You strolled into the school’s pool deck, searching for your best friend, Kou – whom you affectionately called Gou, much to her dismay. “Gou…? Are you here? I know you’re the swim team manager and that you’re here somewhere… Gou! Get your butt out here, girl!”
As you made your way towards the pool, you gasped. The… the pool… It… It looked amazing. The water was sparkling blue, shining like a beautifully cut sapphire under the sun. The weeds that once inhabited the abandoned ghost pool had been chased out; butterflies took their place, flitting about here and there. After much scrubbing, the muck and dirt that had once thrived on the pool bottom was chased away. The paint job on the bottom of the pool, once chipped and cracked, was now as smooth as the (mostly) amateur painters could make it; it shone with glory. The rosy blush of the cherry blossom trees gave a light, happier feel to the now cleaned-up and polished pool, making it seem friendlier and less menacing than before.
While you admired the pool, a bunch of light splashes in the water drew your attention. Was that… Was that a dolphin…? Wanting to investigate a bit more (in case the swim team was actually harboring a dolphin…), you quietly crept closer and closer towards the pool. You saw what looked to be a fin (or something along those lines) flick upwards, spraying water droplets into the air and blinding you for a bit until you rubbed your eyes and concentrated closely. Small flickers of light shone through the water, as in addition to a trickle of common sense that dripped into your mind, making you realize that your first assumption about there being a dolphin in the school pool was absolutely ridiculous.
If it wasn't a dolphin, what could it be? You saw a flash of ebony black, followed by a flick of a blue scaly thing that resembled a tail. Mermaids…? No… It couldn't be, they didn't exist… right? Drawing closer towards the pool until you were almost standing in the gutter, you leaned closer in to get a better look. That… That thing… It was a tail! Mermaids… They existed?! Your childhood fantasies of being like Ariel, meeting your prince on the beach… You staggered back as you realized that that could actually happen, and started fantasizing a bit.
All of a sudden, you realized that it was deathly quiet in the pool. Sometime between when you walked towards the gutter and when you started fantasizing, the light splashes had stopped. You looked out towards the corner of the pool farthest away from you; you squinted, barely making out a pair of brilliant blue eyes that matched the pool’s color looking in your direction. Wet black bangs hung in those cerulean blue eyes, making your heart pound just a little bit faster. You couldn’t tell if the blue tail you had thought you had seen before was real or not.
Those eyes looked strangely familiar. “Haru-senpai…? Is that you?” You murmured, being sucked in more and more into those ocean-blue orbs, into a never-ending labyrinth of blue. “Haru-senpai?” You called, unsure if it really was him or not.
You had harbored a small, but growing, crush on him ever since the time you had waited for Gou to finish managing the swim team’s swim practice and first laid eyes on him. You had watched as he stayed in the water as long as possible, seemingly in his element – he was like a dolphin, in a sense. When Gou had walked your way, you hadn’t even noticed her, so entranced were you in watching the dolphin-like boy swim. Gou seemed to have caught on to your hidden, possibly one-sided crush on Haru, and she supported you.
Slowly, as you made your way to where Haru floated in the water, your (eye color) eyes widened in surprise.
“No… (name)-chan… It’s… Wait, what are you doing here?” Haru murmured, closing his eyes and turning away, seemingly nervous to hear what you would say, of whether you would be amazed or outraged at his current condition.
“It’s… It’s not what I think, is that what you were going to say? But, Haru-senpai… You’re… You’re a mermaid…! This is amazing! Oh, and by the way, I was looking for Gou… She’s the swim team manager and all, so I thought she’d be around the pool or something.” You grew excited, amazed that your childhood fantasies of mermaids were actually true, while you explained your purpose for popping in.
“Merman, technically,” a voice called out from behind you.
You whirled around, surprised. “Wait… Gou? Where were you?! I was looking all over for you!”
“Kou! I told you, it’s Kou! And I was over in teacher’s office, talking to Ayame-sensei about the club and stuff,” came the slightly annoyed reply. “Why? Did you need me?”
“Uh… Yeah, but I think I’m fine on my own… Um, Gou, you knew that Haru-senpai was a mermaid…?” You blinked rapidly, a bit overwhelmed with your new knowledge of Haru.
“It’s Kou! Not Gou, Kou! How many times do I have to tell you that?! Geez… Also, technically he’s a merman, since he’s a guy and all. And yeah, I knew he was a merman. But… You can’t tell a soul about this,” Gou said, latching on to your jacket sleeve and glaring at you, as if to make clear that you would (probably) drop dead if you told anyone about Haru’s current sticky situation.
“Okay, okay, okay…! I won’t tell… But, um, Haru-senpai, how did you become… you know…” You gestured generally at the bottom half of his body. “How did you become… a... merman, was it?” Gou nodded in confirmation as you continued. “How did you become a merman…?”
Haru stared at you with uncertainty flickering in his eyes for what seemed like eternity. After a long, drawn-out silence, he finally spoke. "It's a long story."