I remember the first time that Elliott told me that he saw “her”…I didn’t believe him. It was a few weeks after he taught me how to swim…we were supposed to meet at the beach that afternoon and he never showed up. I called him over and over and kept getting his voicemail. I kept thinking to myself “did he really forget about me?” I knew exactly where he was though…I had no doubt that he was out somewhere on the open sea and had probably just lost track of time. But the longer I waited for him…the angrier I got. Then all that anger dissolved into worry once the sky grew dark and heavy droplets started to fall. I ran all the way home but as I was about to walk inside, I heard him calling my name. I turned around and was about to cuss him out when he excitedly started telling me this crazy story about a woman in the ocean with a fish tail. Seriously…a mermaid? He told me how he followed her out further than he’d ever been before but had to turn around because the waves were growing so big that he feared for his safety. Instead of yelling at him like I wanted to…I wrapped my arms around him and squeezed him tight. And as we stood there in the pouring rain, I realized that if I ever lost him…I’d never recover from it.