Beneath the waves of the ocean is a boy with cotton candy pink hair and blue crystalline-like tail. He swims to the surface of the ocean every day, leaning on the huge rocks situated a few feet away from the dock where he could get a glimpse of the townspeople. There was only one reason why the merboy would risk himself to be seen and that is because of a brown haired boy who visits the dock every day to see him. The merboy knows it's a hopeless case - to be infatuated with a human, but he had always thought of doing things first and thinking of the consequences later and so he let himself get close to him. He knew the day would come where he would have to let go of the boy who made him feel safe, of the boy who loved him despite their differences. The boy who he genuinely love.
But he didn't think that later would come sooner.
On a gloomy afternoon, where the sun had hidden behind the clouds and the people were slowly going back to their respective homes. The merboy sat by the rocks waiting for the brown haired boy to come.
“Jaemin!” the merboy looked up and saw his favorite human standing a few feet away from him with a smile on his face. His eyes turning crescents as he waves his hand in greeting and the merboy beams, swimming closer to the dock.
“Hi Jeno.” He greeted with a smile. Jeno sat down on the dock, legs dipping in the water. They would often hang out like this. When the dock was void of people, Jeno would sit on the edge of the dock while Jaemin stay afloat.
“I don't want you to get sick.” Jaemin would tell him whenever the human wants to swim with him. The sea was always harsher when the sun sets down and the wind blows harder. Jeno wouldn't listen at first but when he realized how cold it really was, he settled on sitting at the edge and watching Jaemin flip his tail gently to stay above the water.
“Where have you been?” Jeno asked, a pout forming on his lips. Jaemin chuckled, before flipping his tail a bit harder to splash water.
“Nana! You're going to get me wet!” Jeno whined and Jaemin laughed.
“I had to go visit my sister on the other island. It’s been long since I last saw her so I stayed with her for a few days. Sorry I didn’t tell you.” He said. It wasn't a complete lie but they found out I was seeing you, was the truth but Jaemin couldn't bring himself to say it. He doesn't even know how he'll break it to him knowing that no matter what way he says it, the older would end up hurting.
They spent an hour talking about anything, the sun long gone and the moon shining. Jaemin stared in awe at how happy the older was, his eyes shining like the crescent moon with a smile that radiates the same energy as the sun. Jeno was Jaemin’s sun, the one he would see the moment he swims to the dock in the morning. The one who tells him stories about his life and this small town. The one Jaemin cherishes the most besides his family. And ultimately, Jeno is the sun Jaemin misses when he has to swim back to where he belongs. Jeno is the sun Jaemin could bodly stare right back into, his presence warm, comforting and uplifting. Jeno was a promise of a new day, a new beginning.
But Jeno also had to be the sun Jaemin had to turn his back to, presence too bright and striking. He was shining too much, it's hurtful to look at. His warmth burning like the love Jaemin has for him. Jaemin had to be the moon that watches him from afar, the one to show up when he leaves to ponder about a love that could be but couldn't.
“It's getting late, Jen.” Jaemin said after a while, a sad smile forming on his face. “You should head back.”
“Alright. I'll see you again tomorrow?” Jeno asked, standing up and dusting the dirt of his shorts. Jaemin feels a sharp pang in his chest and he wanted to scream, don't go, and to tell him everything but he can't. Jeno’s face had nothing but happiness and Jaemin knows that after this, he might not be able to see him smile again. Or maybe just not directed at him knowing that he had hurt him. Jeno looked at him, waiting for an answer.
“Yeah.” He said instead. Jaemin lowered himself in the water and Jeno turned around to walk away. He's leaving and Jaemin wouldn't be able to see him again.
“Jeno!” the said boy looked back at Jaemin. There was a surge of confidence within Jaemin and he knows he's being selfish but if he's never going to see Jeno again. He might as well tell him how much he loves him for the last time.
“Do you want to swim with me?” He asked, a hopeful glint in his eyes.
“The water's cold you know.” Jeno answered, making a noise of protest but he's already lowering himself in the water. Jaemin chuckled and held Jeno's arms to help him stay afloat. Jaemin wishes he could live like this, with Jeno staring right back at him.
“Ready to go under water?”
“You won't leave me right?”
Jaemin let out a breath he didn't know he was holding and looked back at Jeno and nodded.
Jaemin was born for the ocean. The moment he pulled Jeno underwater, he was comforted by the stillness of the ocean as if the they knew that he was hurting. Jeno and Jaemin swam close together, Jeno's hand letting go so he could swim properly. The moon gleaming above them. They swam for a while and Jaemin watched Jeno while they swam and wondered how life would be if Jeno was a merboy like him or if he was a human like him. Things would have been different, things would have been better and he wouldn't have to let go of him.
“I love you.” Jaemin said once they were above water, forehead leaning against him. Jeno had swam up the surface, lungs constricting at the lack of oxygen. “I really do.”
Jeno smiled and held his hand, “I love you too.” and Jaemin's heart clenches because he doesn't deserve his love and Jeno definitely doesn't deserve to get hurt.
“I'll always be here, okay?” He loves Jeno so much and he didn't want to hurt him so Jaemin settled on the last resort he could think of. A way to let him go without hurting him by saying goodbye.
“Want to swim for the last time?” He asked, eyes staring at Jeno lovingly. This is going to be the last time Jaemin would have him in his arms. The last time he would see him up close. Jeno nodded and Jaemin gently pulled him under water.
They swam again for a few minutes before Jeno tugged him this time, a signal that he has to go above water to breathe but instead of letting him, Jaemin pulled him close and kissed him to help him breathe. Jeno was surprised but he let himself relax in Jaemin's hold. Lips fitting perfectly against each other. This was their first kiss and Jaemin put in every emotion he can to make sure Jeno feels how much he loves him. The bliss and warmth of a first kiss with his first love. And if Jaemin let his tears fall, the ocean didn't say anything and let him cry.
When Jaemin let go and opened his eyes, Jeno was staring right back at him, his eyes empty and confused before he lost consciousness. Jaemin pulled him above water and dragged him to shore, laying Jeno on the soft sand.
“I love you and I'll always be here to watch over you.” He whispered, laying a gentle kiss on Jeno's forehead before leaving him.
When Jeno woke up the next day, he doesn't remember how he ended up laying on the shore and he definitely doesn't remember having a necklace with a seashell and the letters “J+J” engraved on it. But he does remember faint memories of a boy with cotton candy pink hair and a tail instead of legs but he doesn't remember where he's seen him or why the thought of if sends a pang in his chest.
And somewhere between huge rocks situated a few feet away from the dock, is a boy with cotton candy pink hair and blue crystalline-like tail watching over Jeno and hoping one day, he would remember him again.