The Girl of the Abyss

May 12, 2010
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He could hardly see what was in front of him. The fog surrounded him, and he needed to find his way back. The waves crashed onto the shore, nearly engulfing his feet. It was icy cold, and the air sent a chill up through his body. Thinking quickly, he steadily made his way to a dock.
At least under the, he could get out of the rain.
The storm continued, and the young man rested, exhausted from his search. He knew she always came in horrible weather, or at least, it seemed that way. The last time he had seen her was only a few months earlier, during one of the worst storms of the year. Still, he knew what he was doing was dangerous. He was risking his life to see her. But he hadn’t a care in the world.
“Please be okay,” he thought.

His friends called him insane.
“Why do such a thing?” one had asked him. “How do you even know she’ll return your love?”
“I’m confident,” the young man had replied. “I could sense the connection.”
“What a load of crap,” they would snicker.
Despite the rude comments, he did not care what the others said. He had faith in the mysterious young woman, and it always remained. Even now, during the life-threatening storm, he remained under the dock, never losing hope.
Anytime now, she would come. He just knew it, sensed it.
About a half-hour passed. The storm continued to rage, with violent cracks of lightening traveling down onto the earth, followed by a loud clap of thunder.
“Anytime now,” he thought again, tapping his finger slowly against the wet sand.

Suddenly, he saw a figure in the distance. It was a shadow, slowly making its way across the shore, through the fog and rain. It had just occurred to him that she was literally a few hundred feet away.
Patience truly is a virtue.
He quickly got up, squinting at the shadow that gradually started to take on a familiar shape. She had finally arrived, just as he had anticipated. Now what should he say to her exactly? A simple hello wouldn’t do; he needed to say more, something that would make her appreciate his presence. A question maybe? He was curious, after all, as to why she only made an appearance during violent thunderstorms. Was there something significant in this unusual habit? Like a deeper meaning? The young man was determined to find out, but how to bring it up in conversation was yet another thing he had to think through.

At last, the young woman had completed the difficult trek under the dock. She stared at him, softly smiling.
“I knew you would be waiting,” she said, “I apologize for the wait.”
He was at a loss for words. A simple “Okay” would have sufficed, but he was unable to form the words with his mouth. It only took the sound of her voice to make him speechless. After a short time, the young man was finally able to force a sentence out of his mouth. “It’s fine,” was all that he could say. How could he ask her?
“The storm is beautiful,” she whispered.
“I agree,” he quickly replied.
God, he needed to think of something to talk about now. No more of these two-worded phrases.
“Why so tense?” she asked, with genuine concern. “We’re going to be ok here.”
“It’s nothing,” he replied.

Under the dock, the sand was ice cold, and water was dripping through the cracks of the wood above the two. Solemnly, they looked across the ocean.
“Just ask it,” he thought.
Shifting his body so that he was facing the young woman, he abruptly stopped moving. Taking one more second to think everything through, he forced the words out of his mouth,
“What is it about these storms that you like? I only see you whenever the weather’s bad.”
She smiled and tucked a part of her drenched blonde hair behind her ear. She made eye contact, and he could see the glow in her eyes, despite the lack of sunshine.
“There are many reasons, really,” she started, “but I guess mainly because I feel as if I can escape for a few hours from life. No one is out, and I find the rain to be calming.”
The young man was itching to know more. Surely, there had to have been a deeper reason than to just escape from it all, considering how unsafe it is to be outdoors during such an intense storm.
“I agree; it can be calming. But you aren’t satisfied with staying indoors, watching the storm at home?”

She quickly glanced at him and then turned back to look back out toward the ocean. Slowly leaning back, the young man could tell she was contemplating how to answer.
“It’s not the same,” she replied. “I can’t appreciate the beauty of the rain cooped up inside. Call me crazy, but I need to be out here and experience it, to truly feel it.”
The boy found this to be quite admirable, unique, and intriguing. Never had he met a person who would risk injury to merely enjoy the beauty of nature.
“Don’t you like to just get away from it all? Even if it’s only for a few minutes?”
Of course he did, just he was happy doing so within the confines of his own home. He wouldn’t admit that to her though, after she had given him such a complete and honest answer.
“Yes. Even if it’s only for a few seconds,” he replied.

They didn’t speak for what seemed like ages. The tide had started to die down, and the fog had become less dense, yet the rain continued to pour. He didn’t mind not speaking to her. Just her presence alone was enough to satisfy him. Just then, she started to get.
“I’m sorry,” she said, “but I need to get going.”
“Let me drive you home,” the boy responded. Even just the few minutes he could gain from driving her to her house would suffice; he just wanted to spend a little more time with her.
“It’s fine, really. I’d rather walk.”
“Let me come with you,” he persisted.
“It’s far off,” she said, abruptly.
“Are you—“ he started to say, when she cut him off.
“Maybe next time. I must be going now. I’m sorry, I truly am.” And with that, she quickly walked back the way she came.
He watched her leave while he remained under the dock.

He knew it was unusual for her to leave suddenly like that. He was sure that he hadn’t said anything that would have offended her. Was it because he didn’t speak much that she wanted to leave, in order to truly be alone?
“There’s only one way to find out,” the young man thought, as he walked up the steps and made his way toward his car.

Several weeks had passed.
“Another violent storm is on the way folks. Tonight, a severe thunderstorm warning will be enforced, and is effective until Monday. Please be safe.”
The young man clicked the remote. His perfect opportunity had come.

The familiar scene had arrived. Crashing waves, icy cold rain, and dense fog.
Under the dock, he waited. Soaking wet, he waited for the girl, hoping she would come. And there she was, walking through the fog; however, she seemed to be walking more slowly, as if her thoughts were somewhere else.

Her feet touched the sand, leaving footprints that the waves consumed shortly after they were made. She caught a glimpse of the young man, sitting in his regular spot under the dock.
He observed her, for she looked as if she had started to walk a bit more slowly. Why did she seem so cautious coming over to the dock? Didn’t she want to see him? And if not, wouldn’t she want to be safe and get out of the storm?
The girl stopped walking, and looked out toward the ocean. She turned around, and facing the place from which she came, and started to walk toward the other side of the shore.

He looked on, seeing she had suddenly turned around and began walking further away from the dock.

“What is she doing?” he thought. He bolted from his seat, running into the fog. The rain was pelting down on him, and the thunder made his eardrums vibrate violently. His vision was blurred, he was breathing was fast, and his emotions were spinning. Why was she not meeting him under the dock? Where was she headed to? He had to discover the answers to these questions and more. Why did she only make an appearance during thunderstorms? He noticed she was climbing up the rocks, the ones that faced out toward the ocean.

“Where are you going?” the boy yelled. She was unresponsive and continued to climb up the rocks. “Damn thunder,” the boy murmured.
He approached the towering boulder. Placing his hand on it, he made an attempt to find a steady grip on the side of the rock. Carefully, he started to make his way up. The boulder was slippery, and one misstep would be all that it took for him to fall. The thought terrified him.
“Where are you going?” he repeated. Still no answer.

At this point, he could not help but be annoyed. Here he was waiting, risking injury, all just to speak with her. Finally, he had made it to the top of the boulder. He did not get up right away, and hanging from the ledge, he spied on the girl for a few moments. She was only looking out toward the ocean, watching the storm pass by. The young man pulled himself up, carefully, so that she would not hear him approaching. The waves crashed against the rock, drenching the two. He nearly lost his balance, but he steadied himself. She did not even flinch, continueing her watch over the ocean.

“Should I say something?” he thought. How would she react to him following her? Reviewing all of the possible consequences, he came to a conclusion.

“What are you doing?” he exclaimed, so that she could hear him over the crash of thunder.
She turned around gradually, staring at him. A few moments passed, and he repeated his question.
“What are you doing? Being up here is dangerous. Let me take you somewhere safe!”
“I’m okay,” she replied, without alarm. She approached him, with caution. “You need not worry about me. Please, go home.”
“You mean to tell me after climbing up here, waiting for you out here in the middle of a storm, you’re just going to tell me that I should go home?”
“Yes,” she responded, “I don’t want you to get hurt out here because of me. I appreciate your concern for me. You must believe me.”

“How can I?” he thought. If she appreciates it, why couldn’t she just come with him and go somewhere safe?”
“Do you really appreciate it? To be frank, it’s hard to believe you,” he snapped.
The girl was taken aback, obviously surprised at the boy’s reaction. “I apologize,” were her only words.
The young man, realizing his mistake, walked toward her. He place his hand on her shoulder, which felt warm to the touch. Soon, he wrapped his arms around her. “No, I apologize.” He tightened his arms around her, as she tucked her head on his shoulder, feeling secure in his embrace.

He felt less cold in this embrace, and as if it had lasted for hours.
“Thank you,” she whispered into his ear. “It’s just, you don’t understand. I need to go home.”
“Let me take you,” he replied compassionately.
“You see,” she said, “you can’t get there by car.”
“Then let’s walk there together.”
She froze, as if lost for words.
“Can we not get there by foot either?” he questioned jokingly.
Still, she did not answer. She pulled herself away from the boy, who loosened his arms.
“There is only one possible way to get home,” she finally uttered.
“Please, show me,” the young man asked.
“Please be aware,” she started, “that I’ll return. You’ll know when.”

“I understand,” he replied.
He was quite baffled. Where was her home? And how could one get there if not by foot or car? Still pondering, he watched her walked toward the cliff.
“Never forget; I always keep every promise I make,” she stated.
He nodded his head, the only reaction he was capable of. He was apprehensive about what was about to happen, praying that whatever it was, the girl would remain safe.

The young woman took a deep breath, making her leap of faith, and dove over the high rocks and into the ocean, in the midst of the crashing waves.
He ran forward, toward the edge of the cliff.
“NO!” he exclaimed. He frantically searched for her, from the cliff’s edge, gazing down at the ocean. Should he go after her? Should he call for help? Thoughts floated through his head, rushing around in his mind. What if…

Yet he need not have been alarmed, for he finally saw her in the water, smiling back at him. She looked up at him, waving. He stood in disbelief and nervously waved his hand, relieved to know that she was not hurt.
The girl smiled, then turned around, facing the horizon, and dove into the water.
She flicked her silvery-blue tail, which seemed to glow even in the storm weather, and started to make the journey back home.

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