Life above the water was far more fascinating than Adriannea was ever lead to believe. The days without Nevio went by slowly, but three weeks disappeared almost instantly.
She went for protative walks through fissures in the forest, where the sunlight poured through cracks in the dense ceiling. It reminded her of being underwater. She wandered marketplaces, looking at the silvers, golds and gemstones with wonder. To see such precious metals shining and new, free of green algae was enough to bring tears to her eyes. She avoided the sea, afraid that her world would discern her presence. But once she found a freshwater stream, she couldn’t help herself. The water was so pure, sifted from mountain peak to brook to stream, through layers and tiers of rock. She swam with her mouth open, collecting and tasting the different deposits and stratum of the water.
And she always slept, exuberant with the softness of the blankets, and the lack of any sort of moisture in her surroundings. The television fascinated her, and she flipped between channels incessantly, usually in the company of Camilla, who never failed to bring mortal delicacies. Chocolates, dried meats, cherries, every basket brought was different. Adriannea never passed the opportunity to try another humanly victuals.
A week after Nevio left, Camilla confessed to the details of his life. His family, his fortune, the houses…
“He was going to sell the castle,” she said to Adriannea, “but he didn’t. Once he met you, he cancelled the contract. I don’t know why he did that.” Adriannea liked Camilla for her plainness, there was never anything deeper to her words or actions. She pulls her blanket closer around herself, and closes her eyes. Sleep underwater had never felt like sleep above the coast. Slumber under the water was similar to being intoxicated. The constant pressure, and pull of tides pulling and pushing your body around, uninterrupted sleep was something Adriannea had only hoped for before. But to be human, and to rest… to really rest without the weight of the waterlogged atmosphere, or the responsibilities of a kingdom, was unearthly.