Once upon a time, there was a shore named Marco who often spoke to the moon. The bright moon would tell the shore tales of courage and hope, but most importantly, of love. Marco grew a romantic heart but it never found anyone to give it to. He spent summer nights dreaming about finding the wave he could fall in love with and winter days wishing for the sun to set so he didn’t have to feel lonely looking at the waves. He had plenty of flings with the waves. The waves would come with full force and they always promised a good time. They would wrap the shore in their arms and spend the time telling tales of faraway lands where even the shores looked different.
But Marco had heard plenty of tales from the moon and wanted more. He wanted passion and romance and nights that turned into mornings with the love still fresh as a rose. The shore often spoke to the moon about this and the moon could do nothing but reassure him that all would be fine. When you want something from your heart, it does come true.
In a faraway land where the sand was of the color of the sky, a wave called Merlin was busy conversing with the wave that had come back after a fling with Marco. She had fallen in love with the shore and wanted to spend all her life with him but the shore could never look at her romantically.
The shore, instead, had decided to keep a contest. The wave that could make him the happiest would be the one. Plenty of waves had already gone to the moon to ask about the shore’s likes and dislikes. They all used to be close to each other but now the world of waves was full of chaos. Sisters had turned against each other and friends had turned into foes.
Merlin, on the other hand, was quite confused. Merlin had big dreams. She wanted to travel the world, splash water on humans of all kinds, meet the other waves who shared her interests and find those golden dolphins that stayed at the end of the world. Merlin had dreams that would never be fulfilled if she swore her life to Marco. But Merlin was not very brave. She was afraid of the water beasts that sometimes gobbled up the waves and never let them out again. She was terrified of people who took bits of her away and simply threw them on the burning sand. She was scared of what lay in the other parts of the world.
She was torn between chasing the wild and choosing sanctuary.
Merlin spent the night pondering and the morning light made her even restless. She kept going over the two choices in her mind and finally decided that she would chase adventure. Her fragile heart did a happy somersault but her joy was short lived. Merlin was happily resting against the blue shore when a man scooped her tail in his hand and joyfully left her on the burning sand. Merlin watched a part of her scream as the sand gobbled it up and she was suddenly terrified again. Just then another human dropped something dirty into the water and Merlin was covered in a plastic full of filth. And to top it, she heard that the sea beasts had decided to take a trip and they were coming in an army.
All the other waves overlooked all the happenings and focused only on the contest. Merlin, however, was so afraid that she couldn’t help but move from her place. And just like that, she knew what she had to do. She would travel to the place where the summer days were said to be the happiest and winter nights were spent finding reasons to keep up the revelry. Merlin had big dreams but she somehow lacked the courage to pursue them. And one of Merlin’s biggest dreams was to find true love. So what if she had kept this dream for the last? She always wanted to be a little reckless before she met the One and began a new life with him. If she went to the contest, she might get her biggest dream fulfilled. So what if the other dreams were left broken? The other waves had come and told her that the moon, who was the wisest of all, had said that there was nothing more precious than true love. Merlin made up her mind. After all, she had always wanted romance. This way she would have a safe space and a heart full of love. This surely was more than one could ask for, right? It looked like Merlin was trying to convince herself even though a voice within kept asking her to make a different choice. That night Merlin slept without any trouble but also without her usual fascinating dreams.
Merlin and her sisters set out early in the morning. They jumped with joy and giggled like married women and spent the two days traveling. Merlin tried her best to look joyful but there was this constant feeling in her belly which didn’t seem like happy butterflies were giggling. It felt like the butterflies were urging her to rush away and not make this mistake.
The waves arrived just in time for the contest and swooned over Marco. Marco definitely was the best shore and he was friends with the moon who always took the waves dancing.
Marco saw waves of all kinds rushing toward him and he sat there with the happiest look on his face. Today he would find the wave that would stay with him till eternity. A new story would be written and the entire world would be envious of their love.
The contest began at 12 and all the waves began impressing Marco. A big wave called Daisy put on a spectacular show and all the other waves were filled with envy. Poppy was a very bold wave and her tricks made Marco blush. Marco was the center of attention and waves like Belinda flattered him a little too much. Marco looked around and noticed that a wave was standing afar and hadn’t even introduced herself. The sun was shining brightly on her and she looked as beautiful as a golden mermaid. Marco couldn’t help but ask her to come closer. It was as if the entire universe had conspired to make them meet. Marco, for the first time, wished he was a wave so he could have himself entangled in her as they slowly became one. He knew he had found the one. Merlin, with the golden sun rays kissing her body, was slowly advancing toward him. It felt like the rest of his life was finally here. At that moment, Marco knew why these poets spoke so much about true love. Marco had started believing in magic.
Merlin, on the other hand, could feel a storm brewing. The storm was in her heart and it was trying to push her away from Marco. Merlin remembered her difficulties, put on a brave smile and slowly allowed her to get closer. It felt as if electricity was coursing in. All her past fears and doubts became one with the wind who ran away to another land as it wanted to help beloved Marco.
Merlin had always been a romantic. She was an adventurer at heart, no doubt, but she had always dreamed about finding the one she could spend her entire life with. And when she met Marco, Merlin knew she had found someone she wanted to spend an eternity with. She wanted Marco’s body to be the first thing she touched each morning, she wanted him to be the one who saw her when she was jumping with glee on days when the moon decided to have a little fun, and she wanted only him to hold her when she felt terrified of all the things that lay in the water. Merlin was in love with Marco and Marco was in love with Merlin. And just like that began the love story of a wave who had traded her freedom for love and a shore who often took romantic advice from the moon. This is the time when the story should end. But, I think, nature can never come without a few disasters. A happily ever after shall be granted but it will be of a different kind. For now, let’s just watch what happens when a shore falls in love with a wave.
All the other waves were filled with envy when they realized Merlin hadn’t even entered the contest yet had been chosen. They all had broken hearts and that day the water level was so high that a tsunami had been predicted. Merlin and Marco were in their own little safe bubble. They spent all their time talking about the things they would do in the future. They spent their nights in each other’s embrace and their mornings began with her naughtily splashing water on the sleepy head. They were happy and in love. Their fairytale dream had come true and a few months passed by in a jiffy.
In all this time, Merlin had not forgotten about her dreams. There were moments when she would see the other waves giggling with excitement and her own heart would want to somersault. When she would hear the humans talk about taking a trip to see the golden dolphins, she would secretly feel envious. Marco would always make her feel safe and somehow Merlin found comfort in being with him.
Six months passed and they had a visitor. A big beautiful wave called Linda was seen asking around for Merlin and she finally found her resting her head on Marco.
Linda and Merlin were best friends but had lost touch as Linda had been away for reasons she couldn’t even share with her.
Linda had heard about Merlin staying with Marco but she had been quite shocked. She knew Merlin had a romantic head but she also knew that Merlin had other things to do before finding the One. In fact, Merlin and Linda had spent plenty of nights under the moon talking about the adventures they would take. They had wanted to go to Paris and watch lovers kiss, take a trip to meet the waves of the river Nile who refused to ever go anywhere else, and both Merlin and Linda had promised each other that they would watch the golden dolphins dance in the air together.
What had happened to the Merlin who had big dreams? Why had she given up on her dreams? Love was important but was it worth giving up everything else?
Linda knew she had to have a talk with Merlin.
When Merlin saw a big wave coming her way, she was not afraid, but she was definitely surprised.
Linda had finally finished her secret work! They hugged for a long time and spent the rest of the day roaming around Marco and making small talk. It was only when they were a little away from Marco did Linda approach the topic. Merlin was quick in her reply and told Linda how it was better this way. She no longer had to be afraid of anything and she was not clueless about what her future looked like. Marco was her everything and she wanted to spend all her life loving him. Linda was cautious and didn’t know what to say. She still tried her hardest to make Merlin see that she didn’t have to have her entire life revolve around him. She could still love him and be her own person. It would be hard in her case, of course, as Marco was a shore who could never travel to faraway lands. Maybe Merlin could spend a few more years living the way she wanted and then come back. If their love was true, they would find a way. Merlin kept ignoring her own heart that agreed with what Linda was saying. She definitely wanted to see the golden dolphins but it was a year of travel back and forth and Marco would never agree.
That night Merlin spoke to Marco about her thoughts that were tormenting her. Even though she would never dream about leaving Marco, she knew he would ask her to go on an adventure right away. That’s what true love is all about, isn’t it? We always think of the other person’s happiness because we truly want them to wear an infectious smile all the time.
But Merlin was in for a shock. Marco looked hurt and blamed Merlin for only pretending to be in love with him. He wailed so loudly that the moon was awakened from slumber.
Merlin could almost feel her heart snap. She never in her wildest dreams could think of leaving Marco because she loved him. But if Marco really loved her, shouldn’t he be concerned about her happiness?
Merlin spent two days apologizing to Marco because she didn’t know any other way of living. She had made her entire life revolve around him and in the process had forgotten her own worth. She was once a wave waiting to explore and live her life on her terms and now she had completely lost herself. She was not Merlin anymore. She was just Marco’s lover. She had found romantic love but had lost the deepest love of all: love for her own self.
If things were bad, they started getting worse. Marco had forgiven her but Merlin couldn’t shake the feeling that she had nothing to apologize for. Moreover, Merlin was over that red roses phase. She was starting to look at things practically and felt that even though she knew Marco well, she didn’t know him on a deeper level. She was happy with him but she wanted more. She wanted excitement and passion and moments that made her gasp so loud the wise moon had to chuckle like a kid.
Merlin tried her best to push aside her doubts but they were clinging to her skin like moths cling to the light. Only these doubts felt more like butterflies asking her to chase the rainbows.
It was as if the universe had been listening to her and wanted to help the beloved wave who was trying to be fearless. Linda announced one day that the golden waves were about to put on the most spectacular show and that all the waves had decided to be the spectators.
Merlin’s heart did a somersault after ages and she knew she wanted to watch the show. The golden dolphins only danced under the sun rays once in a hundred years and what was so beautiful was that they dropped glitter all over and it felt like magic had come true.
But Merlin knew that it would take about a year to come back home. It took months to travel and the show would last for quite some time and the waves were known to travel back lazily when the show ended because they had too much glitter in them.
If Merlin left, she would lose Marco forever. Was it worth losing true love?
Merlin rushed to find Linda. Linda’s words healed her damaged soul.
‘True love is a very beautiful thing but it is not everything. Love doesn’t mean forgetting your own happiness. Your dreams and goals are important for they make you who you are. Pledging your life to someone might make you feel protected, but isn’t life too short to live it the easy way? If you think being with Marco is what makes you feel happier than anything, then you should stay. But even if a tiny part of you wants to live for yourself first, do it. There is nothing wrong in choosing yourself. You might be scared but at least you’re feeling things on a deeper level. You can’t keep settling and call it living. And I hate to break it to you, but if Marco truly loved you, he would let you go. Deep down I know you’re still the Merlin who wanted to find love later in life because you wanted to do many things yourself. Love is beautiful when it gives you wings and toxic when it chains you. Merlin, do the right thing. I will never tell you that being with Marco is wrong. Choosing love is okay. But choosing something just because it is convenient makes you a coward. And now is the time to be fearless. Be fearless, Mer. Live your life’.
Merlin had tears in her eyes and she rushed to Marco to tell him what was on her mind.
‘I need to go and see those dolphins. It has always been my biggest dream and I really want to travel the world. Marco, I promise to return back someday, but I don’t expect you to wait. I promise I will never stop loving you’.
‘How can you do this? I chose you out of all the waves. It is your duty to be with me. Stop being selfish! If you leave, I will never accept you again. Forget your silly dreams. Be with me. I will save you from the cruel world that will only try to hurt you’.
Merlin smiled instead of crying and it was shocking to her too.
‘Marco, what I have realized is that fear can either chain you or free you. I am scared but it inspires me to be fearless. I am willing to be hurt because it is better than not feeling anything. I want to have passion and madness and crazy memories in my heart. I have always loved you. But if I don’t go, I will stop loving my own self. I need to go. I need to be scared. I need to feel. I need to live so beautifully that the wise moon is proud of me. Goodbye, Marco. You are the love of my life. But it is time for me to live for myself. The entire world awaits me and I need to see its magic. Goodbye.’
Merlin wiped a single tear and then rushed to meet Linda. The moon had just come out and was smiling at the little wave trying to be fearless. The moon had known it all along but it couldn’t warn them both. We often feel that tragedies are best avoided. But sometimes we need heartbreaks and suffering to become our best self.
Merlin would have never dared to chase her dreams if she didn’t feel like she was losing out on the things that were meant for her. And as for Marco, he would find true love when the time was right, but he would not depend on it as if he couldn’t live alone. Marco would realize that love doesn’t mean chaining wings and asking for someone to stay with you. Love means giving them wings and helping hem fly. And when the love is real, they will always fly back to you.
Merlin met Linda and the other waves who took her on the best adventure of her life. She had dark days but she never regretted anything. Beautiful things are often at the other end of the tunnel. Most people stop at the entrance for they fear that the tunnel has nasty things. You can never avoid the bad, but you can let it make you more grateful for the good. That’s what Merlin did. She went on despite her fears and the day she saw the golden dolphins dance in the air, she knew she had made the right choice. She was free and happy. And most importantly, she was in love with herself.