“We have given our hair to the witch, to obtain help for you, that you may not die tonight.” I replayed my sisters’ words in my head.
“She has given us a knife, see, it is very sharp.” My hand’s grip tightened on the object that would seal both our fates.
“Before the sun rises you must plunge it into the heart of the prince… either he or you must die before sunrise.” I see the first red streaks in the sky and I know I must hurry.
You die, or I do.
As I draw back the crimson curtain of your tent, I see you sleeping with her head resting on your chest.
That should have been me.
I feel my chest tighten, the invisible knives under my feet coursing deeper into my flesh. I walk closer not minding the pain, as I have been doing since the day I decided to give up everything for you, and with a soft kiss on your brow, I try to say goodbye.
I glance at the knife I have been gripping, a token of my family’s love, my sisters’ sacrifice. I left them for you, but still they gave up the beautiful hair so I can have my tail and voice back. So I can come back to them. Indeed, love is about sacrifices.
Is my love for my family strong enough to stab your heart?
I hear you whisper her name in your dreams. I forget how to breathe.
If only you knew it was me. I was the one who saved you when you were drowning. It was my face that has haunted you all this time, not hers. It was me, my prince. If I have only kept my voice, I would have told you how I rescued you through the raging waves. I would have told you how much I love you.
I still love you now, as I watch you sleep with your bride in your arms.
I lift the knife and my hand trembles. I must do it now before it is too late. I must kill you now, and my suffering ends. Or will it?
Will I be living a good life with my sisters while knowing that I destroyed the man I love and would ever love? Will I ever find the heart to sing when I get my voice back? Will I swing my tail and not remember the little feet that danced through the pain for your smile?
Will I be able to smile again?
I feel tears escape my eyes and I run.
I give the knife one final look and throw it far from me into the waves.
The water turned red where the knife fell.
And then I’m gone.
A response to Weekly Writing Challenge: Dialogue
Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Little Mermaid’