By Lara Ameen
Some say that siren songs are a myth. A myth that enticed curious sailors and arrogant princes of royal lands. Others say that siren songs can still be heard today in the modern world. The songs are not sung with the intent to deceive, but the intent to give hope.
But only if you listen.
Ruby’s pulse races, breath hitched, too caught up in the heat of the kiss to realize—
“Shit,” Peter hisses as his cell phone buzzes next to the bed. He pulls away and the blistering heat of his skin against hers vanishes immediately. Grabbing his phone, he checks a text message before gazing back into her curious blue eyes. “You have to go.”
Brunette ringlets spill over Ruby’s shoulders as she pushes herself up, leaning towards him. “Why?”
“My roommate will be home soon, and I don’t want him finding out—”
“About us?” She asks. Why does that sound like a lie?
He scrubs a hand over his face, unruly curls of sandy brown hair flying in various directions. “I’m sorry, Rubes.”
Ruby’s face crumples at the endearment, lips pursed. “You’re so not. What’s this about, Peter? Is there someone else?”
“There’s no one!” Peter objects, reaching towards her. Ruby snatches the cell phone out of his hand before she can stop him, finding a text message from Valerie.
“Valerie, huh? So, you’ve moved onto blonde sorority girls now, is that it?”
She hurls the phone past him; it clatters when it hits the floor. Moving away from Peter, she swings her legs over the edge of the bed, deftly picking up the shirt that she had carelessly thrown to the floor in their earlier fit of passion. She fumbles with the shirt until it’s snug against her skin. At least her jeans are still on.
Her power wheelchair sits next to the bed and she carefully transfers herself into it, securing a seat belt around her waist. The chair whirs to life as her slim fingers curl around the black joystick.
“I’ve had my suspicions, Peter, but this confirms it. We’re done.”
Flipping a lock of hair behind her shoulder, she zooms out of Peter’s apartment, letting the door slam shut behind her.
Ruby has always loved the swirling depths of the ocean waves. The aroma of salt lingering in the air, the thundering pulse of water against the sand.
Now, she finds herself on the pier overlooking the ocean. The water like balm to her broken heart. A peaceful place of respite away from the din of campus life.
It’s also where Ruby finds her—the beautiful woman with jet-black hair framing her oval-shaped face. Her piercing, emerald-green eyes are striking, but what’s even more incredible is the rhythmic cadence of her voice as she strums her fingers along a ukulele.
The voice of an angel.
Ruby watches her, instantly captivated by the woman’s mesmerizing voice. She moves closer, wanting more.
The woman finishes her song and takes a sip of water from the bottle at her side.
“That was amazing,” Ruby whispers.
“Thank you. I’m Mia.” She reaches forward and takes Ruby’s hand in hers.
“You’ve been coming here a lot lately, Ruby. I’ve seen you many times.”
Ruby blushes. “Yeah, the ocean has always called to me, and now so has your music. I guess I just can’t seem to stay away.”
“Then maybe you shouldn’t.” The curve of Mia’s lips tick upward. The flirtation isn’t subtle, but it isn’t dangerous, either. Somehow, it feels just right.
Ruby returns to the pier every day. She tells herself it’s to be calmed by the ocean waves, to settle the turbulence in her aching heart.
But deep down, she knows it’s to hear the siren’s song, the melodic whisper of Mia’s soothing voice.
And the unspoken promise of hope.