The Riverside

I have just had a crazy experience at the riverside. Want to know what happened?

I have always loved to come to the village and sit by the river since I was a child. The sound of running water calms me down, and since my favorite person who is my dad, died last year, it helps me forget the suffering at home; I forget that my mom is unfair to me, I forget my dad's accident, I forget that I have to get my grades up, I forget that my brother is more loved than I am. I forget all these things and focus on the sound of nature. I always look forward to these monthly visits to my hometown. 

Today, I left the family house quickly after doing my chores to sit on the river bank till it was almost sunset like I usually do. The water is crystal clear as usual; the sound of chirping birds and crickets and the sound of running water create a sense of calmness in me. I sit for a long time, just closing my eyes and listening, that I lose track of time. By the time I realize that time is long gone, the sun is setting. "Mother would not be worried..." I whisper to myself while getting up from the bank, already hating the fact that I have to go home. "That's an insensitive thing to say as your mother is actually worried sick." 

I gasp in shock and stumble backward as a fine dark man materializes on the rock beside the river bank. "What in God's name?" I manage to sputter. "I have actually missed your visits. You came late this month," He says. His body glistens with water, and all he's wearing is...nothing? He's not wearing anything! I feel like pinching myself to make sure I suddenly haven't fallen asleep by the riverside. "Who are you?" He smiles, "We haven't properly been introduced. I am Okuku, the prince of this river, and I usually admire you when you come to the riverside. I like how much you appreciate nature and all that it gives us" I summon all the courage I have to not look below his face. 

"Okay..." I become less scared as I get no bad vibes from the man, but my hair still stands as if things could go sour real quick. "Is there anything you would like to know? I have just a bit of time to stay out of the water" I swallow nervously, "Um...are you like a merman? Mami water spirit?" The prince smiles, "Yes. Any other question?" "Are there more of you inside the river?" "Yes. I am the prince; my mother is the queen," I gulp again, "You think my mother is worried sick?" "Of course she is. She's looking for you everywhere as we speak; you should go home soon" "One last question, does my mother care for me?" 

The prince looks at me very keenly for some time that I almost get scared again before answering, "There is no parent who does not care for their child. Your mother is just misjudging her usefulness in your life; she thinks she cannot replace your father and will never meet up to your expectations, and so she puts all her effort into your younger brother. Do you want your mother to show that she cares for you? Then be open. Don't make her feel like she's not good enough; she's actually trying her best, and the least you can do is appreciate her" I become so dumbfounded that all I can manage is a nod. "We will meet again, nature queen. Until next time..." And he's gone in a jiffy. Just like that! "What just happened?" I whisper to myself in shock. I don't wait to get an answer, though, as I start walking home really, really fast.

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