Creatures Of The Blue....

I've always been obsessed with mermaids so what happens when i find out i am one?

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4. “Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”

I couldn't believe it. I was disgusted with myself. I was actually worrying about what I was going to wear to go and do homework with Casper. My bed was swamped inn a sea of clothes I had chucked out of my wardrobe. A dress would be too datey but then wouldn't shorts and a vest top be too casual? What the heck, it was supposed to be casual I was doing my homework. I threw on white shorts and a red vest top. I was an hour early, Casper wouldn't come and get me for a while so I decided to put my headphones in and dance around. I had gotten through my air guitar solo and my beautiful singing when I saw the sea of people at the back door. Oh no, it had happened again. I had told no one about this, but recently if anyone heard me sing they would come up to me and ask me what my three wishes were. It was weird, just as soon as I started singing they would appear, and it had only started recently.

Suddenly the front door knocked. I should probably deal with the front mobbers first because they were in the apartment lobby, the neighbours might see and think I'm holding some party. But when I opened the door, it was just Casper.

“Oh no,” I said.

“Wow, if you don't want to see me that much then-”

“Just please wait here,” I said. There was about fifty men outside my back door, how would I explain that to Casper?

“What are your desires?” They chorused. I gulped, there was more of them than I thought. And some of them were really cute. But I pushed that thought away, I couldn't use whatever weird thing I had to get dates with really....really hot Italian boys. Snap out of it Coral.

“Please could you all just go, I, uh command you to go!” I used this command to touch some six packs and soon they started fleeing. Slowly they dispersed and they were all gone. Then I turned around.

“Wow, Coral, didn't know you were such a catch...” Casper said grinning. I wondered if he'd ever had botox. Without replying to his comment I grabbed my bag and shuffled him to the door.

***

“Right we should get started, you can get in and test the water,” I said to him, hands on my hips.

“I...can't,” He replied.

“What are you talking about?” I asked. This better not be some lame excuse to get out of doing any work.

“I'm allergic to sea water.”

Was that, was that actual embarrassment I could hear?

“Wait, what your allergic to sea water?”

Casper squirmed under my gaze as he nodded. I gulped.

“So am I,” I said.

“Really!” He said genuinely shocked and unfortunately a lot less embarrassed.

“Well I'm not lying am I, it was genetically passed on by my mother,” I explained. For a few moments silenced passed and then I spoke up.

“So what are we going to do?”

“Well I'm going to lay in the sand for a while and think about how two people allergic to the sea, can do a project on, well the sea!” Caspian said and I found myself flopping down beside him.

“I knew it,you slacker,” I said almost smiling. He either didn't hear what I had said, or just ignored it.

“Look, since we're not going to get any work done, right now, how's about we tell Mr Barcelli we can't do the Geography together and right now we go eat some of my mums homemade pizza?” Casper said. I'm about to say no but then I hesitate.

“My mother's pizza is rumoured to be the best in town, why don't you find out for yourself,” Casper said. It didn't take much but I caved in. It seemed not to take much of anything Casper said for me to cave in.

“Alright your on!” I said and we climbed the steps back up the beach.

***

Casper's house was probably only a few minutes from school, you could see the schools roof from his doorstep. Casper's house was gorgeous. It was a little semi detached, painted a lovely lemon yellow colour. Flower baskets hung from the windows and I could already smell the pizza. It was a lovely homely smell.

“Oh Casper, I was just about to call you, dinners ready,” Casper's mother said. She was beautiful. Long dark hair fell down her back, like the waves on a stormy night. Her eyes were pools of brown and her skin was naturally crinkled like she smiled a lot. Now I knew where Caper got his persistent grin from.

“Looks like we're just in time then,” Casper said smiling as he dramatically sniffed the yummy smelling air.

“And who is this? It seems to be my lucky night I have some female company,” Casper's mum said.

“Nice to meet you Mrs Bosco, I'm Coral,” I said extending my hand out to her. She hugged me instead.

“Please call me Nadia,” She said, Casper just laughed at us. “Come, come let's eat!” She sashayed us out to the back garden where a lovely displayed meal sat on the table ready to eat. The table seemed to creak under the weight of the feast.

“Why would a girl as pretty as you ever come home with Casper willingly!” Said a little boy, coming through the back doors.

“Go away Michael!” Casper said, glaring.

“Sorry, my brother’s rudeness amazes me; I'm Michael , Caper's brother - unfortunately!” I smile at him, as he carelessly insults his brother, he reminded me of my thirteen year old self.

“Nice to meet you Michael, I'm Coral!” I replied. “Casper and I are doing a school project together.”

“So why did they saddle you with this loser?” He asked, earning a warning look from his brother. I grinned, Casper's discomfort was my pleasure.

“Michael what did I say to you about talking about your brother like that!” Nadia said. It was obvious anger didn't suit her.

“If I can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all!” He sighed, “But with this idiot if that were the case I could never speak again!” He retorted and he picked up his plate and flounced back inside.

“So what brings you to Messina, Coral?” Nadia said, she somehow managed to make eating pizza graceful.

“My dad's a marine Biologist so I travel a lot and Messina was our next stop, I'll probably be leaving again in a month or so but I have a feeling we'll stay here longer because this is my fathers home town,” I explained. It was strange the way Casper had listened so diligently like it was the most important message in the world. I had never really had anyone to listen to me before.

“Well I'm sure you'll enjoy it here, your father will probably tell you how much fun it is to grow up here, actually what's your father's name?” Nadia asked.

“Joey Giovanni,” I replied.

“Oh Joey!I knew I recognised your face, we were good friends many years ago, but then he left to travel the world with you and I went to college, it would be fantastic to see him again!” Nadia said. What a coincidence, Nadia and my dad were friends in high school.

“Wow, well he'll be home in a little while, when I leave, you could come and pop in to say hi,” I offered, as long as Nadia and Dad weren't really mortal enemies, Dad would love to see an old friend. He'd been to so many places he bumped into them frequently.

“I'd love that, call me when your leaving, I'm going to wash the dishes,” Nadia said and she left us.

“Imagine that, our parents were friends, maybe we could-”

“Don't get any ideas!” I replied but with a slight smile, maybe we could be friends who knew. But first I'd have to get past the hatred I had for his smile.

“If we're to be friends we should know a lot more about each other, so what do you want to know?” Casper said. I was taken a back, he was so willing to share with me all his wounds. His hair was being swayed slightly by the breeze in the air, like leaves on a branch.

“Is your Dad blonde?” I blurted. He began laughing. Then I began laughing. The things I said sometimes, my mouth really made me question my sanity.

“Well I don't know,” He replied.

“How can you not know what colour you fathers hair is?” I asked puzzled.

“I've never met him,” Casper replied simply and I instantly felt bad. How could I be so inconsiderate to other people's feelings? How could I be so blind as to not think, that their were other people in the world who only had one parent, not just me. And then Casper began to speak. He began to tell me something I could feel was something he didn't tell many.

“My mother was a student training to be an Italian teacher in America, she was their to develop her English skills. I don't know what my father was but he'd always been by the sea when they were together so I figured he was a sailor or something. You said my mother seems classy but she was far from it when she was younger ,they had to sneak around as she was staying in a dorm with her fellow college students and I suppose a lot of the time my father was working on ships. They rendez voused late at night, and I was conceived in some sunny beach in America. Soon their sneaky relationship ended because my mother left to come back to Italy. Soon she realised she was pregnant with me and decided to stop her college course and be a stay at home mum here in Messina. And I think that story brings us up to where we are now. I have a step dad and Michael is my half brother.”

There was silence for a few moments, a comfortable one as we both reflected on what had been said. Caspian's story wasn't too different from mine, except his mother hadn't left him, abandoned him. She had given up her future career for him.

“So where are you from in England?” Caspian asked. He had changed the subject abruptly but I think he needed to steer away from the sad story.

“Well I lived in Cornwall for most of my childhood but I was born in the Ionian sea,” I said.

“Really, is your mum Italian too, my mum probably knows her, she seems to know everyone,” Casper said rolling his eyes.

“No...she won't know my mum...” I sighed.

“What's the matter?” Casper said, gently gliding his fingers over mine. I deliberated whether to tell him my story. But he didn't look like he would tell anybody and who knows maybe it would scare him off, that would be a good thing, right?

And then I began telling him my story and all of it. Nothing missed out. I realised at the end of it, that as Casper hugged me tears streaked his white shirt.

“I just hate her so much,” I whispered, “She just up and left me and my Dad and what I hate most is right now, she's probably sipping champagne on a yacht with her husband, and her kids are probably tucked in bed, the way she was supposed to do to me.”

Casper said nothing. And I was grateful for it, it was better than the meaningless words other people would say.

“Okay, so we can't choose where we begin in life, but we can choose from then on,” Casper said and I raised my eyebrows, he was not the person I would expect to be giving me wise words, “And at times you probably think I'm a lazy idiot but really I'm just a guy trying to take it one step at a time, I do crazy stuff so I know my limits but if we get too caught up in the important stuff like school and the future, then we'll be missing something more important than the non existent parents, we'll be missing fun.”

“Your right,” I said, “But from now on let me do the wise talking, smart just doesn't suit you!” I laughed he tried to keep a straight face but the smile tugging at his lips was evident.

“Not that I want you to leave or anything, but it's 10:30and your house is like a half hour walk from here, your father will probably worry,” Casper said, like the sensible young man he was.

“He won't worry, time is non existent in his world, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't get back,” I said, or maybe I sighed. I couldn't believe I'd gone from hating Casper to almost liking him, almost. We both turned at the same time as the back door opened. Our hands sprang apart and only then did I realise they were ever intertwined.

“I was just coming down to see if you were still here, but you are and since I'm coming to drop you home we can take the car,” Nadia said and with that we stood up, smoothed ourselves down and pretended our deep emotional conversation had never happened.

I soon forgot the anger and sadness our earlier conversation had left me feeling, as Nadia told me stories of my father as a teenager. As we got to my house I was in a fit of laughter.

“He was screaming like a girl, it was hilarious!” Nadia said and the door opened before I could knock it.

“Coral,” Dad said giving me one of his, is-my-daughter-insane looks. Then he saw who I was with.

“Nadia, no way!”

“It's me Joey, you look great, I suppose all that travelling has done you good!” Nadia replied and just like that they were talking late into the night, or should I say early into the morning.

Casper and Dad had talked about football for a while and since they liked the same teams, it was confirmed they got along just fine. My father was too much of a cuddly teddy bear to give Casper a mean glare as he entered my room.

“Woah!” Casper said. I guessed entering a mermaid themed room as top notch as mine was pretty scary the first time.

“If you hadn't noticed, I like mermaids,” I said but then I realised how childish I sounded, “That probably sounded so weird I-”

“This is so cool!” Casper said as he leapt onto my bed, “It's a water bed, I have always wanted one of these and you have seaweed in your room, I got in trouble for hiding stones in the sofa once and your allowed seaweed in your room!”

I laughed, an image of mini Casper squishing hundreds of stones in his sofa flashing through my head.

“When did you get into all this stuff, it must have taken years to get a collection of mermaid this big!” Casper said, rolling around my bed. He couldn't get over the fact that it was made out of water.

“When I was a kid, I wished I had a mum a lot and my Dad didn't have the heart to tell me she'd up and left so he told me she was a magical mermaid and she couldn't live on land,” I explained. “I'm old enough to have gotten over that story but I still believe in Atlantis, whether it was mer folk that lived their or not, that's why I hate my allergy so much, if I could go in the water maybe I could find something to prove it exists.”

“Sometimes, you feel like your being pulled to the water, like something's waiting for you there, that probably sounds stupid,” Casper sighed.

“I feel the same,” I said. We locked gazes for a moment. If fate was real then something pulled Casper and I together, our stories were so similar.

For the following week I saw Casper every day after school. We didn't plan it but if we saw each other, we hung out. I had started seeing us as secret buddies. We both held the others secret and with that secret a piece of the other person. So I had the unexplained desire to be around Casper and it seemed the feeling was mutual. A lot of the time we hung at my apartment and I told him all I knew about mermaids. He seemed intrigued by it. Which was strange for a sixteen year old boy. But then it was strange for a sixteen year old girl too. We were excluded from the rule.

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