise his own hand in return. The waves moved her, and she pushed her tail against them , diving into the night-black water.
Far below the moonlit surface of the ocean, Trinyx slowed her movements, realizing how close she had been to a human. She thought of how soft his hair had been between her fingers, and how it had sprung so lightly from them. She weaved her fingers between the ropey lengths of her own hair that was billowing out around her, and let it go, watching it lazily drift in the leftover currents of her swimming. A few small fishes glides through it, and she swatted them away, perturbed.
She felt melancholy now, now that she had felt the air on her thick skin. She had never felt the pressure of the water surrounding her, but she felt it now, and she wanted to be back against the ship, looking into the expressive eyes of the alluring young man again. She thought of him and wondered if his skin would feel like hers, and she ran her hands down her torso, over her breasts and down her belly, until she felt scales that led into a lengthy tail. She looked at her tail, the tail that was the envy of her sisters, with it’s rainbow of purple and green and silvery scales, and decided it was not at all beautiful. Her fingertips felt over the coarse scales, and she wanted to feel what it was like to stand on two legs like the humans on the ship had.
The man’s eyes had been one color, and though she had never seen her own, she knew from looking into her sisters’ faces that mermaid eyes were an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colors, and she thought to herself how uninteresting that was- as she had watched the man, she could see within his eyes a flurry of emotions, whereas when she watched her sisters, the constant color shift in their eyes made it completely impossible to know what they were thinking.
She had let the man’s sounds wash over her; how different they had been from her own! From the things her grandmother had told her, human voices were terrible to listen to, and humans themselves were seemingly possessed when offered a mermaid song, but Trinyx had liked the sound of his words- they were not melodious as a mermaid’s, no, but still pleasing to the ear in their own way.
She fingered the silver chain that was tied in her hair, and pushed the little button that had released the tiny door. She cried out when she saw that the picture inside was beginning to disintegrate already, and she shut it again quickly, hoping to preserve the likeness of the woman who looked like her human. She gripped the locket tightly to her chest, and was amazed that she cared so for this man, this creature who was so unlike her. She swam in circles, wondering what she was to do now. Bubbles and fish floated out of her way as she did so. She was forbidden to have contact with the upper world, but there was one thing she knew for certain- she had to see him again.