3:15 – you should hate me

He had spent hours around town asking several people for more info, and eventually he had come across something that might work. It was most certainly a long shot, but he would take it, as long as there was a chance there was something true in that story.

“And where are you going?”
“Fine, tell me if you find it?”

He watched Ollie head off into the distance entering the house looking for Toshi to tell him the news. For a few seconds he wondered if he had been “called away again” but then he saw the telltale shadow sitting on the bed in the bedroom.

“Did you find anything?”
“Yeah, a long shot, but I’ll take a long shot any day.”

He watched Toshi quietly for a while, wanting him to tell him what was on his mind. He could of course easily guess what it was, but he also wanted him to talk to him about it on his own accord.

“Come on, talk to me.”

He sat down on the bed, which made Toshi sit up straighter than before.

“Why are you not angry with me?”
“Why should I be?”
“I cheated on you!”
“You were under a spell.”
“I still cheated on you, I had sex with someone else, and…”

He stopped himself, as he turned around and looked at Derek.

“And I hate myself for it.”

He wasn’t quite sure how to reply to it, he could easily imagine how he would feel if it had been the other way around.

“Would you feel better if I was angry and yelled at you?”
“Yes? Or no… I honestly don’t know…”
“The reason I don’t it that it would only make us both feel worse.”
“So you are angry with me?”
“Not angry, hurt maybe disappointed, but like I promised you, I won’t blame you as this is not your fault.”

Derek leant over and took his hand, pulling him over to where he was sitting.

“What good would it do? It wouldn’t solve anything, it wouldn’t change anything, and it would just make both of us feel even worse.”
“Do you always have to be so logical?”

He put an arm around Toshi, trying to dry away what seemed to be an endless stream of tears.

“On the brighter side, we have a lead. It is an insane longshot, but I will take a longshot over nothing any day.”
“What is it?”
“The elders mentioned a cave, one that has a mural next to it. The legend goes that if you manage to explore the entire cave, the mural will be complete, and you will be rewarded with a prize that can turn a mermaid human, or if a mermaid eats it, turn them human again.”
“So you are thinking?”
“If Eric can turn human, then whatever curse has been put on him should be removed, and perhaps if we can get another fruit, he can regain being a merman and not a siren.”
“Hmh… what if it changes nothing?”
“Then we try something else.”

He could feel how Toshi seemed to slowly relax as they talked. Perhaps it was the idea that this might be fixed that did it, but he hoped it was. Tomorrow they would have to tell Eric, and hope he agreed with their plan, and he knew that keeper his anger in check then would be much, much harder.

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