Oh, the things we have done when we are angry. But it was only early
summer, and the leaves were lush and green, and the mornings were soft with
dew and sunlight. One would not have thought that it was possible to harm
someone on such a day.
There was no point, really, to saying that the long grass in the back
yard looked like mermaid's hair. Perhaps it was the color. Mermaids have,
at times, been rumored to have sea-green hair, but truly grass is not sea-
green? That is of no consequence. She said it, nonetheless; she said, "The
grass looks like a mermaid's hair, do you not think so, Alex?"
Alex looked at her through the sun in his eyes, and she seemed all
the more beautiful because of the sunlight, and because he loved her.
"Yes," he said calmly, plucking a leaf of grass and winding it around his
finger.
She squinted at him through her hair, and smiled. "You only say
that." She was right, of course, she was generally right when she spoke to
him about himself. That was the strange thing. She always knew what he was
thinking. It was rather unnerving at times, he had to admit, but he was
used to it by now.
"Yes," she said calmly, "it is mermaid's hair, and the sky is her
ocean." She talked poetry. The backyard was really a hill stretching up
into the wide blue expanse of sky. From where Alex sat in the grass, he
could see the blue like a sea surrounding him, and for a moment he knew
what she meant, but then he laughed at her.
She murmured softly."Lovely mermaid."
Alex felt a hot anger stir in the back of his throat. How could she
sit there and say those silly things so seriously? There was no peace for
him with her. Her mind was like the ocean; it came in waves. One moment she
would be there with him in body and soul alike, and the next moment she
would be somewhere else, over the rainbow.
Slowly the sweat trickled down between his shoulder blades. She was
smiling at him as if she knew what he was thinking, and suddenly it seemed
the sky was black, and her eyes were black. But they were blue. He could
have sworn that they were blue. He stood up quickly, stumbling over a clump
of grass as he struggled to get up.
"You're crazy, you know that?" He had to force the words through his
lips.
The sky flashed. Her face was white, and her fingernails tore at the
grass as she turned to look at him. "I know," she whispered, her voice like
the wind.
Oh, the things we have done when we are young, so young, and
angry.but she really was crazy, thought Alex as he ran down the hill, with
the sky black behind him.