Levanto was quiet for a spring day in March, people were beginning to put their boats in the water and begin fishing, to make their usual rounds. Esmee was one of many who had family who fished for a living, but her father had since retired and became a floral retailer beside his wife. She stretched and sat on the edge of her bed, looking around, waiting for her brain and body to wake up. Once she felt awake enough, she got dressed and went downstairs for breakfast.
Her mother said, putting the butter and syrup on the table.
Esmee replied, hugging her mother as she kissed her daughter's head. Esmee sat down at the table and awaited her meal before her father walked in.
"Hey honey, are you going out to Portorosso to catch up with your new friend, Alberto, since you 2 haven't talked for a while."
He said, seeing his daughter roll her eyes and scoff.
"Dad, he works, remember."
He shook his head and sat down at the table.
"Besides, I'm going to stay in Portorosso for a while until we go to France to see Nonna"
Her mother chuckled before placing the plat of pancakes down.
"Well, tell him we said hello."
Her mother said as she sat down.
"Will do, mom."
Esmee said as the 3 enjoyed their breakfast. She packed her suitcase and said her farewells to her parents before hopping on her Vespa and driving off to Portorosso. The drive was peaceful with the occasional disruption on the road, but once she made it, she was greeted by all of the children and those who knew her too well.
People said to her, as she greeted them back and parked in her usual spot. She carried her suitcase and walked into Massimo's front yard, and was met with him immediately.
"Ciao, Massimo. Come sei stato."
Esmee said, seeing him chuckle and pat her shoulder.
"Good, I'll take your stuff. You missed Alberto, he just headed off for a solo fishing trip."
He said, taking her suitcase and walking off into the house. Esmee nodded and ran off toward the shore, climbing in, the water tickling her toes. She submerged under and swam off to find Alberto. After 5 minutes of searching, she resurfaced, seeing a boat in the distance. She swam over quietly before taking a peak, seeing it was indeed Alberto on his own.
She sneaked up on the boat and waited for the right time to surprise him. Except, something stopped her, almost as if, something was wrong. She looked around and ignored the feeling, before launched herself into the boat, sending him falling backwards in shock.
"Surprise, did you miss me."
Esmee said, seeing Alberto struggle to his feet before finally getting up and regaining his composure.
"Yeah, maybe DON'T startle me like that next time."
Alberto said sternly as he checked the nets and sat down opposite of her.
"Awe, your reaction was inestimabile."
Esmee said, raising a brow and leaning back on the boat. Alberto ignored her and shook his head.
"That aside, how have you been?"
Esmee asked, seeing him look at her and shrug.
"Eh, winter was slow...boring, but I'm glad that spring is here, though fishing season is a little slow right now."
He replied, pointing out at the net. Esmee nodded and stood up.
"Well, it IS march, normally this is around the time they're JUST getting out of hibernation and into mating season."
Alberto took a second to take in that bit of info, understanding the reason behind such slow productivity.
"Wow, thanks, didn't know that."
Alberto said, tugging the net back into the boat. She helped him and once the net was ringed up, they took off back to town. Once they parked and got off the boat, Alberto reported back to Massimo who wasn't upset, but more understanding about the lack of fish.
Alberto and Esmee went upstairs and sat down on the bed in the bedroom.
"So, you sleep in her room now, that's cool."
Alberto nodded and rested his head on the pillow looking up at the ceiling.
"I'm so happy you're back, since I was getting worried you forgot about me."
Alberto said before laughing. Esmee rolled her eyes and punched his arm playfully.
"Nope, I could never do that."
Esmee replied, seeing Alberto look around the room then out the window.
"Did I ever take you to the island because I for sure told you about it, but never got around to showing you what's on it."
Esmee shook her head and was tugged by Alberto out of the room, down the stairs and out the gate toward the shore.
"So, I don't think I ever told you, but I'm not entirely human."
Alberto said, as he backed up into the water, his feet changing. She stared in amazement as he changed in front of her. He reemerged from the water, his scales on his wet face and arms reflecting light from the sun.
Alberto said as he disappeared under the water. Esmee jumped into the water and swam after him toward the Island in the distance.
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