Meribella -Episode 17


(Dear mermaid 💝)

Bella got up the next morning with big bags hanging on her lower eyelids, she rubbed them sleepily and yawned. She felt her legs wobbling under her and she grabbed a handle in the light stand for support, her eyes drastically giving passage to sleep again; she yanked them open and literally crawled to the bathroom where she had a bath, brush and change of clothes. She packed the one she wore the previous day and discard them in an old nylon.
She got out of the shower, her hair deemed from the water and droplets of the liquid dropping to her shoulder and crawling down. She wiped her hair and styled it to ponytails before moving out of her room, She passed Maurice’s door and last night’s event flung to her inner mind. She let out a sad sigh and strolled to the kitchen, she thought of a simple breakfast and finally settled for egg white omelette She knew the procedures from Patty’s recipes; the one patty had given to her.
She started the simple meal and rounded up in no time, she set the table and dishes the meal in two bowls then set them neatly on the table with spoons, she reached for a bottle of milk from the fridge and poured it into two cups then set it close to the breakfast. She smiled at herself, she hoped Maurice would forgive her with this. She washed the utensils and was wiping her hand when Maurice moved in, clad in his pyjama. she could see traces of water on his face as he looked at her inquisitively before taking two steps to the breakfast table.
“You made this?” He asked and peered at the perfectly made omelette and egg white. Bella nodded.
“On your own?” She nodded again.
“Patty taught me” she said, not wanting to hide anything from him any longer.
“Who’s Patty?”
“My friend,” she says “She owns a mini restaurant down the street, She taught me how to make lots of food. I’ve learnt a lot from her”
“How long have you known her?”
“One week” his brows arched.
“That’s quite far”
“I met her while I was strolling, I helped her catch bad guys and we became friends, She’s a nice person”
Okay, She owns a restaurant; that explains why Bella sometime leave lunch and doesn’t ask for food and it also explains her new cooking abilities.
“Let’s have breakfast first before it gets cold”
Bella sighed silently but sadly as she joined him on the breakfast bar, He still hadn’t forgiven her. Though his expression didn’t say so but she wanted to hear it from him. At least she had told him about patty, she didn’t want to keep anymore secrets from him… But she’s a mermaid and Maurice didn’t know that, it was something she couldn’t tell him. He’d definitely freak out and send her out or he’d invite people and they’d kill her. She was forbidden, she wished she could tell Maurice about her true self, she wished she could tell him about Elliot and most of all that he’d accept her and tell her it took nothing from their friendsh¡p but she knew better; Maurice might be different from other callous humans but he’d definitely not accept her; not as a mermaid.
He’d hate her and curse her, she’d disgust him and he’d regret ever coming across her then she’d end up hating herself, her world and everything around her… She’d end up destroying herself just knowing that she’d never see Maurice again and worse still, her presence, to him will become a dreadful nightmare.
She shuddered back to reality and faced her meal once Maurice gaze met her, she dug into the meal and rounded off in few minutes.
She packed the dishes and cleared the table while Maurice left, she walked to the living room and switched channels on the TV to a movie series, absent mindedly; she watched.
Maurice arrived, all dressed for school in an Armani T-shirt and a long fitted black trouser, his backpack neatly laid on his bag and his feet were clad in a pair black flat shoes and his wrist had a gold watch.
“I’ll be back in the evening to make dinner. You can take care of your lunch before then” he said and Bella nodded “Be careful okay?”
He left and she walked back to the couch and sat, drowning her thoughts in the movie. She took her flip flops, she’d just go for a walk down the street. She had promised herself not to visit Patty’s shop until Maurice forgives her. She packed her hair properly so no strand escaped to meet her face.
She walked out and closed the door behind her then walked to the estate gate, a new security gave her entrance to the exit. She recalled he had been the former security before the bad guy came, she passed and looked around the environment. A small smile curving her l-ips.
“Bella!” She turned to the direction and her gaze met Raymond, his back was resting on his car but his face was on her and a wide grin separated his l-ips side. He started coming to her and she stood until he got to her.
“Hi” he said when he reached her “I’m so glad you came, I almost lost hope of seeing you”
“You were waiting for me?” she asked and he nodded.
He rubbed his temples nervous first before speaking “I found this really big coffee shop, they make really great coffee and small chops. I wanted us to try it out together”
“Why?” she asked again.
“I figured out you liked coffee a lot, it’d be unfair to me if I go without you”
Bella breathed out.
“Is that a ‘no’ sigh? …
“I’m sorry ray but I can’t go anywhere far, I was just taking a walk down the street before you came”
“It’s not really far. it’s a bit further down this street. Please… I’ve waited for almost two hours, please say yes” he begged, his l-ips pouted.
“We won’t spend too much time?”
“That’s a deal”
“Okay, let’s go”
“Yay” he grinned and Bella smiled.
“Wait, how do you know they make good coffee if you hadn’t tasted it” she asked as they got to where his car was parked.
“Uh! it’s a guess, I predict good coffees from their looks”
“Aha! you’re bluffing” she poked his cheeks.
“No, I’m not”
“You are. Stop lying and admit it”
“How’d you know I’m lying”
Bella sidled up to him, her legs tiptoed; she whispered.
“I’m a face reader” she and he laughed, opened the passenger seat and she got in then he took the drivers’.
“I think it’s you bluffing now” he said and she poked him again before laughing out with him.
They got to Stella’s coffee and chops and just as Raymond had earlier mentioned it was really big, they got down and he led her into the big coffee bar and took a seat at the father end. Bella could see the bar almost filled with people, some going and more coming in.
A waiter attend to them almost immediately and Raymond gave their order; Two coffees and bagels with strawberry cream.
She wrote them down and left.
“It’s really big Ray” she said, looking around the bar.
“I told you I wasn’t bluffing”
“Yeah,” she said wryly, facing him “Same way you told me you hadn’t tried the coffee out.. bluff-er!” she whined at his face and he chuckled.
The waitress returned with their order in a flat tray and set it on their table with a flashed smile.
“Enjoy!” she said before leaving, ticking something on her pad.
Bella grabbed the cup by the handle and took a sip, she pulled it off. “It’s really good” she said.
“Told ya” Ray said and she stuck her tongue out at him, he chuckled.
“Allow me to be the gentleman miss” a smile lay stuck on his l-ips as he helped buttered her bagel and set it on her saucer. Bella took it and had a huge bite. She chewed and swallowed before going to her coffee again.
“This is great” she smiled and watched Raymond eat.
They were really getting along, Raymond thought. They’ve only known each other for a day and that was when he bought her coffee and now they’re hanging out like real friends, that’s a pretty great step and he liked her already. He smiled as Bella drained her coffee empty.
“Do you want another?” he asked and she nodded… Soon she had it and they talked over it.
In less than an hour they were leaving the bar and Bella breathed out into the air, rubbing her palm on her hands.
“Do you want ice cream cones?” he asked.
“Ice cream?” she asked “Is it close by?”
“Yes, a bit down there” he pointed and she nodded.
He opened the car door for her and soon they hit the road, he ran across and parked a bit close to a fountain. She could see the open ice cream kiosk and purchasers, leaving with plates of ice cream.
They got down and went together to the kiosk, Raymond toppled Bella’s with three colors and ordered only vanilla for himself. They sat on a bench, close to the fountain and Bella saw couples throwing coins into the flowing water and bowing before leaving and another set taking over. Some came single.
Bella watched with amusement; they’re giving money to a something that’s non living like it understood anything about it..
“Stupid right?” Bella turned to Raymond.
“Yes,” she nodded “Giving money to something that doesn’t even know it’s value, it’s so very stupid to me”
“Those couple you see here are probably waiting for a child or financial assistant–
“From a river?!” she shrieked “That’s ridiculous”
“Actually it’s a fountain and besides these people don’t think so. They believe unwanted children are in there and they’re paying to get it from whoever keeps it”
“That’s really weird. I mean how can little humans live under water, they’ll die!”
“You can go ask them that”
“Thanks but I think I’ll pass” he laughed “Desperation really does things” she added and he nodded.
Bella took two quick spoons of the freezing thick liquid into her mouth and mo-ned before gulping. She watched the couples throwing coin into the water and shook her head. “So childish” she turned to her yummy plate.
“Do you believe in this?” she turned to Raymond.
“Nah, I’d rather pray than do this” she nodded.
This wasn’t actually the first time Bella had seen something like that, it happened in the sea too. She had seen most of them especially the women cry their eyes out and even though she knew their effort was going to be all useless in the end she pitied them and sometimes took the coins they threw. To her it was stupid but to them it was faith, Really weird faith! she thought.

Raymond took her home after she emptied her ice cream plate and his which she asked for and he gave. Who could refuse such cute eyes.
They got down and she thanked him before waving him bye and going into the estate, She trekked for few minutes before getting to her house where she plopped herself on a couch and licked her l-ips, still feeling a bit of the ice cream taste she realized she was hungry and walked to the kitchen. It was noon already. She made quick noodles and dished the meal into a ceramic plate, she dropped it on a tray with a bottle of water and a glass cup.
She walked to the living room with it and had her lunch before Washing the dirts off and leaving them neat on the drain board.. She switch the channels to a Mexican soap opera and settled to watch, she soon got tired and her neck ached, she settled on the headrest and continued the movie. She stood up when it ended and walked to get a glass of water from the fridge. Soon it was close to evening, she decided to make dinner. She took out Patty’s recipes and settled for mashed potatoes and mushrooms, she took out the ingredients and set them first before putting on her cooking apron and cap..
She was done with the meal in no time after series of chopping, dicing, frying, boiling and finally letting to cook. She took it down and had a taste, smiling with satisfaction, she washed her hands and took another glass of chilled water. She heard the creak from the living room and she dashed there, the only person she expected was what she saw and she smiled as he walked in.
“Welcome Maurice” she said.
“Hey,” he moved in and she assisted with the grocery bag he held.

They had dinner and Maurice left to freshen up while Bella left to brush her teeth. She came back minutes later to the living room and sat on a couch opposite the one Maurice sat on with his laptop on his Laps
and his face concentrating-ly on it.

Maurice rounded up with the last doc-ment and sigh after he powered off the laptop, he set it aside and stood up.. yawning sleepily his gaze moved to Bella to see her dozing off on the couch she sat on.
“Bella,” he tapped her “You’re dozing off, go to your room” he said and she opened her eyes a bit sleepily. Meeting his gaze she yanked them completely open and she stretched.
“Go to your room Bella” he said and she stood up and stretched again.
“Maurice,” she called and he looked at her, her eyes now void of sleep. “Are you still mad at me?”
“Mad? I’m–
He was interrupted with an obstacle around his wa-ist. Bella wrapped her hand tight around his wa-ist, her face was twitched sadly.
“Bella wha… I mean why–
“Forgive me Maurice” her eyes grew misty “I’m really sorry”
___ To be continued

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