When I was small my parents always read me the story of a little mermaid who fell in love with a human and lived on land and not on Deep Waters. I thought it was something magical. Something that I cannot comprehend something dangerous. I didn’t know a human world on land exists. For me, the Deep Water is my home and every sea creature is my friend. I have never seen a land in my entire 20 years of my life nor have I heard of someone who walked on land. Though stories like little mermaid exists in my world, such stories are outshined by cruel ones. Ones that goes on to say how men on land are bewitched by women on sea. How we take them to their deaths and kill them and horribly eat them. as far as I know, as a princess of the Deep Waters, no one has ever killed a man on land. Not even when they are so close to finding our hidden world. Life in Deep Waters is everything that I could ask for. I have everything that I ever want in my life and more. No one here dies of hunger nor have I heard of poverty. Here, everyone lives in happiness. Maybe that’s why no one ever got curious enough to explore the so-called men on land and to see if they can actually bewitch them.
I, on the other hand is a half-born. I didn’t believe another world exists until I found out that, my mother belonged to the land and not Deep Waters. It took me good 20 years to find out that who I called ‘mother’ is not my mother at all. More than anything, I knew that my father was not going to tell me about my birth at all and he intended to keep it a secret from the entire Deep Waters. He knew they were not going to accept a half-born as a princess not matter how qualified I am to be one. I was always curious in nature and have done so many things that a normal princess is forbidden to do. Well not like I got permission to do them. it’s just I have been lucky not to get caught.
In Deep Waters, a princess is expected to get married at 21 years and expected to give birth at 23 years old. Unlike a commoner in Deep Waters, a princess is not allowed to date anyone and has to marry whoever the elders consider to be a match. Even I have a fiancée. I didn’t know Maguire existed until my family introduced me to him. I don’t know if I want to marry him and live together with him as I don’t know him at all. But, I have no power to refuse and go against them. but, the fact that my own father, who I respected and loved the most, lied about my birth mother was enough for me to go against every single rule that governed Deep Waters. That’s why I left Deep Waters fortnight ago. I was able to get on to land and hide myself so that guards can’t find them. I didn’t know how exactly I was supposed to switch my tail to whatever I can go on in land. Surprisingly, the moment I landed on sand, my tail disappeared and two things appeared instead.
With time, I got to know that they are called legs. they use legs to walk and go anywhere they want like we have tails to go anywhere in Deep Waters. We spoke the same language but our ways were different. They ate sea creatures while laughing. They had weird looking big things roaming around everywhere making huge noises. They had so many rules here and I always get confused whenever someone yells at me for doing something that is perfectly normal in my home. I thought, once I get to land I would find weird creatures trying to eat me. But, whatever we learned in Deep Waters is completely different from the reality. People on land were same as us in water. The only physical difference is they have legs and not tails. I always made sure to stay away from water. Whenever I was near, I could hear the sea calling and begging me to return. I knew it won’t be too long until the guards find me and take me back home.
Land is so vast and unpredictable. People scream and shout at each other for useless things. They engage in sexual activities in public as if it’s nothing. They fight with each other, spit at each other and throw bottles at each other. For the first time in my life, I was glad that I trained in combat as without it I would have been taken somewhere far away. I didn’t know from where to start and from where to end my search. I didn’t know who my mother is nor her name. I don’t even know her face. She can be anyone that I pass. I don’t know if I can even recognize her even if I find her. She’s someone I didn’t know exists. When I was small, my dad always used to tell me, people in Deep Waters can easily find their parents no matter where they are. He told me the connection between us is so strong that the Mother Waters helps us to find them. in land, I feel no such thing. The only thing that I’m trying to rely on is a tingling sensation I should feel when I see my ‘mother’. It’s something common to everyone back in home. I didn’t think much of it, but now when I actually think, I never felt a tingling sensation in me whenever I saw the Queen, my mother in Deep Waters.
I was so engrossed in my thoughts that it took me few minutes to realise that I was feeling a tingling sensation in my heart and it was getting heavier every second. I stopped my tracks and looked just in time to see the woman who walked passed me. I stared her while she walked away from me. I didn’t know how it was that woman in jeans and shirt carrying a baby and walking beside a man, that I had a tingling sensation with. It’s just my gut, more than ever screamed to my ears that it was my mother. But I couldn’t move. I couldn’t take a single step towards her. I couldn’t call her out. All I did was let her walk and when my body finally started to listen to me, I followed her tracks. I didn’t follow her too closely, in case she runs away. My legs were weak and I could feel my body becoming heavy. I can’t remain on land for too long. My body is craving for water and it won’t be too long when my body will give in. I just want only one chance to speak with my ‘mother’.
I took small steps catching my breath with every step I took. She went to a small cottege right near the beach and I waited until she went in. I was scared to go walked towards the cottege as my whole body is screaming for the Deep Waters. I have been out for too long and it’s not reacting the way I wanted it to be. Not going back would damage my body and I don’t know what kind of complications it will give even. I walked towards the cottege with everything I have, trying not to go to the waters without first at least hearing her voice. But, my body gave in and I could clearly see myself falling.
‘do you think she will be alright? Shouldn’t we call a doctor?’
‘let’s not be rash. She doesn’t have a fever and she’s breathing fine.’
I could hear voices and I tried to recognize them. they didn’t belong to anyone in Deep Waters and it was a good thing. I couldn’t strain myself to think a lot as my whole body was burning up. I felt like I was inside a volcano. Every part of my body was screaming for water and I knew more than anything that I should go back immediately. I slowly opened my eyes and when I saw her eyes looking at me, I got up too quickly that it made me dizzy.
‘hey, are you alright?’ she asked me. I gave a slight nod and tried to focus my thoughts. I’m in my mother’s house and it’s definitely isn’t a dream. My whole body’s in fire and I couldn’t feel my body at all. I knew if I don’t back now, I would die. We are not allowed to go out of the Deep Waters because we are sea creatures. We can’t stay out of water too long without dying. We would perish in a second when the time comes up. And I knew, my time is getting stronger.
I could hear a baby crying and another one calling her. She quickly ran and came back carrying a baby and with another small girl hiding behind her. I wanted to ask her if she could recognize me, her daughter but I knew it’s not gonna change everything. Our worlds are supposed to be kept a secret from each other. We are not allowed to meddle with them. if they knew I’m a half-born and she is my mother, I don’t know what the elders will do to her. I cannot risk her life for my own greed. I cannot let her children be motherless for my sake.
‘I’m alright. Thank you.’
Before they could say anything, clutching my fists I went out. It wasn’t hard to find the door and only stopping to look at her for a second, I gave a slight bow and went out the house. It was already dark and I could feel the waves calling me in. I let my tears roll down my face and continuously screamed mother inside my head. The tingling sensation I’m feeling inside is something I have never felt before. I didn’t realise all this time I was yearning for it. I look up at the night sky and was mesmerized to see stars smiling at me. I have never seen such a beautiful night sky. Stealing one small glance, I carried myself into the waters. The waters where my destiny awaits me.