Once upon a time, there was a fisher man and his daughter Lena. They lived in a small house near the oceanfront in Bar Harbor Maine. They had a fantastic view of the ocean and often could see dolphins springing out from the beautiful blue sea. Lena, who was an artist would draw pictures of the sea and loved going out on the ocean with her father. Every weekend on a Saturday they would sail out to sea to catch fish in their sailboat. Lena only watched her father catch fish because fishing never really was an interest of hers. She enjoyed being out in the ocean with the brisk breeze blowing her long honey blonde hair, while she drew in her sketch pad of the things she had seen around her.
Lena’s father was standing near the front edge of the sailboat and he cast his line out in the vast open waters. Lena was tired of drawing the same pictures of her father fishing so she looked around hoping to see something that catches her eye. But what would she find while she is in the middle of the ocean and all she could see is a continuum of ocean water? When she got home she went up to her bedroom and admired her previous art creations that she had drawn. Her favorite drawing was of a beautiful mermaid that had blonde curly hair and blue eyes. She never actually seen this mermaid out in the ocean or any others for that matter, but she has dreamt about her and wonders why she is in her dreams so often.
Lena’s mother left when she was a baby. Her father never told her why she so suddenly disappeared. Lena knew that he was hiding something from her. She just couldn’t tell what it was. Lena never knew what her mother looked like, but she often asked her father what she looked like. He would always just tell her, “Your mother looks like you.”
One day Lena asked him again, “What does my mother look like?”
“Lena.” he says annoyed. “You always ask me what your mother looks like and why she left us. You already know the answer so why do you keep asking me?”
“You only tell me that she looks like me and you never show me any of mother’s pictures. Why can’t you just tell me what you’re hiding from me?”
“I am not hiding anything from…”
Lena interrupted, “Then tell me what my mother looks like.”
Her father turned away and walked into his room, he reached up in his closet and pulled out a small lock box. He walked back into the hall way and handed it to her and he had also given her a small key. Then he said, “Open the box.” She placed the key into the small lock hole and turned it to the left to unlock it, she opened the lock box and she gasped in surprise when she saw the pictures of her mother. She was amazed that her mother resembled the image of the mermaid in her dreams.
“Isn’t she beautiful?” he asked. “You have her blue eyes and her hair. I told you that you look like her.”
She smiled up at her father and she glanced back at the photos. She noticed that there weren’t too many photos in the box. There were only four photos of her mother. One of the photos was of her mother and father together, another that was exactly the same photo, but a little smaller, there was a photo of only her mother and the last photo was taken right before Lena’s mother left. The picture was of her mother and father holding her as a baby. She grabbed the photo of just her mother and asked her father, “Do you mind if I have this photo of her to remember her by?”
He looked up from the photo and he saw her eyes start to water, and then he replied, “Yes honey, you can have it.”
Her voice a little unsteady she said, “thank you!” then she walked into her bedroom and closed the door. She walked over to her mermaid drawings that resembled her mother. She picked up some sticky tack that was left on top of her dresser and put a little in each corner on the back of the photo and placed her mother’s picture in the center of the mermaid drawings. She stared at the photo closely comparing it to the drawings. She was so confused and didn’t understand why she was dreaming of her mother as a mermaid.
The next day Lena and her two best friends, Brandon and Sandra went to the beach. They all sat on a blanket and had a small picnic together. Lena still had thoughts of her mother on her mind and was trying to figure out the relation of the mermaid in her dreams to the picture of her mother. Sandra knew that something was bothering Lena because she was silent while she was staring out at the ocean.
“Lena, is something wrong? You’re not really saying too much today.”
“I’m alright” She replied. “Just the weirdest thing happened last night when I was talking with my father.”
“Like what?” Sandra asked. Brandon stared at Lena as he was curiously waiting for Lena’s reply.
“You know how I told you the dreams I’ve been having of swimming with a mermaid…”
Brandon interrupted with a laugh then asked, “What does that have to do with the conversation you had with your father last night?”
Sandra glared at Brandon then said, “Well if you’d just listen you would find out Brandon.” She looked back over to Lena and replied, “Yes, I remember!”
“Well to answer your question Brandon, I asked my father to tell me what my mother looked like and he showed me some pictures of her last night. The shocking thing was that the picture of my mother looks exactly like the mermaid in my dream.” Lena took out the photo of her mother that her father let her keep and showed it to her friends.
“No way!” said Sandra. “It must be a coincidence.”
“It is possible that it is just a coincidence, but what if it is a sign. My mother left right after I was born. And you both have seen the drawings on my walls of the mermaid that has been in my dreams.”
“Let me guess you believe that this sign or dream is indicating that your mother is a mermaid. You know that sounds ridiculous Lena!” Brandon said.
“Yea, I know! But I have no other theory to why my mother left and why I am having these crazy dreams. My father won’t even tell me why my mother just disappeared on us both. He seems like he is hiding something. I just don’t know what.”
“Maybe he doesn’t know why she left either?”
“I don’t know about that Sandra. If that is so, why is it that he never showed me a picture of my mother? He must have walked into my room and seen the drawings all over my wall. There has got to be something he is hiding and I am going to figure it out.”
Brandon gets up and then says, “Well how about we go for a swim?” Then they all get up on their feet and run over to the water. Lena challenges them both to a race to see who gets further out in the ocean first. Within 2 minutes Lena was already a mile away from the two and while she was swimming under water she saw something moving quickly. She was a little fearful because she wasn’t sure of what it was, she knew that it was too small to be a shark but it was definitely not a small fish. She swam to the surface of the water and glanced back at her friends. She was surprised by the extensive gap between them because she didn’t realize how far she swam. Then Lena was abruptly pulled under water, her friends watching as it happened were in shock and started screaming out to her. While Lena was under water she finally came face to face with the mermaid in her dreams and in the picture.
Mermaids couldn’t speak under water, but they could read minds and Lena was able to read the mermaids mind. Lena thought “Whoa Could this actually be my mother?”
The mermaid replied by thinking, “Yes, I am your mother.”
“Is this why you left father and me?”
“Yes, I had no other choice, but to leave. If it were up to me I would have never left, but after my 18th birthday I no longer had a choice. The transformation had already taken place and your father saved my life by sailing out to the middle of the ocean. And though he didn’t want to let me go he released me into the ocean because he knew that I would die otherwise.”
“My 18th birthday is in a week does this mean that I will also transform into a mermaid too?”
Her mother nodded. She said that she had to go, and then she hurriedly rushed off into the depths of the ocean. Suddenly Lena could hear that her friends were worried about her as they finally approached where they last seen her. Lena swiftly swam to the top and without gasping for air she greeted them with a smile.
Oh My God! Lena what happened? Are you alright? We saw something pull you under water. You were down there for a while…”
“Calm down you guys. I am alright!”
“Aren’t you going to tell us what happened?” said Sandra.
“Yeah, Just as soon as I understand what had happened.”
They all reached the dry land and gathered the picnic basket and blanket then they headed home. As soon as Lena got home, she got ready for dinner. She sat at the kitchen table across from her father.
Lena’s father asked, “How was the beach?” Lena was silent for a while because she didn’t know how to tell him what she had seen.
“Is there something wrong?”
Lena looked up from her plate and then said, “No, I am just thinking about my 18th birthday that is in a week.” After she said that she closely watched the expression on his face. She could tell that it upset him when she mentioned it. He left his plate on the table and walked upstairs to his bedroom as he began to cry for the first time in a long time. Lena wished she could have taken what she said back, but it was too late so she finished her dinner then went to her room. She laid on her bed just staring straight at the drawings and then back at the photo of her mother that she had in her hands from when she took it to the beach with her…
A week later Lena’s father knocks on her door then slowly opens it and sees that she is still asleep. He walks toward her bed then says, “Happy birthday sweetheart! It is time to wake up.” Lena opens her eyes, and then he kisses her on her forehead then walks toward her bedroom door then says, “You have a big day ahead of you.”
Lena walked downstairs and into the kitchen where her father sat. He smiled up at her and handed her a small gift. He told her to open it. She un-wrapped it and then opened the small gift box and in it was a heart shaped necklace that opened up and had a picture of her father in it. Both of their eyes started to water and then Lena gave him a hug and said thank you. Then she said, “Father, we need to talk about something.”
He wiped his eyes then replied, “What is it that you need to tell me?”
“You know last week when I was at the Beach with my friends?”
“Yeah.” He said.
Well that day I saw a mermaid and I know it was mother because she told me it was her and she looks exactly the same as in this photo, you gave me of her. She told me that I am going to turn into a mermaid on my birthday. Is this true?”
”Yes the same exact thing happened to your mother on her 18th birthday right after she gave birth to you. She also warned me before she left that the same thing was going to happen to you. I don’t know what I will do when you’re gone.”
“Can’t you come and visit us in the ocean where you usually go fishing? Mother and I can meet you there every Saturday.”
“Yea, I suppose I could do that. Do you think you or your mother could even bring some fish because I haven’t had much luck lately.” He jokingly said and then started to laugh.
“I am pretty sure we can manage to do that for you.”
Lena started to get a headache and then she fell to the ground. Her father quickly scooped her up into his arms and took her out onto the sail boat where he sailed out to the parts of the ocean and he noticed the face of his former girlfriend that was patiently waiting for them to arrive. By the time that he got there his daughter was finished with the transformation and immediately needed to be placed into the water. He tried to grab her, but she was too heavy now that she had a tail. So he said, “Lena, we need you to move into the water.” She didn’t respond because she was slightly unconscious so he had to slowly push her into the ocean. Finally she was in the water, but she was beginning to sink to the bottom, her mother had already disappeared back in the water when he lifted his head to look up at her. He was worried that he may have brought her too late and that she died. Then right away she came bursting out of the water vigorously. Both the mother and his daughter stared up at him, then he said to Lena, “I am going to miss you kid. Don’t forget to come and surprise me someday while I am fishing.”
Both Lena and her mother smiled and then they swam away into the deep blue ocean. Every weekend on a Saturday they would come and visit him and they purposely would hook an enormous fish on his hook so that he would believe that he caught it himself. He took his prize home and looked forward to going fishing again to see both his daughter and his former girlfriend swimming happily in the ocean. And they all lived happily ever after.
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