“Can you tell me a story, a love story?” A woman asked a man she loved more than life itself. The man thought long and hard, trying to come up with the best story until finally, it hit him.
“Have you ever heard the story about the man who lived on the submarine?” He questioned.
When the woman shook her head no, he began the story with great detail and heart, for he was determined to tell the story justice.
“There once was a man who was offered the opportunity to live on a submarine if he so desired and he did. He so desired to go under the great blue because he was tired of his mundane life on land and was determined to live a better one. And so after four years of training and preparation, he was set to leave to the very bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, where he would spend the next fifteen years of his life. You might be wondering why anyone in their right mind would want to spend fifteen years at the bottom of the ocean, wouldn’t he miss life and all its wonderful glory? But the truth was, he hated life. More particularly, he hated his life with a fiery burning rage. He was bullied as a child for his poor looking clothes and his two dollar hair cuts. It haunted him. He endured those hateful words for so long that they became dull roars of pain he couldn’t escape. He lived a very lonely life and was ready to escape it. So he went to the bottom of the deep blue in a submarine, the size of two football fields to live a much better and happier life or so he hoped.
“Over the course of his first few years aboard the machine, he had ample amounts of difficulties, first trying to get used to the idea that he was under the water with no way out. Second, trying to understand the machine he was stuck in, trying to understand it in a better way than he was taught on land. Third, teaching himself how to swim in the suit he was given. He was trying his best to stay positive though, reminding himself each day that he was happy. Much happier surrounded by fish than people. He always wanted an adventurous life and now he had one. And so one day after he was able to comprehend the idea of being way down, down in the ocean, he understood the machine he was in in a much better way and was able to adventure out of the machine into the ocean, he decide that he was going to try all the things he was never able to try out on land. He wrote in his journal, that he promised to keep. He taught himself to play the guitar, the only instrument allowed on the machine. He learned how to draw. And most importantly, he learned about the ocean in a way that most people couldn’t even imagine. He was happy about that. He was happy about doing thing’s people could only dream about. As a child, he never imagined that. Nothing seemed to be going wrong anymore because he didn’t have any worries. Did I mention he was happy?” The woman nodded her head so, the man continued his story, without missing a beat.
“But of course there were things that the submarine could not offer him. Things he could get nowhere but land. He tried his best to ignore those burning notions but he couldn’t. The submarine couldn’t offer him companionship, the machine couldn’t offer him love. And no matter how much he hated to admit it, he needed love. So he tried to distract himself from it, distract himself from his own loneliness. He read and read books about love, he watched movies that he could submerge himself into other people’s love stories. And for another two years of his life, he was content and only felt most alone late at night when the silence became too much for him. But by the fourth year on the submarine, he was crying himself to sleep each night and woke with red puffy eyes of shame and despair. But he still claimed to be happy but by the fifth year, he only claimed to be content with life. But he liked it down at the bottom than on top.
“But like most people, he had a breaking point, his breaking point came around his sixth year on the machine. He was determined to come up with a way for himself to be plucked from the deep blue. He no longer wanted to live in the coffin he was submerged in. He knew that the program that sent him down would never allow him just to come back home. So for another long and lonely year, he thought long and hard about ways he could escape his deep pit of despair. ‘There has to be a way.’ He would mumble each night before his tears would swallow him whole. And of course there was a way and by his seventh year, the submarine rewarded him with that very knowledge.
“One night while running aimlessly through the bottom half of the submarine, the man came across a panel of metal. A very thin panel of metal, so thin a knife could easily cut through it. Now don’t ask how a metal so thin could be placed on something so technically correct but it was. Almost put there by God’s will. The man was so overjoyed by this find, he smiled for the first time in years, a true all-American boy smile. After that his plan was simple, he would wait until his tenth year on the machine and poke a hole in the panel of metal with a giddy smile and wait. And so he did. Just a small hole, just to make a stream of water run into the machine. But the man had to wait, wait, and wait. And what felt like years was actually just two days. Two days, after the ‘accident’ the machines lower level was submerged in water. And the machine was on high alert for water control. Yet no word from land, not a call, no rescue mission. The man was now stuck on a sinking submarine,” The man paused, his breathing restless. The women looked at him, her smile small.
“Why did you stop?” She questioned.
“Because the next part of the story is either fact and fiction, depending on what you want to believe.” She nodded her head slowly, up and down.
So the man continued, “Now to this day no one truly knows if the man made the rest of the story up or if the events that are about to unfold are true but the man was determined to claim them with the facts, he swears to the All-Mighty Power that he was saved by a-”
“A what?” The woman giggled.
“He was saved by a Mermaid. A sea creature with arms, a tail, long blonde hair, and sky blue eyes, sky blue eyes not ocean blue. The man made that one much apparent.”
“A Mermaid? Like those sea-creatures who live in the ocean, who lure sailors to their untimely deaths?” The woman questioned.
“No just a plain, if you can describe something of that sort plain- a mermaid who sings for fun, not for death. Now this Mermaid apparently covered the small gash in the Submarine with something, the man didn’t know what exactly. Luckily whatever she placed in the hole stopped the water from entering the submarine. But to her misfortune, when she tried for a too quick get away, he saw her. And was instantly mesmerized, transfixed by the figure. Later, when he spoke of the sea-creature, he spoke of her fair skin- untouched by the sun, thin hair, and pretty eyes. An angel with a tail. A smile was always on his face when speaking of her until the day he lied to die.
“Another thing he spoke about was the fact that it wasn’t love at sight, rather hope and courage at first sight, rather the need to see her again and again. The sight of her made him want something more than someone to love, but a life worth loving. From that moment his determination didn’t come from the need to be with her, but rather to just thank her. He needed to thank her, even if it was the last thing he did. To thank her for giving him back hope. Hope that he lost thinking life didn’t want to have him anymore, but she was an angel to him. An angel sent from God himself, to save him. To have him continue on with his life.
“His next actions were a blur, from the tubes he used to let the water back into the ocean to finding a map of the great ocean. That night- once all the water was gone, that man slept with hope in his heart. So much hope that for the first time in years, he didn’t wake up with puffy eyes. For the next few months, the man searched and searched for the beautiful sea-creature, each day moving through emotional ideas and notions of defeat. He needed to find the creature, the creature of great stories, the creature that might have sent anyone else swimming in the other direction, but not him. The Angel sent from above to help him find hope again. And just when he thought his hope was on a winding path down the drain, he saw her.
“On a day he decided to search longer and further. On a day when he felt like God was guiding him. And a day, when he decided if he didn’t find her, again he would try to sink the Submarine. On a day, when hope seemed something of his imagination, but it wasn’t.
“She sat on a rock, her thin hair whirling in the water. Her fair skinned hands running aimlessly through the water. There she sat, without a notion of what was going on in the man's mind. When he left the submarine and he was swimming towards her slowly, a fearful idea came into his mind too fast for him to fully grasp. The idea that she wouldn’t remember, the idea that she thought never of the rescue. Never thought of him. He stopped moving towards her for only a moment trying to collect himself,” The man paused his story, again.
“Did she remember him?” The women questioned, her mind whirling with ideas of how the introduction would go.
“She was an angel that represented hope, no one but him knows if she remembered, no one but him knows whether she cared for him the way he did her, or if she was just a hallucination.”
“But there is more to the story?”
“Yes. When he finally overcame his fear, he closed off the distance between them and tapped her shoulder ever so lightly. To his surprise, she didn’t seem at all phased by him. Almost like she expected him. Her beauty was that of an angel, her smile was not of this world. He couldn’t muster up the confidence to speak first so she spoke, her voice was like velvet.
“‘Hello,’ she said to him. And finally, when he was able to speak, even with the oxygen mask covering his face, he said ‘Hello’ back. She stared at him, her face unreadable. He asked her name, ‘Isabelle’. She asked him his name, he replied with a gasp of wonder at her amazingly soft voice. And from the spoken names, they began a conversation, a deep conversation. Moving from topic to topic without a hiccup, not a single awkward moment came up. But unfortunately for them, they had to part but at least with the promise to meet again tomorrow at the same place.
“Wait, but if it wasn’t love at first sight then why did they got on that well, were they soulmates?” The Woman questioned, her eyes wide with wonder.
“Soulmates?” The man pondered.
The woman nodded.
“Some might say yes. But I think because she was his angel maybe, she was just meant to connect with him,” the man said, quietly. “Maybe she was just hallucination. Maybe she wasn’t real.”
“But do you believe she was real?”
“Maybe I will answer that question when I am finished with the story,” he smiled.
“Fine,” she giggled. “Continue.”
The man continued with his story, again. “The man and the Mermaid met every day. Every day they met with a smile and many questions to ask and many answers to give. For years they met, talked, and with each conversation they fell in love. Fell in love with each other a little bit more. Each question asked and answered. Each day they spoke with heart and emotion. But when the man's time on the submarine began to pend towards ending they made a promise to meet every possible time they could while he was on land. They made a promise that they would not let anything get in the way of them being together. No matter if it was the objects of water and land, they would meet without fail. ‘Promise me, promise me you will come to me when ever you can, promise me these moments aren’t going to be our last moments together.’ Isabelle spoke to him one day, softly. Her voice like velvet, he always said. Velvet was the way you had to describe her voice.
‘Promise me this is real.’ She continued, grabbed for his gloved hand, bring it to rest on her cheek. ‘I promise you with every fiber of my being that this is something, something real. Something I will fight for, even in death I will fight to be with you, forevermore.’ He promised.
“Now even though their pending relationship started and ended with the touch of a hand, he no longer felt alone. And each night instead of tears of pain that rolled down his cheeks, tears of enjoyment rolled down instead. He was happy. And for the first time in a while, he wasn’t lying when he spoke those words. Not trying to hide something way down deep, nothing but truth fell with those words when he spoke them.
“But tragedy hit. Making the world in which they both lived in twirl. Each day, they both would met on a rock in which the man found the mermaid, but one day his wait for the mermaid was much too long for his liking. Each second, minute that ticked by a type of fear began to build inside of him. A fear that all that he has been doing and saying for these past few years had all been fake, an illusion of the mind. The man thought long and hard about his memories, trying to identify the truth. He came to the conclusion that all his memories were real, truth and nothing else. So he waited, waited, and waited. Yet after hours of waiting and thinking, no sign of his angel anywhere. Until finally, a small figure became a dot in the distance. And with every passing moment, that figure became bigger and bigger, until finally, a mermaid was right in front of the man. But not his Isabelle, another mermaid. This time a male, who liked in some ways exactly like her-”
“It’s her father isn’t it?” The women interrupted.
“Yes,” the man laughed. “Can I continue? This time without interruption?” The man giggled.
She nodded once more and so he began his tale, again. “Her father swam up to the man with a fiery of anger. His eyes red. His blonde hair cut off just before his shoulders, his blue eyes- deep blue eyes glared at him. His great-big beard waving in the water. He spoke with a thundering voice.
“‘Are you the man who my daughter has been sneaking off with?’ His voice was like a lightning storm. The man nodded, his nerves going too wild for him to properly speak. ‘And may I inquire your birthrights?’ He questioned.
The man spoke with a muffled voice, ‘I don’t have any, sir’
“‘Are you born of Royal blood?’ He shook his head no. ‘Then you may no longer see my daughter, for she is to marry a Prince. And she needs to push all her focus towards that and not a mere human being. Do you understand me? From this moment on you are no longer allowed to see my daughter!’ He voiced so loudly, the water around them rippled.
“The man watched as the mermaid swam away in a hurry. The water around the man rippled and twirled making the man worry. He took off towards his submarine right away. He got back to the machine with a broken mind, his need to see her was overwhelming him. He was pondering his actions and manners of ways, was his royal-less blood really the reason he couldn’t be with the female he loved. Not the fact that he was human? He was confused that night while he laid in bed. His eyes brimming with tears, but he wouldn’t give them the satisfaction of rolling down.
“Each day for the last three months of his time on the Submarine, he went to the rock. Each day less happy than the day before. For each day, he saw her not. He sat on the rock until the last possible moment, his heart breaking each moment a little more. But even though he was slowly washing away, he hoped, hoped with all that he had that she was doing okay. That at least she was happy, happy with the new mermaid.”
“Did she marry the other mermaid?” The woman questioned.
“No one knows, not even him. After he left the ocean, those months later he never saw her again. But he did try to go back out into the ocean. He would take boats out, but his safety was always at a risk, he didn’t seem to mind though. He tried for another few years to search for her, but nothing.”
“Did he ever talk about her?”
“More than he should have. At first, people listened because he was something of a legend, ‘The Man who lasted fifteen years in the Ocean’, he had interviews in magazines and newspapers. He was interviewed on talk shows, he was slowly becoming someone, something. But his stories became repetitive, he only spoke about a mermaid that saved him. A blonde haired, sky blue eyed, fair skinned, and velvet voiced Mermaid who saved him. And he spoke of nothing else, for his happy memories revolved around her. People let him go on and on because they thought his illusions of the mind were from the loss of oxygen, they thought he would soon realize all that he was saying was fake. He talked about the mermaid he fell in love with, with so much emotion, so much care. A smile never leaving his face. Even though he was unhappy about never seeing her again, he was at least happy about being able to have those years with her. He spoke of her to feel the void in his heart from not being able to be with her.”
“He really thought she was real?”
The woman thought long and hard for a moment, then just shrugged her shoulder’s with defeat.
“People began to get angry with him because they wanted to believe him, truly wanted to believe in a love so real. But he was bricking past sane at this point. So they began to ignore the crazy man who spoke only of the ‘fake’ mermaid, his deep-blue diaries were burned or thrown away, for all they held was ‘false’ information.”
“What about him, how was he?”
“He didn’t care. He had loved and been loved to him that was all that mattered. So on the day time caught up with him, he spoke once more of his beautiful Isabelle and said one more thing to those barely listening,” the man paused, his smiling slowly growing across his face.
“What did he say?” The woman asked with much excitement. “Tell me.”
“He spoke once more with dignity and courage- something that I want you to understand, love. He said, ‘I rather have loved and been loved and called insane than been called sane and never felt love at all.’”