CHAPTER 5

I woke up and I did everything for Ms. Okawa, she commented on me seeing a doctor but I vigorously declined, I knew I wasn't physically sick but otherwise, I basically know my expiration date. When I walked outside I was comforted mildly to see a bright and sunny sky, no longer feeling so trapped by the dark clouds. I perked up a little to see Kyo and Akito coming towards me, the troubling two.

"There's our little love bird!" Akito yelled running up to me and hugging me friendlily.

"Man Ayame I give you props I've seen Rui look at a girl this way before, he's whipped." Kyo slapped me on the back.

"How is it going with the twins?" I asked curiously. Kyo and Akino exchanged looks at each other and laughed,

"Well Kyo was stupid and flirted with the wrong twin." Akito said rolling his eyes.

"Well it's not my fault they look the freakin' same." I laughed at them. Together we set off to find Rui, and when we found him he ran right up to me,

"Ayame there's something I always wanted to do can you help me?" I nodded quickly and he graved my hand leaving the guys in the dust, Akito though would not let us go with out a teasing,

"When your doing that something be safe, use a condom!" I sighed, what an idiot. I looked back up at Rui and smiled softly at him,

"What am I helping you with?"

"I want you to help me pick out a surfing board and I'm going to participate in a surfing competition, I want you to come looking cute to cheer me on." I nodded and held his hand tightly,

"Okay." I smiled feeling so much better with Rui by my side. I leaned into his side burying my face in his shoulder. Together we arrived at a local board shop, for Rui price was no object, he wanted an awesome brand new board to surf on. We looked at several arrays of them. Different colors, brands, designs, and sizes and for everyone of them he asked my opinion. I looked up and down the cases looking for something that stood out, and then I saw the perfect board. It was long with a natural wood color that gleamed brightly as Rui's eyes and a design insignia of a mermaid on it.

"Rui! I found one I like!" He came back from browsing on a different shelf. He looked down on it and turned to me,

"It's perfect, absolutely perfect." he swooped me into a hug and went off to get the manger.

"That one is a beauty, it was hand crafted and made, it cost a pretty penny but it's a narly board." Rui nodded his head and paid in cash, which made the cashier's day. He held the board and he looked down at me,

"Come and watch me in two hours Ayame, looking stunning and be impressed with me." I laughed at him.

"That shouldn't be too hard." He bent down and kissed me and rushed off. I smiled my heart throbbing, I went to go get some many I had leftover and went shopping.

I came to the beach blushing, I had turned many more heads then usual I did not really dress up particularly before because I knew it would cause attention that I did not like. I ignored it though it was all for Rui, I'd do anything for him. I wore a breezy light blue tank, tight around the bust and loose below the waist. I wore the tattered shorts I've been wearing and some flip flops and a sun hat. I also got my make up done too and wore some sea shelled jewelry. I came bounding up to Rui who was talking to some other competitors, and I threw my arms around him.

"Good luck!" I looked at him and I saw his eyes filled with happiness.

"Thank you for coming Ayame," He whispered in my eyes.

"I wouldn't miss it for the seven oceans." He chuckled softly at me. Then I blushed when I realized the guys staring up at me.

"Dang Rui, where did you find this one? She beautiful and cute." He smiled at me,

"You couldn't find anyone more beautiful on land or sea then her." I looked down pushing the sand around with my foot.

"Why'd you get so bashful, give me one more good luck kiss." I leaned forward and kissed him and I hid my face in his chest. Akito and Kyo popped up whistling at us,

"Where's my good luck kiss Ayame- chan?" Rui turned to him, and I was frightened for Kyo momentarily.

"DON'T EVEN KID." Rui said it one syllable at a time and I saw Kyo starting to sweat.

"Haha…" I laughed and I broke apart from Rui and stood along side his board looking at it.

"Is that your new board Rui? She's pretty." He laughed.

"Are you going to be jealous Ayame he's riding a mermaid." My face turned solid red, the reference made my heart skip a whole entire stupid beat. Akito busted into a fit of laughs,

"Jesh were you on their before the mermaid?" Rui smacked Akito upside the head. I couldn't believe only yesterday I offered myself to Rui, I'm happy he told me what he did, he is truly a man to do that. I looked up at him and he patted my head,

"You guys will eat your words I'm going to beat everyone's ass in this competition." They laughed.

"As if."

When then it began, I wasn't sure how it was judged but I listened silently, no one approached me thank atlantic because Rui had made it quite obvious that we were together. I waited until' it was Rui's turn to clap and cheer and he glanced at me smiling sweetly. He proudly got on his board and swam far out sea and waited for a wave, he was looking for the perfect one where he could do good tricks on, and it came. He flipped and swerved in the air and did things I had never seen him do before. When he was at the highest point of the wave he winked to me and then he finished up and came back to shore. Apparently Rui did good because his whole face lighted up when the judge talked in the microphone. He ran up to me practically skipping his smile looking like a child's. He graved my waist and lifted me into the air.

"I did it Ayame, I beat my dad's old record finally!" He smiled sweetly, he was so happy.

"Rui," I pulled back a few strands of hair and hugged him.

"Good for you." The crowd cheered, he didn't tell me he got first place. Oh well I was just happy to see Rui, the burden lifting from his shoulders even for a second.

His whispered in my ear,

"Meet me tonight on our ledge," I nodded smiling then he was swallowed up by a crowd of people. I went to the light house and ate dinner with Ms. Okawa and I cleaned up myself and switched out into my pajama's regardless if I was going to go outside. It the midst of the night I slid out my door and climbed down the cliff to our secret ledge and I saw Rui was already waiting their for me. I smiled and went up to him and hugged him, my heart always beating fast around him. I looked into his eyes, and he looked into mine.

"I love you so much Ayame." I nuzzled him,

"I know you do you don't have to tell me that." It was obvious he was deep in thought though. I did not press him or ask him, I knew we would both be thinking very hard these next few days. I leaned my head against his shoulder and we looked out to sea The crescent moon suspended ominously above the waves.

"Rui, no matter what happens I will always love you." He nodded saying nothing but staring out into the ocean.

"I have to go Ayame." I nodded, "I'm going to stay out here a little while longer." he kissed me softly on the cheek he lingered for only a moment, looking back at me once his eyes filled with sorrow and pain. I was as the salty air pulled at me and I breathed deeper, I was just going to let my problems fly out with the wind just one more night.

"Ayame!" I jumped and looked around thinking I was just hearing things but then I heard a splash and looked down into the water.

"Hana!" I yelled so happy, my only friend came to visit me. I climbed down closer to the water so excited I almost slipped. Her long hair flowed over her clinging to her body,

"Ayame is it true, there are rumors underwater that-" I interrupted her.

"Yes, they are." Hana gasped in surprise tears welling into her eyes,

"Ayame, I didn't think…., but why don't you …kill him?" I bit my lip,

"Hana would you kill your boyfriend Kenchi? He may be a human but I love him too much, I couldn't live with myself…" I looked at her my eyes pained.

"Ayame…. Your so stubborn, you don't have to kill yourself for a human…." Tears welled up in my eyes,

"Hana did you hear a word I said? I LOVE him, if he died I would too, I couldn't look at myself if I known I had do that.." Hana looked down at the water she was swimming around.

"Ayame, I do not know if it is true but… it is just a myth but, it could work.." I grabbed her hands,

"Hana what is it?" I squeezed her hands lightly.

"It is said if you give up yourself to a human physically then you pledge yourself to him and no longer the sea then you can stay together.." I smiled tears pouring from my eyes,

"Hana thank you so much.." She nodded softly her long dainty black hair curling.

"But your forbidden to ever set a fin in the ocean ever again, if you do you'll die." my mouth gapped open slightly, I did not love my life in the ocean but I loved the ocean, the way the water surrounds me, how at home I feel their. Even now it has been hard to keep myself away from the water, when you see it as your home and your so drawn to it. I gulped but the words came out,

"I'm going to miss you Hana, and my home, but my life hasn't been worth living until' I came to the surface and met Rui." Hana began to cry and she threw herself at me hugging me deeply.

"Ayame, your- your amazing, let your life be happy with him." I wiped her tears and kissed her forehead, "I don't know if it'll work but,…. I'm going to find out." She left me even though she didn't want to, but I had hope thriving in my heart and a fire burned in my body. Rui and I can just maybe have our happy ending.

The next day I felt so much lighter and energy radiated off me. I worked and cleaned forcefully and extremely well, and Ms. Okawa was happy to see me back in spirits. I darted outside so fast I almost missed a note on the doorstep. I looked down at the piece of paper held down by iris's, "We need to talk, meet me at my house at one." I smiled at the thin handwriting of Rui. I smiled over the flowers and I walked to the edge of the cliff,

"Thank you ancestors for answering my prayers." I bowed gratefully and released the flowers against the wind and they dispersed. I smiled happily and ran against the sand, skipping exhilarated. The breeze bit at my heels egging me on to keep going and I skipped all the way to Rui's house, I was so happy. I went up to his apartment complex and knocked on the door. As soon as he answered I hugged him so deeply letting my warmth rub off on him,

"Rui I-" Rui held me with his gaze, it was saddened and burdened,

"I think it's dumb were doing this to ourselves, Ayame, I don't love you and I'm not willing to give up my life. I think we should break up, that way were both spared." my eyes blinked once then twice.

"Rui- I -I found a solution to our-," He cut me off.

"I'm sorry Ayame the fact is I just don't love you, we knew each other for two weeks, it's stupid you'd give up your life for me." His expression become cold his eyes lifeless, desolate. My heart seemed to rip up in a billion pieces dying, slowly excruciating pain. Tears trickled down from my face to the floor, splattering each time,

"Your lying, you feel that connection we have, it's impossible for us to ignore, it's," Rui stared at me his eyes burrowing through me,

"It's over Ayame get out….." I looked up at him,

"You d-d-don't mean that…" He looked down at me,

"I'm sorry…" My whole world came crashing down, he was my world, he was everything to me. He handed my necklace and shut the door in my face. I clutched my chest, it throbbed so badly, every time it would beat it felt like a thousand hooks were going in me. I leaned against the door,

"You can't give me back my first kiss?!" I yelled in utter infuriation, I ran as fast as I could, tears spilling out of my eyes as water dribbled from the sky, a sudden storm approaching. I clutched the pearl hard against my hand, Rui didn't realize he had become my world and meant more to me then anything. He made me feel in ways no one else very did, and everything about him made me want to get even closer to him, everything he did made me fall harder. With out him I was nothing but an empty shell, I had no will to live anymore. I wanted to die. My whole body ached, the curse was for me to fall in love with a human, it kept that much true because he did not love me. I looked down at the pearl, it still glistened even though there was no light.

I sat down in front of the memorial and kneeled, Ms. Okawa worried but she left a single lamp on and put a blanket over my shoulder. I prayed for forgiveness for my ancestors sins, I prayed the seas watch over Hana, I prayed that even when I died I would be able to watch over Rui, my love. I was becoming apart of a legend… when a mermaid heart is broken if it is not fixed within three days, she will become sea foam during the sunset. That is where this orange pearl came from, our family seal. It refers to that sad love story of the mermaid princess who lost her prince to the evil sea witch and she became sea foam, but my family had other stories, ones not to be proud of, disgraces

, The Curse of the Orange Pearl. I fell asleep in front of the shrine that day, the day after that, and then on the final day before sunset, I sat on the beach.

I sat on the beach reminiscing of the past memories of me and Rui, everything that made me smile. It cushioned my aching heart, I looked around the beach, it was deserted because of construction. Tears streamed from my face, though I would become nothing but landscape of the ocean, I happy to think that I would always be apart of him, I would always watch over him. I would become apart of the ocean he swims in, the air he breathes, and the sky that lays above him. I would do everything I couldn't do when I was alive. I would be the person who ended the curse, nobody land or sea should have to go through this. I put the necklace around my neck the sun casting a bright light across the beach, my time was approaching. I stepped one foot at a time deeper and deeper in the water and I turned to face the beach where me and Rui had first met.

"Goodbye my love." I clutched the little pearl tight against my chest and I opened my eyes to see my skin fading and glittering and as comforting song came into my, the only song I knew I sang.

"Even though I'm destined to become sea foam, I love you. After dissolving into the ocean and sky, I will watch over you…" I hummed quietly to myself and I swayed with the waves and my broken heart crashed up and down with them. I looked up in surprise to see Rui rushing over,

"Ayame!" and ran through the water, plunging in after me, I began singing again, my way of saying goodbye.

"I wanted to be closer to the blue starry sky at the bottom of the ocean, I longed for the day to come to me in the ocean… my first feelings in life were of love, how heart breaking love can be. Even though my legs ache, I love you. I can't dance but I'll watch over you. I realized it's impossible for us to be together. No matter how loud I scream you can't hear me….. Sing, sing at the bottom of the ocean Putting my heart into a song… Even though you can't hear me, I won't stop singing. Hoping my voice wraps around you with the wind….. Even though I'm to become sea foam, I love you. After dissolving into the ocean and sky, I'll watch over you, la lala lala la lala la lalala…." Rui was so close and battling the waves and my final minute was approaching,

"Ayame! AYAME! I love you, I lied, don't leave me!" My heart fluttered but it was too late, I walked closer to him the waves going through me,

"Rui, I will be with you no matter what, it's my time to go.." Even though I was right in front of him he couldn't touch me and hug me, "Ayame, I want to die with you…." I shook my head lightly, "Rui, if you could do anything for me please keep living… you will love someone else on day" He looked up at me, tears brimming in his eyes, water drenching him. "I will always love you…" Rui muttered and my heart swelled with happiness I looked at his brown sparkling eyes, "So will I," then the whole world went black.

Epilogue

Ayame was right Rui did eventually find love, but even then he thought of her everyday of his life. When he saw the sun he thought of her golden hair. When he saw both the ocean and sky he thought of her blue eyes -and every time he felt wind he swore he smelt the smell of irises. Everyday he lived his life he thought of the woman he loved that sacrificed herself, for someone else's future, for the heart he broke.

Some years later….

A crowd formed along the edge of the cliff all wearing white carrying flowers and incense to honor the death of their grandfather.

"Why did grandpa want his ashes to be thrown from this cliff across the ocean?" A little girl with brown eyes asked tugging on her mother.

"Darling Grandpa wanted to be free finally, now he could go wherever he wants."

That was the day when Rui and Ayame were finally together, the wind merging with his ashes. They swept across the blue ocean under the very starry night where they first me.

While on story came to a close another one was just beginning, a love that would have its true happy ending…

The little girl with brown eyes ran down to the shore eager to see the banquets of flowers being tossed from the cliff when she noticed something on shore…

"Help me!" a dark silhouette laid in the sand and she got closer and waited till' the moon lit up. She saw a little boy, he was pretty with black hair and blue eyes but she was even more amazed to see his silver tale,

"You're a mer-," he covered her mouth with his hand, "Shh can you get me some water?" She nodded her head excitedly and walked towards the water, "I found a bucket! Here I'll get you water." The boy fidgeted and gasped when she over turned the bucket. He studied her, noting that she was younger then him by a couple of years. "Thanks, I owe you literally, go get that bag." The girl bobbed happily down and graved it and toke it to him. "Here take these," He handed her some underwater toys. "Thank you so much!" she gushed cradling the toys. The boy reluctantly toke off his earring, so blue and shiny it almost looked like a precious stone, "Here you better take good care of this." He growled at her and placed it in her hand. She was not phased though, "Thank you!" she leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek and skipped off, leaving him in the high tide. He swam back home in the moonlight, his cheeks a rosy red.