by Grace Huang
Art by Sunny Lu
Issue: Solivagant (Winter 2018)

They were all attracted to her, like magnets to a refrigerator. It disgusted her, really. They acted as though they did not know anything except for her.

She hated it more than anything in the world. But they did not leave—no, they could not. The siren’s charm was too powerful.

Some days she wished Leucosia did not live within her.

(Every day she wished Leucosia did not live within her.)

But that was not her battle to fight, nor was it hers to win.

So she lived on, with nothing but her own breath in her lungs and the siren’s whispers in her mind.

People spoke with her as they passed by her in between classes, drifted towards her when she was waiting for the teacher to dismiss their current student and help her, befriended her as they walked home together. She simply smiled and then sighed when they left, only to force herself to smile again when another crowd of people swarmed her.

Had she any friends? She didn’t know. All people seemed to want to do was pine after her, praise her—never to know her or love her.

How she longed for someone in the world to love her. Out of everything she and Leucosia differed upon in their wishes, the hope for heartfelt affection was not something they disagreed on. She wondered if that was why she tolerated Leucosia, and let the siren’s heart beat within her own.

She loved Leucosia with all her heart; Leucosia deserved this chance of reincarnation, of rebirth.

She hated Leucosia with all her heart; she deserved her own life, not a life overshadowed with the spirit of a long gone myth.

She graduated as valedictorian and was voted as “most likely to be successful,” “most well-dressed,” and “most likely to be famous.”

“Aren’t you happy with it all?” they asked.

She laughed and nodded. “Of course I am!”

But she knew she would never be happy until the siren was long gone, buried deep beneath the ground and the earth that had never been her home.

An ethereal, phantasmal scene with two individuals colored predominantly in greens and blues. A similarly-colored aura surrounds them both.