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The waters were vast and quiet, as far as the eye could see a deep blue stretched across the horizon and clear waves lapped against bare toes. Eyes took in the familiar scene and felt a tug in the heart. As always… once again… there was that persistent never-ending pull towards the mysterious depths. Even now chains seemed to tighten around the flesh of his neck.
“Professor Yi?” Turning eyes away from the sea, his eyes found the face of a woman looking at him. She was familiar and mostly quiet.
“Will you take me back to campus now? The views are beautiful but I do have to get studying.” Tightening his jaw, he acquiesced and slid wet feet back into his nearby sandals.
“Forgive me. I’ve kept you all this time.”
“No, it’s okay…really. I…I wanted to come see. Get a chance to escape for a while.” Nodding, he cleared his throat and began to lead her away from the tranquil waters. She had asked him about his knowledge of living things underneath the surface, her interest in that of marine biology. He’d told her that he was very familiar as he liked to ‘swim’ quire a lot. The young pupil of his had dared to ask the question of ‘other’ beings that were rumored and fabled to live alongside the crustaceans and reefs. To which he decided to tell her of its truth. She seemed bright, young and curious… non judgmental and open minded. Perhaps, she’d learn more than she bargained for. It would be his pleasure to give that knowledge to her. But also it would be his duty to warn her.
“Fei-hua, have you heard about the curse of the sea?” The girl looked up at him, interests piqued and shook her head. He licked his lips as they neared his car.
“Should you wish to continue down this path, it is imperative that you become aware.”
“Oh?” Eyes grew intense as they left her face to gaze back outward towards the beckoning waves.
“Perhaps your interests would surely die off once you know. Perhaps it will be better. But then, the choice is always yours to make. That’s the one thing no one can take from you.”
It sickened him how the thrill of the swim always seemed to pulse through his veins. It disgusted him. And yet the deeper into the waves he grew, the more his entire body seemed to light up with an unexplainable energy. It wasn’t until he surfaced that the reality of it all hit him like a train. When he surfaced, it was then that he was faced again with his solitude, pain and heartbreak. Coming to shore, his eyes drifted up above to the many stars that twinkled and shined above him. Nights like this made him want to end it all.
When the crisp cold air froze his bare wet skin and the breath came out as a barely-there mist, his tears too froze upon his cheeks. Should they talk, should they have voice they would scream. They would cry and anguish would run deep into the earth. If he could, he’d reach inside his chest and take out the heart so full of sadness and pain and cast it too into the sea. Just a bit longer. Just a bit more. Yet as he tried to reason with himself it always pained him more and more. To have had to live without her.
“Professor?” Dark somber eyes turned to look upon the young bright and curious girl.
“Why do you always look so sad? You look like you will cry.” Lips turned up into a smile but it never did reach his eyes.
“You look heartbroken.” A sharp pain sliced through his heart and he attempted to smile again but found that he couldn’t.
“…You could say that.” He admitted, a hand bringing up a cup of coffee to his mouth. Fei-hua looked sad as she watched him drink, cheeks aglow with a girlish blush nevertheless.
“Who broke your heart?” Sitting the cup of coffee back on the plate, he swallowed thickly.
“The question is not who. It’s what.”
Dark beautiful eyes watched him. Dark red lips curved upwards in a smile. He was handsome. Breathtakingly so. She could see why his father kept him hidden. For if he were not careful, the boy would surely come under the most dangerous circumstances at the hands of a woman. Eyes traced the smooth yet sharp jawline and his shapely nose. There blushing lips made themselves home on his mouth and his long girlish lashes fluttered against the tops of rosy cheeks. He hadn’t moved and yet the breath of every woman seemed at a stand still.
Some looked at him in envy. Others distain. But she… no… she looked at him with an appreciative and muted desire. It had been a long time since she’d seen one so beautiful. As if the gods had crafted and carved him out of cloud and jasper. As a slim wrist lifted, fan in large delicate hand, she sat back, lips curving upward once more. She’d watch him more a bit longer. She’d wait until he grew just a bit more.
“How long ago was it that you met her?” He’d grown tired. Already his heart beat rapidly inside of his chest and the smallest trickling of fear licked at his neck. She won’t believe you. She’ll think you’re insane.
“A very long while ago.” He chose to answer, not sparing any specific details.
“Was she your first love?”
“It all started with her. My life began and ended all at the same time.”
“A struck of curiosity and a black starless night.” At that, Fei-hua closed her mouth and played with the edge of her napkin. Hence, there was her warning. She was far too curious and for that he feared for her. Should she not tame the burning desires to know the unknown he worried that the poor girl would bite off far more than she could chew. And by the time she realized what had become of her, it would be too late.
“I’ll take you home. It’s quite late.” He offered, leaving the now cold coffee in the cup. Blinking, she began to hurry, grabbing her jacket and attempting to catch up to his much taller form. She found that her heart beat wildly in her chest when she was around him. It was true that she liked him. Every girl in class liked Professor Yi. He was something like out of a wuxia drama or something. His features were simply out of this world… he didn’t even look real most times. But when he would speak, when he would open his mouth, a dark sadness would spill out from his pleasantly deep tone. It seemed to be there as a persistent shadow that hung over him. He never smiled and almost never stayed past the time of class.
But to the jealousy of the other classmates, she’d convinced him to stay. She’d convinced him to take her on this journey and now…now she burned with desire. The desire to know everything about him. The desire to be graced with a smile. The desire to have and hold his body in hopes that with her his heart could grow warm again. It was foolish she knew to desire it all. But as she glanced at him out of the corner of her eye, his large beautiful hands on the stirring wheel, she felt powerless to the hold he seemed to have on her. Biting her lip, she stared down at her own hands until he pulled up to her apartment.
He expected her to get out. But when she didn’t, he glanced at her. She was rosy cheeked and her fingers were gripped tight together.
“What’s wrong?” He asked, slightly turning to face her. Of course he knew what was wrong. He knew that the girl beside him had tasted the cup of desire and now she burned with a fire that would not be quenched so easily. He hated himself for it… for having this effect on her.
“There will be no class tomorrow if you’re worried. I have cancelled it.”
“No, it’s not that…”
“Then what is it?” He hated the question. He could feel the longing within her to have him. It was innocent. Sweet. She desired an intimacy that he’d never be willing or able to give her. He pitied her…pitied himself.
“The story you told me…back at the sea. About mermaids.”
“Are there such a thing as mermen too?” He was quiet for a while before,
“Yes. They exist.” Her eyes turned towards him.
“Are you….do you…” Don’t ask that question. Please don’t.
“Goonight Fei-hua.” He dismissed rather abruptly, forcing shock and a slight hurt to flash across her features. Gathering her bag, she swallowed thickly.
“I’m sorry for prying. I…I just want to know more about y-about the sea.” Hands now gripping the steering wheel, he gave her another cold detached smile.
“It’s no problem. Really.” She went to open the door but to his surprise, leaned back into the car, pressing an impulsively rushed kiss against his lips. He grew still, eyes on hers now closed. Pulling back from him, she immediately looked regretful and without a word more got out of his car. Slamming the door shut, she ran into the apartment building. He sat there in the parking lot for a little while, blankly staring at nothing. His lips tingled from the contact and he stabbed the flesh with his teeth to cease it. Putting the car in gear, finally he got onto the road.
Tonight was a dark starless night. Only the light of the faint moon shined above. It would be the perfect night to hide within the depths of the sea, in hopes that she would drown and choke the miserable life from him. Bare feet met the cool sand and fingers began to remove his clothing. Naked now, he slowly approached the waves and soon they covered him until he was no more.
A/N: Wow what a way to start! I felt a pull from Jie and Eminta so hard today LOL. I was not even gonna start write Of Tales so soon after finishing Monster LOL. Like I thought okay lemme rest up a lil bit before I jump in. But here we are. LOL. The chapters are short as this will be a short novel. I hope y'all like this intense start hehe. It's gonna be real haha. Thoughts? Love y'all and see y'all next chapter.
OH! P.S- any text in italics is either implied Mandarin or past tense! Thank you hehe.