From now on, I had to be the fire.

A quotation from Mermaid out of Water (Mariana de la Mar prequel) 

I let my mind drift where it would. Found myself with Pedro, but looking down at him this time, out of the air instead of out of the water. He glanced up at me, looked away again.

I alighted on the prow, sat there as I always had – teasing him in my innocence, I realised suddenly, now that my childhood world had vanished like flames over a fire when the fire goes out. The fire had been Sebah and Grandpapa, and Papa.

Now, all at once, I was a woman.

He looked at me. Looked away again.

He couldn’t see me, but he knew I was there.

His eyes filled with tears.

I went to him and kissed him on the cheek, then drew back, watched him put his fingers to his cheek in wonder.

I stretched backwards, raising my knees out of the pool of piss, resting only on my toes and ribs and taking most of my weight on my wrists.

How long would they leave me like that? And what would they do to me when they came?

I was frightened. Frightened of being raped. Frightened of dying.

But if I lived, I must remember the insight my visit to Pedro had given me. I was no longer a flame, dancing, free, irresponsible. From now on, I had to be the fire.



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