She loved the water, that much I can attest to. The first time I saw her was on the beach, washed up on the sand and clearly in pain. She was naked, her legs splayed awkwardly, and water filled her lungs, but all that I could think of was how much she resembled a dream I once had. When it came down to the "why" of the matter, I figured that she had been out for a swim and caught by a fierce current that landed her on our beach. Such an event would deter most, but she went back, time and again, to swim or simply feel the water on her ankles, almost melancholy in her manner. I thought her brave for it, nothing more, but now I wonder what really took place in the sea that day long ago.

Truly, though, you can't find fault in her for never saying a word to any of us. Perhaps she was shy, because she didn't speak our language, or maybe even mute. We'll never know now, but it certainly wasn't through any maliciousness on her part that she kept silent. Her eyes said it all, how much she yearned to speak.

You accuse her of some crime, that she fled on my wedding day, but I do not see how even you can think so poorly of her. Nothing was missing, no one was harmed, and as of yet no war has been waged. So she disappeared into the ocean. Can that not happen to anyone on any day? A search, that's what she deserves, not your loathing, your accusations. You wonder how a girl, as real as she, could have ceased to exist, could have gone and left nothing behind her, but I say that you, dear sir, are an ass. She did leave something behind her, as surely as I stand here. The hint of fins in the water as we realized she was gone, the mysterious singing that filled the air for but a moment-- and if that is not enough for you, tell me this. Have you ever seen such foam on such a clear day?