Nervous, I sat in the beach chair waiting for her.
I’d heard so many things about this woman. This mermaid.
One of her servants brought me a pina colada, so now I was sprawled, half drunk, waiting for my life to be completely changed. The drink was way too damn good.
Then it happened.
She floated out, her body dancing, midair. It was like a dream. She wore a sequin seashell bra. Her fin transformed into legs and a pair of golden stilettos Appeared on her feet.
Her skin was the color of black coffee with just a hint of cream. For some reason, I knew then and there, she had all the answers I needed.
Once she sat down, she clapped three times and a bucket of KFC chicken appeared before her. My eyes widened.
“What’s wrong?” She said, noticing my face. “You want some?”
“N-nothing. No thanks,” I lied.
“You’re wondering how I maintain this physique eating fried chicken huh?” she asked, running her hand down her body.
Studying her non-existent waist, I couldn’t help but nod. She had natural hair, but it was pressed out and fell just below her breasts.
Her eyes had a twinkle about them. I wished I could be that gorgeous. I didn’t look half as good as her. But at least I’d managed to keep a man for the past decade. Somehow.
“Yeah. I am curious,” I said. “I could never eat that way and look like you.”
“Oh, dear. You must not understand.” She paused. “It’s not about what you consume, it’s how you consume it,” she said, cutting up the chicken into tiny pieces.
“So,” she said between smacks, “Why are we meeting today?”
Well,” I said. “I wanna know why my man isn’t romantic.”
“Oh!” She stopped and rubbed her hands together. “That’s a good one dear. But first I have a question for you.”
“Why do you think your man isn’t romantic?”
“Umm.” I don’t know. I hesitated. “Society? Yeah, society. Men today aren’t encouraged to be romantic. They think they’re simps if they do it,” I said.
She devoured the rest of the chicken and threw the bones into the sea.
“No girl. Hell to the no!” she said.
She threw her hands in the air. “That’s not it. It’s not because of society. But I’ll tell you what it is…”
I leaned in, biting my nails with excitement, ready to hear from this beautiful, although slightly ratchet, mermaid. I wanted the magic sauce.
“Your man’s lack of romanticism has little to do with him, and a lot to do with you.”
I backed up. That damn sure wasn’t what I wanted to hear. Of course she blames the victim. I shook my head.
“How? How is it my fault he’s falling short?” I said.
“Is there anything you like about him?” She slanted her golden fin to the side. Her dark blue eyes pierced into mine.
I paused. “I mean, of course. He’s my husband.”
She batted her lashes. “Oh yeah? Tell me about it. Tell me what you like about him.”
I looked down. I hadn’t been asked this before. It felt intrusive…and weird. What exactly was I supposed to tell her? How much do I need to reveal?
We were college sweethearts, we were both hoodlums when we met. We had sex like horny teens and our years together had been blissful. Everything was carefree back when we were younger. I didn’t need romance back then.
But now that we were in our thirties I’d just been wanting more from him lately. Sex was great, but not enough. I didn’t want to tell her all that though. What would be the point?
She kept her eyes focused on me. It was as if she’d stopped blinking. I started sweating, like a criminal in an interrogation room. I darted my eyes out to the sea.
The mermaid twiddled her thumbs, but she stayed silent. She just watched me sit there.
“He…he pays my bills. He provides. I like that he works hard for me. And my baby.”
Her jaw dropped. She flung her long hair around to the other side. “Wow! Bravo, right? That’s amazing, honey. Isn’t it?” She sipped her tea and clapped.
I cracked my best smile, but I couldn’t help but think I was the punch line of some sick joke or something happening here.
“Yeah. It is amazing,” I managed, frowning. I wiggled my eyebrows. I wasn’t sure what to do with my face.
I couldn’t say anything else. We sat there in silence.
The mermaid continued. “So, let’s get back to the conversation. Romance, huh? You said your man isn’t romantic, right?”
“Yeah,” I responded, holding my head down.
“Nope. Lift that head up honey. I don’t talk to the top of people’s heads. I prefer to look into eyes, and study the face. That’s where the truth lives.”
She smiled revealing the whitest, straightest teeth I’d ever seen in my life.
“What are you feeling right now?” She asked me.
“I don’t know, exactly,” I said, trying not to look down.
“Look at the sea and try to explain it. As best you can,” she said. “Focus on the water.”
“I feel guilty. You just made me realize I already have everything I need. I feel like a selfish person who doesn’t appreciate what she has.”
She sat her teacup down and scooted closer to me.
“Bingo.” She said.
“You’re living in deficit consciousness.”
“What?” I stared blankly.
“You see, your husband may not do the small things like bring you roses, run your bath water, keep the house clean, and all that stuff. Am I right?”
“But”—she continued, “You forget about all the good things he does because you’re living in a state of critique…instead of appreciation. Lack attracts lack, babe.With a lack mentality, this man could give you the world, and you’d never appreciate it.”
I nodded. How is it that even when I’m trying to get help, it feels like I’m being beat up? I was afraid to say my next sentence, but I needed answers.
“So, what about the roses and the small things? Do I just not get those?”
“You still don’t get it, do you?” she said.
I shrugged, feeling dumb.
“The shift must happen in you first. You can’t control him. You can only influence him.”
“And how do I do that?”
“Hmm,” I said.
TO BE CONTINUED