Harmony watched quietly as Calista set down her bedding and began laying it out in the area set aside for her. Outwardly the mermaid showed no emotion, but her insides told a far different story.
When Calista informed her yesterday afternoon that she was going to spend the night at the bungalow, Harmony feared the worst. She hadn’t anticipated getting Calista to make a clean break of her old life was going to be this difficult, and the hidden emotions Izzy held for her best friend didn’t help the situation, either.
That meant Harmony expected a lot of moping about as Calista suffered from whatever guilt Izzy would lay on her before they said their goodbyes. Instead, Calista showed up with the bedding from her bungalow in tow, all smiles and happiness.
While this left Harmony relieved, it also made her wonder what the hell happened last night…
The moment Calista finished setting up her bed Harmony floated over to her. “How you feeling this morning?”
Calista gave her mentor a blank look for a few seconds before responding. “Pretty good. Why do you ask? Do we have a lot ahead of us today?”
“Actually, no.” Harmony found the question a little puzzling as she’d told Calista late yesterday afternoon that they pretty much had today free. “We can do just about anything we like. I thought I’d take you around and introduce you to the others here.”
Calista smiled. “That would be good.” She looked about underwater bungalow she’d share with Harmony for the next three months. “Do you think we should rearrange things in here? After all, I’ll probably end up getting a few things of my own over the next few months.”
“Um, sure.” Harmony motioned with her head towards two short pedestals that were used as chairs. “Sit for a minute: I want to ask you a few things.”
“Sure.” Calista flipped her tail a couple of times and took a seat, folding her tail under her butt. “What’s up?”
Harmony waited until she was good and comfortable before speaking. “So Izzy… you guys said goodbye?”
“Yes, we did.” Calista rested her hands in her lap. “It was kinda sad, but at least we left on good terms.”
“And those terms were?”
“Well, we’re going to try and stay in touch. Izzy knows I can receive something like a phone call down here, but for the next three months I’m only allowed contact with the outside world twice a month.” Calist shrugged. “She said she was good with that.”
Harmony was surprised to hear this news: she’d expected Izzy would have been pissed that contact was so limited. “I’m glad to hear that. And what about you? Are you good with that?
“Not being able to speak with her that often?”
Calista glanced off to the right for a few months before giving the mermaid version of as long sigh. “It not something with which I’m totally happy, but I understand why AFI has it that way.” She turned back to her mentor. “It’s like you said: I’m supposed to be putting my old life behind me and I can’t really do that if I’m chatting all the time with people on dry land. Right?”
Harmony was surprised to hear her mentee put the situation in such terms, as she’d thought of her own three months of “Mermaid Living” the same way. “You’re right: if you’re gonna put your human life behind you, it’s best not to have all that many contact with the people you used to know.” She allowed a moment of silence to pass before adding a last comment. “Even if they’re your best friend.”
Watching her mentee’s body language and listening to the tone of her voice, Harmony was convinced that Calista wasn’t being facetious, or trying to cover up a hurt by acting brave. She really does seem to have put Izzy behind her—at least for today. I’ll watch her just in case, though. “You’re completely right.” She pushed straight up off her chair. “You wanna go meet people now?”
A smile lit up Calista’s face as she rose off the pedestal with a flick of her tail. “Why not?”