I have given up everything for you, she said. All I ask is that you do not pry.
Everyone is entitled to their secrets. Even women. Even women like Mélusine who are not women at all. I should have let her have what she asked—respect. For me she left the lake and the underwater ways, the dark, water-echoing tunnels that run to the sea. For me she left the sinuous depths, the dark ocean currents, the hunt of swift silver fish among swaying weeds. But it rankled that I had not all the power, for her to be able to tell me, no.
So I watched. And I saw. And Mélusine, because she is not a woman at all, knew that I saw. In her fury, she gathered up our children and leapt with them into the lake. They have no father. And what rankles still, is that perhaps they have no need of one.
I watch, here in the shadows, hoping that she will come back. But the fear hangs over me, because I am a man, and just a man, that she will return only to seek revenge. The dark lake mists gather and the ripples race to the shore. They lap at my feet, drawing me from the shadows and into the blood red light of the dying sun. She is there. She has come.
The mists twist and rise and draw back from that face, those eyes, beloved and dreadful, and it is too late to run. There is nowhere to hide from that gaze. Whatever she wants from me, she will take.