Chapter One: The Final Straw
I walked hand in hand with my current boyfriend; my fifth one this school year. Now before you say that I'm a slut or a man eater; let me explain my situation. I have no control on whether or not I fall in love with someone. But I'll love them until they no longer love me. Then like magic my love for that person is wiped away and I'm left confused and wondering why I'm holding their hand. I know before they do themselves. I felt that twinge in my heart and I stopped walking, Colton my current boyfriend stopped as well; confusion coating his usual bright blue eyes.
"Colton, do you love me?"
"What kind of question is that? Of course I love you." Colton answered quickly, and his eyes showed it all, guilt.
"Don't lie to me."
"I'm sorry Shay."
"No its alright. Enjoy your life Colton, I heard Miranda likes you." I turned and left. Careful not to look anyone in the eyes. Tears sprouted in my eyes as I walked from the school. I didn't care if I was caught or not I wasn't ever coming back. I walked the empty streets letting the cold rain and wind hit me over and over again. It was just amplifying my mood anyway. What was the point of being a siren if I couldn't find my one and only? My mother found her one and only but dad died in a boating accident when I was twelve. I walked into my house, drenched to the bone and found my mother hovering nervously in the foyer with a towel.
"Oh sweetheart I'm sorry about Colton."
"I'm not going back. I'm locking myself in my room...forever!" I exclaimed grabbing the towel and absentmindedly started patting my hair free of water. I'm not a drama queen by no means. But I am tired of falling in and out of love. My heart can't take much more; I ache all the time...I just want to love whom I choose to love.
"I won't force you. Just consider going back."
"I can't promise anything." I said and went up the stairs to my bedroom. There was no way I was returning to that school. I have dated almost everybody there, girl and boy alike. I couldn't take it anymore. I was done being the 'slut' of the school; if they only knew how much I invest in each relationship. I locked my door and sat on my bed. I looked out the window and I had a crystal clear view of the vacant house next door. I remembered the last family that lived there; also one of my boyfriends. Douglas O'Reid was my first boyfriend and therefore was when I received the 'Siren Talk'. I got up and angrily closed the curtains. Douglas also broke up with me. He left me for Carrie Knight...a fellow siren. I believe they're still together. How come Carrie could find her one true love and I couldn't?
I sat in complete darkness and listened for the phone call from the school telling my mother I had skipped afternoon classes. She already knew of course and she would tell them I was ill and had to consider on whether to go back or not. She'd tell them I probably wouldn't and they would wonder what I was ill with and rumors would circulate that the school slut had mono or some other sexual transmitted disease before they all forgot about Shay Connolly altogether.
Isolation was what sirens did best wasn't it? Sirens nested on Greek islands; waiting for sailors to come. Waiting for their true love to set them free of the Siren's Curse. The curse was simple really...every siren was cursed no matter the generation; no matter what they did. They were cursed to fall in love fleetingly. To love anyone they look directly in the eyes. It was horrible. I was in love with my best friend for the longest time. The curse also prevented me having crushes on anyone. So my best friend loved me as well. My life was horrible...messed up but mostly horrible.
"Shay, sweetheart; Vall is on the phone. She's worried about you."
"Tell her I'm sick or something." Vall knew my secret; she knew what I was and she tried to quiet the rumors about me the best she could; but it was near impossible to control a bunch of teenagers. I loved Vall like she was my sister but this time I couldn't confide in her; this time I had to cut her off cold turkey. Isolation was what I did best. I turned over so I faced the closed window and noticed for the first time in three years a light on in the next room. Douglas' old room of course it was someone new. Someone moved in a crossed the from us. We had neighbors...oh no please let them never see me.
From down below I heard what sounded like the doorbell. I groaned, of course they had to be that kind of family. One to introduce themselves at any hours of the day. I groaned once more when my mother requested my presence. I got up and unlocked my door. I slipped on some sunglasses; she could always say I was blind. I walked down the stairs and stood beside my mother.
"Oh, hello I'm Mrs. Burrows and this is my son Vic."
"Hello, this is my daughter Shay and I'm Mrs. Connolly but you can call me Sheila."
"Its nice to meet you Sheila, and hello Shay. Vic say hello."
"Mom, I'm not twelve."
"Hello Shay, I'm Vic." I was dumbfounded at first by his beauty. He was gorgeous and I couldn't let myself look at his eyes. My mother's curse had been broken so she didn't have the fear of falling in love with Vic. I'd ask her later what color his eyes were. "I guess I'll see you at school then."
"Shay doesn't attend school."
"Oh, is she homeschooled?"
"Something like that."
"Well we'll see you around then."
"Yes you will goodnight." The two of them left and mother shut the door. "Shay, please reconsider."
"No! God you have the curse broken! Have you forgotten the pain already?"
"No, I lost my true love. My curse may be broken but the pain of losing that one true love is undeniable. It will never go away. The pain you feel is fleeting compared to what I feel. Go upstairs I will not force you." I turned and raced up the stairs. I peeked out of the curtains and found that Vic had the room the overlooked my room. I could see him unpacking; he wore a look of distaste as did so. He wore his old Alma mater pants and a Lego movie shirt. I couldn't deny his beauty; unlike most people I had no will power to ignore the pull of outer beauty.
My race is selfish and narcissistic I couldn't deny I was a part of that race no more than Vic could deny he was human. I sighed and closed the curtains. I couldn't return to school; perhaps that would be a sign of cowardice but I wasn't about to put myself through that torture. The moon shone brightly even through the closed curtains and I had trouble falling to sleep. My thoughts centered on Vic, and I feared I had already fallen for him. Even after my precautions; a siren couldn't escape my fate. I envied my brother for this very reason. There are no male sirens. Males born to a siren are human; how much I loath this part of our natures there are times I wish I was a boy.
Sleep finally took me some time in the night and I didn't wake until thunder boomed outside my window and lightening flashed. I got up to check the time to find it was well past noon, so I got up and went out to my backyard. Hoping I was safe from prying eyes from neighbors and more importantly Vic. Sirens loved the rain, especially thunderstorms. Sirens use the storms to lure sailors in times of old to their dooms; or to love. In this case I just loved the feeling of the power the lightening gave me. We are creatures of nature, of emotion. In legends of old my people were depicted as birds with women's faces or women with a sparrow's head. My personal favorite was the legend that sirens were mermaids. I didn't mind this tale; mostly because I loved the ocean and I loved marine life. Sirens were depicted to care only for their kills; they sang purely to lure the mariners to their deaths. There is a deeper reason for our creation. Demeter; the goddess of the seasons created us to aid in her search for her daughter- Persephone. It was a shame my ancestors didn't prevent that abduction. Now we're stuck with five months of snow and ice.
I twirled in the rain; happy to be free of the heartbreak and rumors for once. I didn't stop until I heard someone clear their throat. I stopped abruptly and turned towards the side fence;there stood Vic, drenched as I was and smiling. I cursed under my breath as I looked into his eyes. So unlike Colton's in so many ways. His were almost silver the way the rain reflected off of them. They just amplified his good looks.
"Hello, Shay right?"
"I can see you're not blind."
"No...sorry about that."
"Why aren't you in school?"
"I could ask you the same question."
"I asked you first."
"My mother forgot to register me."
"I dropped out."
"Ask someone about me tomorrow and they'll tell you a rumor."
"What kind of rumor?"
"An untrue rumor." I whispered looking at the muddy ground.
"Aren't all rumors untrue?"
"VICTOR BURROWS, come inside this instant! I do not want you sick before your first day of school!"
"I've got to go, I'll talk to you later."
"Alright." I watched Vic go and I to went inside. My mother, like yesterday was waiting with a towel. "Hey mom, I'm sorry about last night."
"Sweetheart, its alright. I saw you talking to the Burrows boy. Did you look into his eyes?"
"Yes. Oh momma everything I wanted to avoid!" My mother sighed and took me into her arms.
"Shay Rose everything happens for a reason. You've got to keep your head up and your emotions tied. Take it slow."
"I will momma. I love you...I don't know what I'd do without you."
"What would I do without you? Or your brother?"
"I love you. I miss him too, I understand your pain...well I don't but I will soon. Sirens don't die. They just age, burst into flames and are reborn...like a phoenix."
"Exactly like a phoenix. This life right here is my favorite."
"Because I have two beautiful children and I met your father. My one true love. And I will find him again."
"I don't doubt that...do you think Vic is the one?"
"No one can be sure. But I sense it in the air around him. I think he belongs with you. He may be a true love but I cannot be certain he is the one that will break the curse."
"When will I meet the one?"
"When you least expect it."
"So it'll be love unexpected? I won't know whom I fall for, but somehow when I do...I'll know he or she is the one? Like the one?"
"Something like that. Shay, go change into something warm. Your brother will be home soon. I want to do something like a family."
"Alright. I call bowling and a movie."
"Its a date." My mother winked and I ran up the stairs. Excited, yet confused and conflicted with the information swirling around in my head. Love unexpected. I knew my mother was in her fourth life cycle when she met my dad while she was working at a diner. That would be pretty unexpected considering she was engaged at the time. To his best friend...I had a lot to think about. Good thing someone invented hot showers.