The doorbell rang in Miles’ house. When he opened the door, though, he saw nobody outside. Instead, a voice came from the inside of his house. “Hey, Miles.”
It was the teasing tone of Kristene’s beautiful voice. Miles turned around, and laughed at himself before closing the door again. “Hi, Kristene. How did you ring the doorbell?”
“Had a crow help me do that.” She was, again, swimming along the wall, but like many admirers of hers, Miles didn’t just build channels along his walls, he had a larger tank full of water ready for her anytime in case she would come around and pay him a visit. She dived into that tank.
“I am delighted to have you visiting me,” he said as he kept his eyes on her.
“I know you are,” she teased.
“Did you make a new song, Kristene?”
“Not today, but I will have one tomorrow.”
“Another sad song,” he assumed.
“Of course. Nothing touches the human soul more than a sad love song.”
“Kristene,” he urged.
“I’m going to move soon, somewhere near the West.”
“When?” She didn’t show any sign of not wanting him to go. She was lying flat on her back in the tank, with only her face above water. Her posture didn’t change even a single bit as he broke the news.
“So you won’t be visiting me before you go, will you?” she asked.
“Sorry. I can’t. I only got notified a few hours ago.”
“That’s too bad. Maybe you can when you come back around here to visit or something.” But did she mean it, when she said “that’s too bad”? He wondered.
“Kristene,” he urged again.
“Are we friends?”
It was only then that Kristene eyed him. In her mind, she was thinking, well, at least he knew not to ask “lovers”. “Sure,” she said.
“I have a question, before I go.”
Miles took a deep breath. “What is love to you?”
“A game. A tool.”
“And men are toys?”
“Yes.” She nodded. “And food.”
He showed a smile. “I love you more now.”
“Why?” she asked him back now.
“You’re different from other girls.”
“Right. I’m not human.”
“You don’t lie.”
A deafening silence took over the room as their eyes met.
Until, with her singsong voice, she said, “I don’t love.”
“Not even Kyron?”
Kristene closed her eyes, sinking back into the water. Did she love Kyron? She never thought over it. She belonged with him, to him, it had been that way for as long as she could remember. Her earliest memory was of herself being chased, and then being picked up by Kyron, who carried her up into the sky, away from her captors. Ever since then, she had been living under his protection, and little by little, she learned to behave more like a siren should.
“I love Master Kyron,” she decided.
“Then he is the luckiest man on earth,” Miles said. “I think he loves you too.”
Did he? He did say so, and so she nodded.
“Then why do you sing sad songs?”
“You’ve asked before.”
“I have one request before I go.” That day, Miles seemed to have more to say than he would usually.
“What would that be?”
“Please sing happy songs someday.”