When Anemone finally left Devin, it was nearly sunset, and there was a third person with Calypso and Myrina. She slowed from her run to a walk and cautiously stepped forward. The three stopped talking when they saw her coming.
The new person was a man. He was big and muscular, and very tall. He looked as though he would bust out of his cargo pants and button down shirt. He had silver-white hair the same color as sea foam and a matching well-groomed mustache and goatee.
“Anemone,” he said gently. His voice reminded Anemone of the sound of waves breaking against rocks.
“Anemone, this is our father, Triton,” Myrina said, finally speaking up.
Anemone nodded, still staring at him. “Why did you stay away for so long?” she asked cautiously, wondering why he was suddenly visiting.
“I did not want to,” he began to explain, taking a step forward. “I had to because my kingdom required it.”
“And why could I have not stayed with you there? What was wrong with it that you had to send your daughters away?” she asked, her lower lip beginning to tremble.
“It was not safe for my daughters there, else you all would have stayed. Twas safer for all three that you lived here.”
“So it was safer for the three of us to live in isolation and my sisters only eat every fourteen days? It was safer for them to starve themselves and completely change what they are to raise me?” Anemone demanded, tears beginning to threaten in her eyes.
Triton took another step forward, his hands held out pleadingly. “I have regretted every day that I could not be with my daughters, especially not being with you, Anemone.”
“If it took you sixteen years to remember you had three daughters, then maybe you should not stay with us at all,” she said as she took a step back, then ran quickly back the way she’d come.
Triton stood there, watching his youngest daughter run away, dumbfounded.
“She speaks true, father,” Myrina said as she stood behind her father. “We are the only family Anemone has known, while you were hiding deep beneath the waves where we were not allowed to go. We had to keep her away from what she longs for, and never received word or reason as to why from you. You owe us all explanations, and Calypso and I are listening. Anemone will listen when she is ready to, which will most likely be after you are gone.”
Triton shook his head as if to clear it. “I was away for so long to try and save her mother. I should have known that a human cannot live in the ocean, nor make the transition to a nymph or other sea spirit without trouble.”
“You abandoned Anemone for her mother?” Calypso asked. “Why did you not tell us the night that you entrusted her in our care?”
“Because I did not know if it would work or not. The process is a dangerous one, and Syrena nearly died many times,” he answered, still looking toward where Anemone had ran off.
“Did she wish for this? Or would she have rather lived as a human and raised her daughter as a human? You let my mother raise me as a siren, and you let Calypso’s mother raise her as a nymph. Why not let Anemone’s mother raise her as a human?” Myrina asked as she put her hand on his shoulder.
Triton jerked away and shook his head. “Because a human cannot control the sea, Anemone would not have survived.”
“You do not know that,” Calypso said, shaking her head. “Anemone longs for the human life more than you know, more than any of us know. But you should have given Syrena a choice of the life she wanted. You three could have been a family living in the human world.”
Triton stared at his two older daughters with sad blue eyes, knowing they were right, but unwilling to admit his mistake.
“I will let Anemone go to the humans. It will be good for her, better for the ocean than seclusion. The ocean is not meant to be secluded,” Myrina said gently. “She is more mine and Calypso’s daughter than yours, father. Let us do as we see fit to raise the ocean.”
Triton didn’t say anything, but turned away from them and let the water take him away.
“So then Anemone will be allowed to keep the human boy when he comes?” Calypso asked.
Myrina shrugged. “We shall see what happens when that time comes. But until then, things shall remain as normal.”
“Should we tell her that her mother was a human?”
“I do not know if we should tell her or wait until she asks,” Myrina answered. “But for now, we shall act as though nothing has happened.”