Across the Sea
By: Greyda Posted on: April 29, 2005
Upon the isle of Delos, there once lived a young maiden. She led a peaceful life, enjoying the simplicities of the small but bustling village. Every day she walked down the Eastern Road to the ocean, where she gazed out at the horizon, lost in her thoughts.
One day as she stood upon the cliffs, a man approached, cautiously making his way up the trail from the beach. He was unlike any she had ever seen before, with skin of pale blue, clad in a kilt of woven sea grass. In one hand he carried a sea-blue rose, which he offered to her with a smile.
A triton was he, a warrior from a distant city beneath the ocean, which astounded the maiden, who was already dazzled by his presence. He bade her follow, and he led her to Riparium, where he revealed to her many splendors of the sea. As they spoke the maiden felt the dizzying feelings of love stir within her soul, but she was afraid of the risk in loving someone so different.
The triton confessed he had long watched her from afar, and was at last able to vow his undying love. But brief was his time with her, and the sea beckoned, his fate lying within the depths of the ocean. He asked her, once, if she would accompany him, but her fears were great and she silently shook her head.
In the days that followed, the triton was constantly present in her mind, feelings of regret growing stronger with every thought, wishing that she had left with him. The days turned to months, and she stayed upon the eastern cliffs, waiting for him to emerge from the waves below. No bard's song could soothe the turmoil in her heart, no jester could lift her frown.
Time passed, and the lonely maiden found herself in the arms of a warrior, renowned throughout the lands for his skill with the sword. He cared deeply for her and pursued her affection, determined to win her love in return. She came to care for him as well, and with him she found renewed hope, a path to lift her troubled heart, and she believed herself happy.
But never did she forget her triton, and eventually the day came that she saw him in her farsight. She ran to him with joy, but also with trepidation, and fear. He took her in his arms and whispered to her the dreams they might share. She had all the world at her fingertips, and now he had returned. Her heart leapt at the words he spoke, and she yearned to return his feelings, but it was not to be. To another she was now promised.
She twisted within herself, unwilling to betray one love for another, though greater and stronger it might be. Time she so desperately needed was short, and she found herself mute once more, words failing her in the moment. He left again without a reply, but on the wings of a dove came a letter, and written upon it were the simple words "Keep this safe, I love you." Enclosed within she found a perfectly formed shell of pure white, and inscribed on its polished surface was a verse:
Across the sea I came for you
And found my heart was right and true
In each breaking wave, each shifting tide
My love for you shall e'er abide
A full year she waited after he departed. She returned to the cliffs day after day, watching, hoping for a sign, but he did not return. Her letter crumbled to dust, and to the warrior she turned with a bittersweet smile. The shell she kept close to her heart, and ever she watches the sea, awaiting his return.