Briana bobbed in the water, watching Kail stare at Aine’s small boat row into the distance. Will he ever love me, the way he loves Aine? When Aine’s boat was no longer in sight Briana ducked down into the water, letting its coolness surround her. The water was comforting, but the aching of her heart pulsed through her. She swirled in the water to see if Kail would follow, but all she could see was the dark blue.
Briana swam to the surface, taking in a breath of air. Kail had not moved. His eyes seemed to be transfixed on the swirl of water from the wake of Aine’s boat. Briana dipped back into the water hoping it would stifle her tears. She knew that if she gave herself to the water completely it would release her from the pain she felt. There would be no sadness, no heartache, just the comforting water on her furred skin. Curling into the water she let her Selkie nature take over.
Briana leaped up on the rocks at the far end of the cove to sun. She shifted into her human form, leaving a thin barrier of fur, and let the warmth of the sun lull her to sleep. Later drops of water hit her legs. She covered her eyes with her hand and saw Kail’s face full of torment as he sat down next to her. She knew what Kail would say, he had been saying it for years. Why can’t he see that I love him? Briana closed her eyes, trying to focus on the sound of the waves pulsating against the rocks. Kail was silent, but his breath was erratic.
“She’s gone Kail.”
Kail took a deep breath. “Gone to me forever.”
“Gone to both of us.”
“She was to be my wife.”
Briana looked at Kail. “Kail, even if she stayed that would never be.”
“At least I still have you.”
“Yes, you still have me. I’m always your second choice.” Briana rested her chin on her knees. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Kail’s head turn her direction.
Briana flashed her eyes his direction. “I what Kail?! Face the truth, you’d only consider me with Aine gone. Otherwise I’m just like a sister, like Aine thinks of you as a brother.”
Kail’s face reddened. “How can you say that?”
“Cause it’s the truth. I’ve loved you since we were children, but you only had eyes for Aine. She was always the one you went to first, I was always second. She doesn’t love you like I do, never will and yet somehow that still doesn’t matter.”
Tears streamed down Briana’s checks. She buried her head into her knees. Seconds later Kail’s warm arm wrapped around her shoulders.
“I’m sorry Briana, I didn’t know.”
Briana pushed his arm away, wiped away her tears and glared at him. “Didn’t know? Or didn’t care?” Kail stared at her. “I told Aine I would help you through this, as I always do. But, it’s different this time. I’m different. I don’t want to be your shoulder to cry on, I don’t want to be your friend. I want more and I know that is something you can never give me. I don’t want to be forever living in Aine’s shadow.” Briana sighed as she looked back toward the village. “You’re going to be on your own this time.”
Kail’s mouth opened, but no words came out.
Briana did not wait for a response. In a flash she dove into the water and shifted. She did not look back as her dark shape made its way across the water.
Friday Flash Fiction Series
This is part of a flash fiction series I am doing for side characters in Pearl of the Sea (previously The Vanishing Island – rethinking the title). Check my other flash stories – The Revenge of Emperor Li Long, The Escape of Wei Shu, Kail’s Sorrow, Flight of the Raven Part 1, Flight of the Raven Part 2 and Lost and Found.