A True Story
She unbound her Terry towelling dressing gown, letting it free-fall to the carpeted floor. Posed the nakedness of her middle-aged body, in what was unbeknown to me, a final exhibition of her womanhood.
"Look…" She said in a tactile voice, a kind I’d not heard before. "What you see is not real, not the physical me. You’ve accused me of deceit only I have burned myself. Sacrificed paradise, threw the dice and paid the price. Yes, I’ve deceived you, and everyone I’ve known for all my life, but I’m dehydrating daily now, and long to be with my kind. Its time I flowed with the tide!"
I watched the early evening sunlight reflecting in a tear that was slowly trickling its way down her cheek. Me and my inculpate insensitivity. I sometimes wished I wasn’t as cold as I often made out to be. My mouth moved without expelling words, while the mind exploded into reel upon reel of echoing perplexity.
She began to brush her shoulder length hair aside of her neck. The torso twisted artistically, balancing daintily against the backdrop of an invading night. I observed the delicate way in which she removed the scalp from her head, unzipped the skin from her body letting the folds crumple to the floor like a deflated inflatable doll, revealing the black glossy coat of a Sea Lion.
Startled by the mutation, and the inexplicable change in her equanimity; my stone cold heart warmed by the empathy on inbred animal instincts. The large brown pitiful eyes set in the puppy-like face spoke in cognition when I stroked the velvety-smooth forehead and asked if I could do anything to help. While at the same time engaged in bizarre thoughts of bestiality.
As the creature spread out on the carpet, resting on her spade-like front flippers, her coat glistened like a wet rubber suit. My mind speculated on the feasibility of a sexual climax. I caressed her soft pulpy neck, but she interrupted my intimate continuity by saying in a peculiarly high burbled voice. “Yes, you may help, for tonight I will take to the Humber and swim to my fishing grounds to be among my kind. I have loved you more than you will know, and will always remember the kindness you have given me. But the tide has now turned, and the moon attracts my senses, no longer can I take my former form. Please take me to the river bank where we will say our last farewell.” I asked if we could wait, if only till the night had fully engulfed the evening and had itself fallen asleep.
Here was my wife of sixteen years, and I had never known, never suspected her of being an aquatic mammal. Oh! I had my suspicions of infidelity, as most men who have a woman they believe to be the most attractive in the world. Now I look, the evidence was there, and always had been. The daily visits to the swimming baths, the late night fish suppers, and her amazing ability to balance a ball on her forehead for any length of time.