The God of the Sea

Woman by the sea ©

It was there at the shore where our bodies danced in the rhythm of exhuming passion. The streaks of the glorious moonlight touch our sunkist skins and the splash of the water beats together with our hearts. The gravels of sand crawl beneath our bare bodies that intertwin with desire and romance. It was at that very moment, when the sea touched the shore… when the wind gently blew and carressed my poor soul… that I realized how much I love him…

It was one of those lonely days in my life where I found myself confused and depressed over the circumstances that took “everything” away from me. Since the tragedy has happened, I was not able to find my path anymore.

The thick and grayish dark clouds above the seas foretell an upcoming storm. One misty afternoon, I found myself walking direction-less, being splashed with the musky ocean waves at the muddy shore. I was thinking about them, and I always see them whenever I caught a glimpse of the vastness of the ocean before me. I was in deep thinking when I saw something… somebody… not far from where I am.

With a new-found curiosity and distraction from my melancholic thoughts, I walked slowly to approach the ‘thing’ that caught my eye. As I got near, I was enticed, more than surprised, to see a naked man laying on the sand, half-burried from his lower torso down to his legs.

I didn’t know what to do. I have lived by the sea for all my life, and I have never seen any man laying near the strong, ocean waves unconsciously. I ran and knelt before him — I didn’t know how to start. I shouted for help but nobody was around. I tried to look for anything to wake him up, but we were surrounded by the water and the sand.

To the best of my ability, I tried to resuscitate him. I put both of my hands on his chest and pushed to his heart twice, then I pinched his nose and blew air into his mouth. As I did the act over and over again, I can’t help but notice how strong his chest was and how soft his lips were. Whenever I fell into that thought, I immediately shook myself to get back to reality.

I pushed, pinched, and blew… pushed, pinched, and blew… I even shook him for many times, until he twitched and started to flicker his eyes.

I felt great relief in my chest to see the man almost dead, now opening his eyes and feeling his arms. He coughed water for a few times, struggled for his breath, and I was there patting his back to help him recover. When he was already okay, I asked him:

“Would you like me to bring you to a clinic?”

He looked at me and smiled gently, “No. Not anymore. Th…thank you for saving my life.”

Saving his life was a big mistake. I wasn’t able to save my family’s lives first.

“N-no. No I didn’t.” I stammered. He looked at me, not with gratefulness but more of worry. I immediately looked away.

“What happened to you? Do you remember anything?” I asked gently.

He closed his eyes as if he was feeling the breeze brought by the sea. “No. I don’t.”

I don’t know why, but I was like a controlled vessel who “followed” an unheard order within me. Without hesitation, I took him by his arms and assisted him to my humble dwelling. As we walked, I could not deny that I feel blood rushing to my face. I tried to never look at HIM.

When we reached my house, I gave him a blanket to cover himself, then water. He drank the glass of water in an instant and he even asked for more. I thought, “He must’ve been very tired. He could have lost his family in the sea, too…” With all that I can provide, I assisted this man who introduced himself as Pontus.

After I gave him some food, I told him, “I will go to the barrio to tell our officials about you. They will help you to find your family. I’ll be back in a short while.” I took my purse on the table, but when I was about to step out of the house, Pontus grabbed my arm and said:

“No Lena. Please stay with me.”

I didn’t know what to say, but I managed to utter:

“Your family and friends might be looking for you. We can’t keep you here up all night.”

And with the luck (or un-luck) of time, thunder came rumbling and lightning came striking from the dark, velvet skies. Then, the rain came pouring down and the wind blew strongly, which almost busted my walls. The heaven was like an accomplice of this man… and because I lost the chance of leaving the house and reaching the barrio safely, I decided to stay.

However, for some reasons and as each day passed by, I won’t always be able to leave the house. I did my household chores with Pontus. He helped me with the dishes. He helped me with fishing. We always get good fish from the waters since he fished with me.

Days and weeks passed by and I lived with Pontus happily. He seemed to be undisturbed with the fact that he lives with a stranger like me, and neither do I. We lived as if we had known each other for a long time. I am still doubtful of who he was, but I never saw the same worry on his face. He was always blissful and alluring. I felt safe with Pontus by my side.

There were times when we were eating, or when we were about to sleep, he would ask me questions…

Are you mad at the ocean?

I will just give him a slight smile.

If somebody will come to make you happy, will you forget about what happened?

I sometimes stare at him, but most of the times, I pretend I didn’t hear him. I didn’t want to talk about tragic things.

If I stay, will you let me?

I will always feel blood rushing within me. And my heartbeat… it never beats the same pace anymore since he came.

With all these questions I managed not to answer, I was still wondering why he stayed with me.

There were also times that un the middle of the night, when I wake up, I’ll catch him staring at me. But he never made me uncomfortable about it. I didn’t know why.

One night, I was surprised to find petals of roses on the floor. I followed the trail of petals, which led to the outside of my house…then, to the shore. While I was walking to the shore, I saw the sparkling and bright water twinkling in the darkness. The full moon cast dark indigo color on the waters. I was more shocked than ever, yet allured by the sight of dancing dolphins, bright and golden mermaids, and other sea creatures that have turned into enchantments.

“All of these are for you, my love.”

And there, not far from the glorious scenery, was Pontus, wearing the brightest smile I have ever seen.

“The long wait is over, darling.” he said. “I am here to make you the happiest woman.”

I did not feel scared. I was supposed to, because there were “things” before my eyes I could not explain. I was supposed to be thinking that I have lost my mind, but Pontus was there. I knew it was real.

“What are these for?” I asked, confused. I looked at the glorious objects in the water; the golden mermaids smiled and hymned for me. I looked back at Pontus again, and it was too late for me to resist… no, to stop myself… He grabbed me by his arms and kissed me fervently.

I was taken by the moment. The heat between our lips travelled through my body. I didn’t notice that I have lifted my hands to touch him… embrace him… and there by the sea, I once again felt the emptiness within me being filled with awe and glee.

Since the tragedy, the sea has never given me so much joy. Only at this time. Only with Pontus.

I lay bare side by side with the man who succeeded to make me the happiest woman. I stared at him; he stared back at me. He carressed my cheeks and smiled gently.

He said, “Come to the sea with me.”

I chuckled. “What do you mean, Pontus?”

“Come with me. I will make you my queen. My goddess.”

I was puzzled. I can’t understand what he’s trying to say. At one point of another, his “request” gave me chill.

I closed my eyes. I felt the damp breeze of the wind and his hand carressing my face. He touched my lips. I opened my eyes.

“Aren’t we happy here?” I asked. “Let’s stay…”

The waves splashed more vigorously. The twinkling of the waters started to fade away. The sounds made by the strange, enchanted creatures were gone. But Pontus… he was still there, smiling at me.

“I understand. Know that I’ll always have you in my heart.” he put his hands on my chest and felt my heart beat. “I love you, Lena. Always.” He lifted his head and kissed me on my forehead.

I didn’t know what happened next. I drifted into a dream, where I saw myself standing by the sea. There, from afar, was Pontus. He was being carried by the wind to the middle of the ocean.

“P-Pontus… wait, wait!”

He uttered words I heard but I can’t fathom.

“Pontus don’t go away!”

I was awaken by a shake.

“Lena! Lena thank God you’re alive!”

I saw a familiar face of an old woman that I can’t recall the name. She was terrified and distressed, but the lines of sadness on her face started to melt away.

“We’ve been looking for you! You’ve been gone for more than a week!” she panted. “We saw you laying n-naked by the sea. Wh-what happened to you?!?”

I was startled. I looked around me and saw dirty while walls and green curtains. I was on a hospital bed. I was in our clinic.

“I-I don’t u-nderstand.” I muttered. “Why am I here? Wh-where’s Pontus?!”

An elderly man entered the room where I was. He looked at me, then looked at the old woman beside me. He whispered something to the elder woman; they nodded together. The elder woman touched me gently on my forehead. She shook her head. Both of them looked at me again.

“Where is Pontus?” I asked, this time, with more obstinacy.

“Lena…” she said. “Pontus is not real. Remember… he is just a part of our folk stories. Remember?”

It all came back to me.

“No! He was just with me in my house.”

“You were not in your house Lena! A fisherman said the last time he saw you, you were walking by the shore. You were gone suddenly.”

Tears fell from my eyes. I can’t believe what’s happening to me.

“N-no… no that’s not true… my Pontus must be waiting for me! He’s being taken away by the sea!”

The elderly man grabbed my wrist. He then said with a trembling voice, “Pontus shows himself only to those whose lives became miserable after he had taken away something from them. He is the god of the sea.”

The old woman aggressively hit his shoulder. “That’s not true! Don’t believe him, those are just stories of old people like us!”

I cried. I recalled the days when I was with Pontus. I recalled the times when he smiled gently at me, and touched me, and embraced me… I recalled my lost moments with him.

I remembered my dream. All of a sudden, the words he uttered as he was being taken away by the sea became clear to me…

I love you Lena. I didn’t want to make you unhappy…

I sobbed and twitched.

I never meant to take them with me.

Tears fell endlessly from my eyes.

When you’re ready, I’ll come back for you, my love…

I stood up and ran to the door. The two old folks were not able to stop me. I ran as fast as I could. I went straight back to the shore.

The thunders rumble and the lightning slashes definite lines on the skies. The dark clouds couldn’t hold it anymore.

I reached the shore. I stopped. I cried and cried as the waves splashed my thighs. I walked further to the depths of the seaside. I screamed:

“Pontus! Take me away with you! Take me now!”

The sea suddenly became more truculent. The waters splashed even higher, up to my chest. I shouted again:

“Pontus! Take me with you!”

A huge wave of water appeared in front of me. I closed my eyes. Then, as I felt the last moments, I heard Pontus' voice saying:

Come with me my love…

…and the waves swallowed me.


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