While we’ll never be dear friends, as much as I may desire, you will always be dear to me. The way you rise from a chair, the grace with which you walk into a room, your smile which outshines the sun, the laughter of the sirens and the stern look of rebuke, all of this is charming beyond compare. While we exist across a gulf of purgatory, you will always and again live in every beat of my heart, the blood in my veins, the roots of the tree of life entwining and sustaining.
She was not impressed. The wilted flowers, were they roses? gave mute testimony to his guilt. What was he trying to ask for forgiveness this time and where had he stolen this pathetic floral arrangement?
When she arrived home, some two dozen years later, she wondered how her parents had gotten so old while she was gone. “Oh well,” she said. “At least my heart is still safe. They will be happy to know that.”
When she went down to the deep blue lake, she checked to see if anyone was watching her before she disrobed and dove into the water to retrieve her heart. At the bottom of the lake she found the crystal box and retreated back to the surface. It did not occur to her to check the contents, although she did wonder why the box felt heavier than she remembered. “Oh well,” she said. “Maybe that happens after a so much time.”
The merman, having been alerted to her return by the noise of her return, hid himself and watched her. After she left, he remembered that he’d placed his own heart in the crystal box to keep the woman’s heart company. He decided that now that the woman had returned, he should also collect his own heart, too.
She placed her heart in a crystal box and hid it at the bottom of a deep blue lake. She left her heart there while she traveled the world. Her parents had warned her about losing her heart in a foreign land, and she thought it prudent to take measures.
Little did she know that a merman, an outcast from his kin in the salt-water sea, inhabited the deep blue lake and had watched her hide the heart. After she left, he waited to see if she would return to collect it. When days past and she didn’t return, he inspected the crystal box and found her heart.
Her heart seemed lonely, as lonely as he felt inside. So he placed his own heart in the box to keep her’s company.
He often thought about leaving secret messages, tiny books with an endearing story left in am owl’s nest or a parchment filled with calligraphy; a poem perhaps, if he knew how to write poetry. Something to impress her, intriguing and literary at the same time. He knew that would appeal to her.
The tiny book remained unwritten, the poem a blank page, and the parchment never purchased. Still, he had his aspirations.