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Sweet Harmony


This is originally from a challenge I joined many years back. Enjoy.


SWEET HARMONY


My friend always wondered why we set out in the middle of the night but don't bring any fishing equipment. I wonder about it myself. I only take lead and take us in the middle of the calm waters and do nothing.


But is that about it?


On one of our continuous nights in our little boat, my friend told me I was crazy. Nobody has ever said I was crazy before! He didn't come with me the following night. I was about to call myself crazy, but there I heard it. A voice.


Is this it?


An exquisite voice with lyres playing in the background. The music had calmed me. It was as if entering a world where there's no stress, no pressure, no problems.. just a place to relax.


I closed my eyes to focus on this beautiful tone playing in my ears, my body slowly laying down the boat. Man, what a good night to take a nap! Now I remember why I always insist to go here. It's because of this.


Finally, I got what I want.


But suddenly, I was startled, and I immediately sat up, opening my eyes to see a beautiful young lady sitting at the end of the boat. I've never seen her before in my life. Where did she come from? How did she get here? She's not wet so she didn't swim. Could she be the one singing? I asked her where she came from, but she only meekly looks away, her hand twirling her hair. Okay, I'll change my question then. I asked who she is. She shook her head.


It's not like I kidnapped her. She's the one who appeared in my boat.


To be friendly, I told her my name, told her about my friend and that we fish in this part of the waters. I kept my distance, though. Slowly, she lifts her head up to smile at my attempt of a friendly conversation. And that's when I realized she was mute. She merely did hand gestures to respond to me. And I'd have to speak out loud as I try to 'read' her signs so she'll correct me if I misunderstood it.


The voice and music I was hearing were gone. I was disappointed, but I entertained this young lady and perhaps take her home afterwards.


It was hard to communicate with her. She can hear me but when it's her turn to 'speak', I'm having a hard time understanding her 'language'. A language barrier is between us as we converse. But either way we tried to learn from each other. She taught me basic hand gestures, and she'd silently and meekly laugh at my attempt to copy it. But then she stopped and turned away, probably thinking she was rude. Well.. in a way, yes. But I'm okay with it. I laughed to myself to lessen the awkward silence between us.


It's already quiet enough because she doesn't talk. Only my voice is heard.


At first I saw her eyes blink in wonder. But I kept my act up and continue to laugh a bit more before telling her how ridiculous I must've looked as I try to do what she does. When she caught up, she smiled and shook her head. Her hand gestures, telling me I was close to getting it. I just didn't feel like doing it because I can speak. My voice had softened when I realized she was right. I looked into her eyes and she simply smiled at me, as if telling me it was alright. And behind that smile must be an 'I'm used to it' thought.


Just who is she? Why did I meet her tonight? How did she get here, anyway?


I tried asking her her name. But again, it was silence. She'd pause and contemplate and twirl the end of her hair again. I didn't want this silence anymore than she does so I changed the topic and told her about me again. For some reason she doesn't want to talk about herself. I'd be fine with that if her appearance is not a mystery. While I rant nervously about a different topic, she scoots closer to me and hushed me with her finger. I stopped talking of course. Our eyes locked for a moment before she went away and kept the distance again.


The freaking silence is deafening, yes. But as I watch her say her answer to me, I was once again surprised. She was asking that if it's alright, I don't ask about her and that every night I come back to talk to her. Is she serious? She observed my facial expression very closely, her brows furrowed in worry of my response. I was at shock at this selfish request of course! I barely managed to regain my composure and force a smile to put her at ease, telling her that I promise to do as she wishes.


Should I keep my promise?


Her smile was wide and bright, I brought her joy for some reason. And seeing her like that.. I felt happy myself. I guess I should really come back. She must be alone for some reason. And she needs me. I was drifted into thought for a short while and later find her gone. She's just gone. I guess that was a sign that she's about to go. I sighed and looked up the sky to see that the sun was about to shine. EH?!!! It's freaking morning already?!!!


I hurried back home as soon as I realized it. Seriously, how long have I been there?! My friend scolded me for being late, saying I must've fallen asleep at the boat. I only chuckled my way out of it as we went fishing. I needed his approval for later.


Is going back really worth it? What do I get in return?


I contradicted my thoughts and went there again. Boy the girl seemed overjoyed to see me as she clapped at my arrival. I didn't arrive in magic or anything, I should be the one clapping at her since she appears and disappears whenever she wants to.


Every night I'd come back to talk with her and completely got rid of the language barrier between us. I'd be able to do what she does now that I understand her. The way she moves her arms, hands and fingers.. it's all so gentle. Little by little the distance between us also faded. Now we're sitting next to each other.


I'd look up the sky one night and share to her my experience the night before met her. That I heard a very beautiful voice humming.. no singing a certain melody and that lyres are playing at the background, making it even more pleasing to the ears. I didn't realize it until that night, but all along I think it's that voice that was calling me to come every night. My friend even called me crazy to chase something I don't see. I stopped my yapping and glanced at her to see if she got bored.


Well I was surprised to see her smiling as she listened intently. And so I continued on until we reached the part that I met her and that she made my night worth to spend despite that I lack sleep sometimes. I make up when I fall asleep while fishing though. She would laugh without a sound again. I'm glad I didn't bore her. I didn't turn to see her anymore. I know she'll shy away. So I kept my eyes locked on the beautiful skies.


And I thanked her. I was glad to have a stranger like her. She turned my world upside down, talk about being a vampire, but that's not the case. I guesd I was just happy with the sudden change of my life.


"I'm grateful to have met you too, Mino-san." She says.


WAIT WHAT?!!! DID SHE JUST... DID SHE--?!!!


Startled again, I backed up as I stared at her in wonder. Did I hear her right? Was it her? Or simply my imagination tricking me?


"Thank you for staying with me every night." She spoke again! Seeing my stunned expression, she laughed. And this time with sound! "You could say there's a curse forbidding me to speak. It's a rather long story but.. would you like to hear it?"


Well you've got one heck of a beautiful voice! And you listened to my own ranting so why not?


But then it struck me... I asked if it was her who's been calling me every night to be here. If it was her voice that I heard. The singing and all. She simply chuckled and said, "Yes." Whoa. O.o. I guess I'm quite interested to hear her side of the story.


"Then meet me here every night and I'll listen to your story." I told her and I rowed my boat back to home. I knew one way or another she'll disappear from my boat.


I did not ask her name just as I promised. But I know what to call her.


Sweet Harmony.


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