It is like becoming a mermaid again
He had swum up to her and dragged her out of the sea. He told her she was drowning, and so that’s what she believed.
Someone else was tugging at her ankles and this is what she knew, that someone else was trying to drown her. She turned around and shrugged the other girl off. She pushed on towards shore, certain her fate lay next to him.
She would become a woman, beneath his body. She would turn to sea foam and sand and she would let him brush the water from her face.
He would transform her into a human being, right? He would change her back into a female-bodied person and she would open for him and she would like it, love it, the way she was supposed to.
She would transform herself into everything she thought he wanted from her.
It worked, too. It came so very close to working that it tipped over the edge and now she cannot come back.
She wants to come back. She wants to venture out into the ocean and drown herself in everything she used to be, she wants to lose herself in the face of everything he has made her into. He wants to make her into someone he would be proud to love, and she is so very close to allowing him to do that.
She was a mermaid once before. She fled before the women who wanted too much from her, and not enough, all at the same time. Love was too special to share with them, so she kept looking.
It’s too late now. She is shaped by demons and stones, and there is not one real thing in her face.
She can’t stop looking back at the other girl, and it is like looking back at her own fate, at a fate she has given up. It is like staring at the destiny that she gave up, and it is too late to take it up again.
Still the other girl’s eyes shimmer and something deep inside her body turns oceanic and wide open underneath the girl’s stare.
She curses her body for being born wrong, hates herself for making her chosen path that much more difficult. Still the girl is like her last backward glance at a life that would actually make her happy.
Maybe she can be normal after all. Maybe she can be healthy and contented with just enough, fit herself into a life that’s just her size and then stay there. The other girl seems to suggest things don’t have to hurt, just by existing, and maybe she’s right.
Maybe they don’t.
Ariadne Wolf is completing her Bachelor’s in Women’s and Gender Studies at Willamette University this Spring. After WWOOFing over the summer, Ariadne will begin her Master’s in Creative Writing at Mills College in the Fall. Ariadne hopes to influence other young women to write about their own lives and experiences.