This was sufficient to silence her. After a beat I continued, “I have wandered this earth for so long alone that I forgot what it was to yearn for company. When I first laid eyes upon your face, I knew that you were to be mine.”
“I knew then, looking into your pure eyes, that my life until that point had been meaningless. Worthless. You were the reason I’d kept myself alive, though I didn’t know it until then. I finally had a reason to continue. I even began to hope that I might change you, too.”
I saw another question flash in Marisa’s eyes and I stopped her with a quick kiss on her mouth before continuing.
“You asked who changed me. In truth, I do not know. I will tell you what I do know, but for that I must go back to the beginning.
“I was born in Greece to a fisherman and his family. I was one of five children, all boys. I was neither the youngest nor the oldest, but rather somewhere in between. I lived in the sea, always swimming or fishing in it. My name then was Luka.
“I had a happy childhood. My parents did not push me into marriage, allowing their sons to make that decision on their own. So I was still living at home when I turned nineteen, although now I helped provide for my family by selling fish to the villagers.”
“At night, I often liked to swim in the ocean, alongside dolphins and sometimes even sharks. But I was never afraid. I felt more at home in the water than on land.
“One night when I came back to shore, I saw a dark figure waiting for me near where I’d left my clothes next to a sand dune. I couldn’t see the person’s face but I felt their eyes watching me. It was an unnerving feeling. I approached the figure warily, hoping he or she wasn’t looking to steal my money as I wasn’t carrying any with me. As I got closer the figure inexplicably moved farther away. I quickly gathered my clothes and dressed, not even shoving the sandals on my feet in my haste to get away.
“I ran all the way home, wondering if I’d imagined what I’d seen.
“The next night I went swimming with two of my brothers. I didn’t tell them why I wanted them to come, hoping they wouldn’t ask. In the light of day my fears from the night before seemed silly but I wasn’t about to take any risks.
“But the figure didn’t appear that night. Not there.”