It had almost been a year now since Fuchsia, the pink-haired mermaid had met The Captain. And she had never seen him again, since that one brief encounter. He made a promise to her that he would sail by these seas someday and at least wave hello, though he never did… Yet that did not stop him from flooding her head.
The Mermaid Ball was approaching — the biggest and hottest party for all mermaids, mermen, and other mystical sea creatures. This was the first year Fuchsia could attend, as she was finally of age. Her older sisters Amber and Turquoise had been before, meanwhile her younger sister Emerald still had to wait a couple more years.
“Who is your date?” the sisters asked Fuchsia, “Are you thinking of bringing Atlanto? He wouldn’t go without you!” they teased.
“Nah,” Fuchsia shrugged, “I don’t think so, it doesn’t feel right.”
“There are plenty of other mermen to choose from,” the older sisters discussed, “there’s Oceanus, Reef, Coral, Pacific, Finn…”
“This is my first ball, I feel like I need to do this alone,” she explained herself, “I’ll just get there and see what happens!”
That was the attitude that Fuchsia had learned to develop. When you want something too much, you never get it. Yet when you hope for something with a detached perspective — knowing you will be just fine without it — that’s when it comes for you.
That night, Fuchsia had a vivid dream about the captain. It felt completely real. They were there together at the Mermaid Ball, and everything clicked. It was the feeling of raw and pure perfection. She woke up the next morning and laughed at her own subconscious — what a silly imagination.
And yet, strangely enough, she received a letter that next day from… the captain himself! Fuchsia was in absolute disbelief. “Let’s continue our love story…” he had written, and her face turned red, “come and meet me at the Mermaid Ball!”
Fuchsia ran to her sisters and showed them his letter. However, they warned her to stay skeptical and not be so blindly optimistic.
“Captains don’t come to mermaid balls, so don’t expect him to be there,” Amber, the eldest, warned.
“Maybe once in a blue moon,” Turquoise, the second eldest, added, “but don’t count on it!”
“I know,” Fuchsia sighed with a shrug, pretending not to care. She took the advice of her older sisters and told herself that he would never show. Yet he had gotten so deeply inside her head and she could not halt herself from reading his letter over and over. She knew it was certainly his own words, as she recalled his exact writing on his ship with her photographic memory. Mermaids are very, very smart. But wise…?
And so, Fuchsia primed and polished herself to perfection, the night of the mermaid ball. Over and over she told herself that the captain would not be there — followed by a tiny whisper that maybe he would. Just relax, she told herself, if he’s there then it will be great, if not then it will still be great. No expectations and no disappointment.
Her older sisters had gone ahead without her, snagging VIP tickets to the pre-party. They invited her, but she declined, preferring to go alone so that she would have a better chance at spotting the captain — if he even shows.
Fuchsia had to gather more bravery than she naturally had to push herself to go. Even after getting all dolled up, she still lacked confidence. For a quick second, she entertained the thought of ditching the ball and snuggling up so safely in her little room all night. But no, she was going to put herself out there! She was going to be brave!
Once she arrived to the beach party, she instantly felt a sinking in her gut. She felt like she didn’t belong, like she was meant to turn around and go back home. Her intuition was telling her something. Yet she pushed past the discomfort and forced herself to keep going.
Scanning the crowd, she searched for her captain. Where would he be? Who would he be talking to? He was nowhere in sight. He must be coming late, she told herself, he’s trying to make me sweat.
Fuchsia sought out her older sisters and finally found them by the bar, drinking sea cocktails. She decided to cling to them for the remainder of the night until the captain showed up, rather than standing there awkwardly alone.
Time passed and Fuchsia was beginning to lose faith. Her eyes were glued to the entrance. Any moment now…
A few sea cocktails later, Fuchsia grew terribly impatient. Once the clock struck midnight, the entrance gate had closed, and she knew that he was definitely not going to show.
Suddenly Fuchsia’s face turned as pink as her hair. She felt like the biggest idiot in the shore. Everyone around her was smiling, laughing, and dancing — while Fuchsia was struggling to hold back tears.
The mermaids and mermen were so caught up in their own joy that nobody noticed Fuchsia sneaking out and making her way back home. She cried, and cried, and cried. Sadness quickly turned into an anger she had never known before. She cursed the sailor, cursed the world, but mainly cursed herself. Caught up in so much rage, she created a massive hurricane that disturbed the entire ocean.
Her younger sister, Emerald — who had beautiful green hair that matched her beautiful green eyes — rushed to her side.
“Please don’t tell our older sisters about this,” Fuchsia begged with desperation, “they warned me and I should have known.”
“I just… I just…” Fuchsia struggled to put the words together, “I just… didn’t think I cared this much.”
The two sisters hugged each other in silence.
Early that next morning, Fuchsia packed her bags and attempted to leave home before sunrise. Yet of course, Amber and Turquoise caught her trying to sneak out. Confused, they demanded to know what was going on. It was impossible for Fuchsia to lie to her sisters, so she confessed.
“I’m going to find the captain!” she firmly announced. “I see his negative intentions and I refuse to accept them. He wouldn’t have tried to hurt me if he wasn’t hurt himself, so I’m going to apologize for whatever caused such a malicious act.”
“No, no, no!”
“Then what should I say to him?”
“NOTHING!” They screamed, “Stay away from him — he’s just messing with you!”
“Because he doesn’t trust you! Captains don’t trust mermaids, that’s just the way it is! Do you think you’re special to him? You’re just another mermaid in his eyes!” Amber explained.
“And mermaids shouldn’t trust captains, either!” Turquoise added, “they have never trusted one another, and never will.”
“If I just show him that I…”
“STOP!” the sisters pleaded, tugging at her luggage.
So, Fuchsia dropped her bags and gave up. She went back to her room and pulled out that letter from the captain. How disconnected must I be? She wondered.
As time went on, the fog in her brain began to slowly lift. She started seeing her dream world for what it was — just a dream. Her scaly tail morphed into slimy human legs. Her bright pink hair that reached down to her belly button fell out of her scalp in chunks until she was left with dry and brittle, short, dull-brown hair. Her hourglass figure slouched into more of a potato shape. Her magical powers ceased to exist.
And the mystifying mermaid was no longer.
Sea cocktail recipe:
- 1/2 cup blue gatorade
- 1/2 cup coconut water
- 1 splash of Caribbean rum